Buckwheat is native to the Northern parts of Europe and to some parts of Asia. Contrary to the widespread misconception that buckwheat is a cereal, it is a fruit seed that has a close association with sorrel and rhubarb. However, from a culinary perspective, it is commonly classified as a grain. Buckwheat is shaped like a beechnut and has characteristics that are very similar to wheat.
Like wheat, buckwheat can be ground into a flour of a light or dark variety. The darker form of buckwheat flour is considered to be more nutritious. Buckwheat is gluten free and is thus suitable for gluten-intolerant individuals. In the United States, buckwheat is widely used to make pancakes and is a great substitute for those who do not wish to use wheat.
History of Buckwheat
Buckwheat was widely produced in China from the 10th to 13th century AD. From the 14th to 15th century, it spread to Russia and Europe before it was introduced to the USA in the 17th century. It is widely cultivated in Poland and Russia since it’s an integral part of their traditional dishes. Other countries that cultivate buckwheat are France, United States, and Canada. Buckwheat crepes are one of the most popular buckwheat dishes.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat
• Rich in fiber content and aids weight loss
• Prevents the formation of gallstones
• Helps in keeping the blood sugar levels in check and is extremely useful for diabetic patients
• Regulates the level of cholesterol in the body
• Keeps blood pressure at optimum level and promotes cardiovascular health