By Don Penven
Many of us older folks are taking a serious look at the BIG THREE human conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- High glucose leading to diabetes
Nutritionists seem to fluctuate between what foods are beneficial and essential for good health. If we tried them all, we’d all end up overweight and broke. In another article on this blog I list what I consider to be the Super Foods, but this list is subject to change without notice.
I recently came across a rather unique food that we seldom hear about. And what I’ve discovered so far is very encouraging.
Most of us are familiar with buckwheat—but how much do you really know about this unusual food. One problem you may notice is that many of the “magic bullet” foods we’re offered are bad tasting, unpalatable offerings that most of us avoid.
Many physicians and nutritionists recommend our consuming “whole grains” for the knockout punch to fight the Big Three, and to give our immune systems a big boost as well.
But I’m talking about a different approach to eating whole grains. You see… buckwheat is not a grain at all!
So what if you are trying to give the “macro” diet, one built around wholly uncooked foods, a fair trial? The answer could just be to supplement your diet with buckwheat because it is a “seed,” and not a grain.
You see, buckwheat is jam-packed with vital nutrients and super health benefits that this substance deserves to be put up near the top of the “food pyramid.”
The plain and simple truth is that buckwheat is often overlooked or seldom considered because of its availability. More than likely the only place you’ll find it on the shelf is at a health food shop or online. Buckwheat is available as flour or seeds. Yes… you can use buckwheat as a substitute for refined flour. And the seeds can be eaten like a handful of peanuts or you can plant the seeds and harvest the sprouts.
Buckwheat falls into the little discussed category of fruit grains, but it offers all of the benefits of actual cereal grains like wheat or oats. Because the seeds or sprouts can be eaten without processing, you receive the full benefit of the self-contained vitamins and nutrients.
Most western diets lack ample quantities of magnesium, tryptophan and manganese, which buckwheat contains. These nutrients are essential in fighting heart disease, high blood pressure and many other diseases of the circulatory system.
And since buckwheat is a plant, it is an excellent source of cholesterol-fighting fiber. If you are a fan of raw veggies, then you probably get the fiber you need. But how many people are on the “raw’ bandwagon? You can choke down one more bran muffin or munch on a handful or buckwheat seeds.
On top of all this, it is a little known fact that buckwheat contains a high concentration of copper, which is essential in the way our bodies utilize the mineral iron. Looking for a fountain of youth—then look no farther.
When considering serving sizes, you are encouraged to eat as much or as little as you care to. The most often recommended serving size is for you to eat 5 to 10 ounces per week. You can soak the seeds in water until they sprout, and then add them into salads or mix in soup. If you have a blender, whip up a buckwheat smoothie.
Since buckwheat seeds have an almost unnoticeable taste, sprinkle them on desserts. Do your body and your health a favor… add buckwheat to your health plan.