Buckwheat is strange stuff! It looks just like ordinary flour and like flour; you can use it to make bread, flapjacks, cakes or pancakes. Across Asia, they use it for noodles. You can pick it up in most supermarkets. It might not look very exciting but the truth is that buckwheat is very versatile and can be a powerful ally in the war on fat.
So what is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is not a cereal grain like flour although it looks like it. Instead, it is a fruit seed related to rhubarb that has been grown across the world for thousands of years. It is used in a similar way to ordinary wheat flour. If you are gluten intolerant it is a gluten free alternative and is regarded as one of the world’s healthiest foods.
In France, it is known as Ble Noir (black wheat) and used in crepes and galettes – delicious sweet or savoury pancakes. In Eastern Europe, it is a key cereal and used for a variety of purposes. Across Asia, buckwheat is used to make noodles. In Poland, they sometimes eat buckwheat pancakes for breakfast.
Buckwheat was bought to the USA by waves of immigrants travelling from Europe.
Why is it so good for weight loss?
Buckwheat is high in fibre and low in calories. This means that it has many health benefits and will help you feel full after eating very little, unlike refined white flour, which has little nutritional value. Buckwheat is also high in antioxidant flavanoids so may help increase the speed of the metabolism and help you burn off fat fast. Evidence has shown that buckwheat flour significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses. It may help reduce cholesterol levels too.
How to use Buckwheat?
One of the most satisfying ways to use buckwheat is by cooking a simple pancake or galette. You can use it as a base for a savoury meal such as egg and cheese. Even as a base for seafood such as prawns. You can also add fruit, or honey or lemon for a sweet dessert pancake. There are thousands of possibilities. Go wild!
The Buckwheat Diet
There is a crash diet out at the moment that requires you to eat nothing but buckwheat for 10 – 14 days. Fans of the diet claim that it can make you lose between 8lbs and 20lbs. However these types of mono diets that require you to eat only one thing are bad for health and unlikely to cause lasting weight loss. You don’t need to take the buckwheat diet in order to lose weight. Successful weight loss is all about making lifestyle and dietary changes you can live with.
Switching to buckwheat and including more delicious buckwheat pancakes into your daily diet, is a weight loss change that most people will have no trouble with.
One of the best points about buckwheat is that it actually tastes better than the white flour alternative.
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