Buckwheat 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


Buckwheat belongs to a category of food items referred to as pseudocereals.

Pseudocereals are seeds that resemble cereal grains but do not grow on grasses. Other popular pseudocereals include quinoa and amaranth.

Buckwheat, despite its name, is free from gluten and has no relation to wheat.

You can use buckwheat to make groats, flour, noodles, and buckwheat tea. Many classic European and Asian recipes include groats as a key ingredient, much like rice.

Buckwheat has gained popularity as a health food because of its high mineral and antioxidant content. Improved control of blood sugar levels may be a positive outcome.

The two most commonly grown buckwheat varieties are common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tartaricum).

The northern hemisphere, specifically Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and Central and Eastern Europe, is where most people harvest wheat.

This page provides a comprehensive overview of all the essential information regarding buckwheat.

Nutrition facts

Buckwheat is primarily composed of carbohydrates. Buckwheat also includes protein, minerals, and antioxidants.

Buckwheat is much more nutritious than many other grains. 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw buckwheat contain the following nutritional values:

  • Calories: 343
  • Water: 10%
  • Protein: 13.3 grams
  • Carbs: 71.5 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 10 grams
  • Fat: 3.4 grams


Carbohydrates, which make up about 20% of boiling groats by weight, make up the majority of buckwheat. They are formed by starch, which is the major carbohydrate storage form in plants.

Buckwheat has a low to medium glycemic index (GI), which measures how rapidly a food elevates blood sugar after a meal. It should not produce dangerous blood sugar spikes.

Research has proven that some of the soluble carbohydrates in buckwheat, such as fagopyritol and D-chiro-inositol, can help regulate blood sugar levels after meals.


Buckwheat includes a significant amount of fiber that your body cannot digest. This vitamin is beneficial for colon health.

The primary components of fiber, cellulose and lignin, make up 2.7% of the weight of boiling groats.

The husk, which covers the groat, concentrates fiber. Dark buckwheat flour preserves the husk, giving it a distinct flavor.

Furthermore, the husk includes resistant starch, which is resistant to digestion and hence classified as fiber.

In your colon, gut bacteria ferment resistant starch. These beneficial bacteria create short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyrate.

Butyrate and other SCFAs provide nutrition to the cells that line your colon, enhancing gut health and lowering your risk of colon cancer.


Buckwheat has tiny levels of protein. Boiled buckwheat groats provide 3.4% protein by weight.

Buckwheat protein is of excellent quality due to its well-balanced amino acid composition. It has high levels of the amino acids lysine and arginine.

However, the digestion of these proteins is limited due to antinutrients such as protease inhibitors and tannins.

Animal studies have shown that buckwheat protein lowers blood cholesterol, prevents gallstone development, and lowers the risk of colon cancer.

Buckwheat, like other pseudocereals, is gluten-free, making it ideal for people who are gluten-intolerant.

Vitamins and minerals

Buckwheat contains more nutrients than many common cereals, including rice, wheat, and corn.

However, buckwheat is not very vitamin-rich. Tartary buckwheat is often more nutritious than regular buckwheat.

The most prevalent minerals in common buckwheat are as follows:

  • Manganese: Manganese, which is abundant in whole grains, is required for healthy metabolism, growth, development, and antioxidant defenses in the body.
  • Copper: Copper is a vital trace metal that, when consumed in moderation, may improve heart health.
  • Magnesium: When consumed in appropriate quantities, this vital mineral may reduce your risk of a variety of chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Iron: Anemia, a disorder characterized by a decreased oxygen-carrying capacity in your blood, is caused by a deficiency in this vital mineral.
  • Phosphorus: This mineral is essential for bodily tissue development and maintenance.

Cooked buckwheat groats absorb nutrients more efficiently than other cereals.

Buckwheat has a low phytic acid content, which is a common inhibitor of mineral absorption in grains and seeds.

Other plant compounds

Buckwheat has several antioxidant plant components, which account for many of its health benefits. In fact, it contains more antioxidants than most cereal grains, including barley, oats, wheat, and rye.

Tartary buckwheat contains a higher amount of antioxidants compared to regular buckwheat

Buckwheat contains the following primary plant chemicals:

  • Rutin: Rutin, the major antioxidant polyphenol in buckwheat, may reduce cancer risk while also improving inflammation, blood pressure, and the blood lipid profile.
  • Quercetin: Quercetin, an antioxidant found in many plant foods, may provide a number of health benefits, including decreasing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Vitexin: Animal studies suggest that vitexin may offer a variety of health benefits. However, excessive consumption may lead to an enlarged thyroid.
  • D-chiro-inositol: This is a special sort of soluble carb that lowers blood sugar levels and may help with diabetes management. Buckwheat is the most abundant plant chemical food source.

Health benefits of buckwheat

Buckwheat, like other whole-grain pseudocereals, is associated with a variety of health advantages.

Improved blood glucose control

Over time, elevated blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

Managing the elevation of blood sugar levels after meals is critical for one’s overall well-being.

Buckwheat, a nutritious source of fiber, has a low to medium GI. This suggests that it should be safe to consume for the majority of people with type 2 diabetes.

In fact, research has linked buckwheat consumption to decreased blood sugar in diabetics.

A study of diabetic rats found that buckwheat concentrate reduced blood sugar levels by 12–19%, supporting this.

Researchers hypothesize that the unique chemical D-chiro-inositol causes this effect. According to studies, this soluble glucose increases insulin sensitivity, the hormone that stimulates cells to absorb sugar from your blood.

In addition, several buckwheat components appear to inhibit or delay table sugar digestion.

Buckwheat’s attributes make it an excellent choice for people with type 2 diabetes or those looking to improve their blood sugar regulation.

Heart health

Buckwheat may also improve heart health. It contains several heart-healthy components, including rutin, magnesium, copper, fiber, and some proteins.

Buckwheat is the highest source of rutin, an antioxidant with potential health benefits.

Rutin may reduce your risk of heart disease by preventing blood clots and lowering inflammation and blood pressure.

Studies have also shown that buckwheat can improve blood lipid profiles. A negative profile is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

A study of 850 Chinese people found that eating buckwheat led to lower blood pressure and an improved blood lipid profile, including lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and greater levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

It is believed that a protein in your digestive tract binds to cholesterol, preventing its absorption into your bloodstream.

Potential downsides

Apart from triggering allergic reactions in some people, buckwheat has no known side effects when consumed in moderation.

Buckwheat allergies

Buckwheat allergies are more likely to occur in those who consume it frequently and in significant quantities.

Allergic cross-reactivity makes this allergy more likely in people who are already allergic to latex or rice.

Symptoms may include skin rashes, swelling, digestive problems, and—in worst-case scenarios—severe allergic shock. 

The bottom line

Buckwheat is a pseudocereal, or grain that is not grown on grass but eaten like cereals. It is gluten-free, high in fiber, and contains minerals, as well as numerous plant chemicals, particularly rutin.

Therefore, studies have linked buckwheat consumption to a number of health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control and cardiovascular health.

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