Nutritional Benefits of Buckwheat
A nutritional uniqueness of buckwheat is the quality of protein it contains. The proteins in buckwheat are the best known source of high biological value proteins in the plant kingdom. Buckwheat contains all essential amino acids (eight proteins that the body cannot manufacture) in good proportions, making it closer to being a "complete" protein than any other plant source, even soybeans.
Buckwheat is composed of 75% "complex" carbohydrates. You've undoubtedly heard the recommendation that we should eat fewer "empty calorie" sugar carbohydrates and eat more "complex" starches. Recent dietary goals for the United States specifically call for increasing carbohydrate consumption to 55-60% of our total calorie intake. Only 8-9% of these carbohydrate calories should come from sugar or "simple" carbohydrates. That leaves considerable space for complex carbohydrates like buckwheat that satisfy our appetites and fuel our cells.
For people who struggle with wheat allergies and gluten intolerance, buckwheat is ideal. It has plenty of protein and B vitamins and is rich in phosphorus, potassium, iron, and calcium.
Fiber & Buckwheat
Health-minded eaters are increasingly interested in fiber, the indigestible residue from plant foods. One cup of buckwheat kasha kernels provides over 20% of dietary fiber.
Because buckwheat's outer hull is very hard, and doesn't soften with long cooking, it must be removed during processing - unlike wheat which has a soft outer hull. Dark buckwheat flour contains some particles of finely milled hulls; excessive amounts of hulls create bitterness.