Buckwheat

by Allergy Guy

Buckwheat is not a type of wheat, it is not even a member of the grass family, and is therefore not a type of grain or cereal.  Buckwheat is in the knotweed (smartweed) family and is considered a pseudocereal.

There are several types of buckwheat, but the type most often consumed by humans is Fagopyrum esculentum, or common buckwheat.

Buckwheat is a nutritious food and a great addition to a gluten-free diet.

Tolerance to Buckwheat

Some people have difficulty digesting buckwheat. Make sure it is well cooked, and do not eat to much at once.

Buckwheat Food Uses

Whole buckwheat (husk removed) can be cooked up, much like rice, and served as the carbohydrate portion of a meal.

Buckwheat flour is a great addition to pancakes. Beware that many pancake recipes use wheat as well.

Soba is a type of Japanese noodle made from buckwheat.

Caution: Many types of soba contain wheat. It can also mean any kind of thin noodle in Japanese.

Wheat-free Soba: Some types of sorba (e.g. Juuwari and Towari) are made from 100% buckwheat, and are safe.

Be aware that pizzoccheri, a type of Italian noodle, is made with 20% wheat flour, and is unsafe for a gluten free diet, even though it is made mostly with buckwheat.

Buckwheat honey is very dark and flavorful, with a strong taste.

How to Cook Buckwheat

Buckwheat It is a good idea to rinse the buckwheat in a sieve before cooking.

Cook with one part buckwheat and two parts water, with a dash of salt to enhance taste.

Bring to a boil, simmer in a covered pot for 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free Beer

Buckwheat can be used in the same way as wheat or barley in beer making. It is becoming a popular ingredient in gluten free beer and wheat free beer.

Buckwheat and Health

The rutin in buckwheat can strengthen capillary walls, which is beneficial to people with high blood pressure or chronic venous insufficiency.

The D-chiro-inositol in buckwheat is an important deficiency in Type II diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Buckwheat Non-Food Uses

Buckwheat hulls can be used as a filling for furniture. This is a popular filling for hypoallergenic pillows, especially for those with asthma.

Buckwheat Name

The "wheat" part of buckwheat refers to how buckwheat can be used much like wheat. The "buck" part of the word referrers to Middle Dutch for beech (boek) because of the triangular seeds that resemble the beech nut.

Buckwheat is known as kasha in Eastern-Europe.

Buckwheat Nutritional values

NutrientUnitsValue per

100 grams
Number

of Data

Points
Std.

Error
Proximates
Water
g
9.75
2
0
Energy
kcal
343
0
0
Energy
kJ
1435
0
0
Protein
g
13.25
2
0
Total lipid (fat)
g
3.40
2
0
Ash
g
2.10
2
0
Carbohydrate, by difference
g
71.50
0
0
Fiber, total dietary
g
10.0
0
0
Minerals
Calcium, Ca
mg
18
1
0
Iron, Fe
mg
2.20
1
0
Magnesium, Mg
mg
231
1
0
Phosphorus, P
mg
347
1
0
Potassium, K
mg
460
1
0
Sodium, Na
mg
1
1
0
Zinc, Zn
mg
2.40
1
0
Copper, Cu
mg
1.100
1
0
Manganese, Mn
mg
1.300
1
0
Selenium, Se
mcg
8.3
0
0
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
0.0
0
0
Thiamin
mg
0.101
1
0
Riboflavin
mg
0.425
1
0
Niacin
mg
7.020
1
0
Pantothenic acid
mg
1.233
0
0
Vitamin B-6
mg
0.210
1
0
Folate, total
mcg
30
1
0
Folic acid
mcg
0
0
0
Folate, food
mcg
30
1
0
Folate, DFE
mcg_DFE
30
0
0
Vitamin B-12
mcg
0.00
0
0
Vitamin B-12, added
mcg
0.00
0
0
Vitamin A, RAE
mcg_RAE
0
0
0
Retinol
mcg
0
0
0
Vitamin A, IU
IU
0
0
0
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated
g
0.741
0
0
4:0
g
0.000
0
0
6:0
g
0.000
0
0
8:0
g
0.035
13
0
10:0
g
0.018
13
0
12:0
g
0.010
13
0
14:0
g
0.025
13
0
16:0
g
0.450
13
0
18:0
g
0.047
13
0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated
g
1.040
0
0
16:1 undifferentiated
g
0.023
13
0
18:1 undifferentiated
g
0.988
13
0
20:1
g
0.000
0
0
22:1 undifferentiated
g
0.012
13
0
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
g
1.039
0
0
18:2 undifferentiated
g
0.961
13
0
18:3 undifferentiated
g
0.078
13
0
18:4
g
0.000
0
0
20:4 undifferentiated
g
0.000
0
0
20:5 n-3
g
0.000
0
0
22:5 n-3
g
0.000
0
0
22:6 n-3
g
0.000
0
0
Cholesterol
mg
0
0
0
Amino acids
Tryptophan
g
0.192
5
0
Threonine
g
0.506
17
0
Isoleucine
g
0.498
17
0
Leucine
g
0.832
17
0
Lysine
g
0.672
17
0
Methionine
g
0.172
17
0
Cystine
g
0.229
10
0
Phenylalanine
g
0.520
16
0
Tyrosine
g
0.241
15
0
Valine
g
0.678
17
0
Arginine
g
0.982
17
0
Histidine
g
0.309
16
0
Alanine
g
0.748
14
0
Aspartic acid
g
1.133
13
0
Glutamic acid
g
2.046
14
0
Glycine
g
1.031
14
0
Proline
g
0.507
14
0
Serine
g
0.685
14
0
Other
Alcohol, ethyl
g
0.0
0
0
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Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katey August 27, 2011 at 08:09

I’m from Poland and I have to correct this “kasha” thing. “Kasha” is a word used for all grains – crushed into pieces or not, boiled for eating. Buckwheat is called “kasza gryczana” [kasha grietschana].

Reply

2 Allergy Guy August 29, 2011 at 19:14

Some how most people in North America (at least those who think they know what ‘kasha’ means) think that kasha means roasted buckwheat. I didn’t realize that this word is used for all grains in Poland. Thanks for the linguistic lesson!

Reply

3 paulm63 December 31, 2011 at 00:05

i just had a second or third episode of food allergy that involved profound itching in my mouth, palms, forearms, and groin. it was similar to a reaction i once had to a KASHI cereal. it was Kasha itself that provoked this reaction. funny, that most articles involving Kasha talk about using it as a substitute carbohydrate for wheat allergy, not as a source of allergy. i got the reaction under control using a combination of Benadryl, ibuprofen, Zantac and Singulair. it would be nice to get to the actual cause of the allergy, so i can avoid it in the future. Thank you.

Reply

4 Allergy Guy January 2, 2012 at 22:05

It is possible to be allergic to nearly any food, although a buckwheat/kasha allergy is relatively rare. You simply have to avoid it to avoid the allergy.

Reply

5 Charlotte June 6, 2013 at 08:02

my sister had such a bad allergic reaction I rushed her to the hospital. she stayed overnight, that’s how bad she was.
the antihistamines and cortisone wasn’t enough..
I think it is HIGH time any/all products with BUCKWHEAT have health warnings (like peanuts) as more and more “health” products are including the it.. mixed with wheat.. or as a “gluten-free” white substitute. this is unacceptable.
it is very dangerous!
the doctor has advised my sister that the allergy gets worse, as one is more exposed to it.
so.. she literally said “you could die next time, you wont have 15minutes to get to a hospital”.

Reply

6 Allergy Guy June 7, 2013 at 13:33

Sorry to hear your sister had such a strong reaction to buckwheat.
The fact is that a minority of people could have a reaction to absolutely any food in existence.

Reply

7 Ellie August 22, 2013 at 11:19

Buckwheat sold in US is nothing like buckwheat from russia, ukraine etc. No russian person buys american buckwheat. I do not know what they do with it, but it does’t cook and taste like buckwheat from russia. Tried many different ways-nothing works-ended up throwing it away-the taste and texture are just bad. Thanks european food stores sell real buckwheat. I also discovered that I am not digesting it properly and it puzzles me.

Reply

8 Allergy Guy August 22, 2013 at 14:08

You’re not properly digesting US or Russian buckwheat? I assume US.
Certainly the soil is different and that may account for much of the difference. Possibly the strain is different to suit local conditions.

Reply

9 zuzana June 13, 2014 at 20:25

hi there, i like buckwheat a lot and i’m trying to eat it as a replacement for a pasta, rice… however, i start to believe that it has caused me an allergic or rather skin reaction. Simply I tried it a few times just to confirm that it is reaction to buckwheat. I had a rush on my face and neck. It looked like acne – just that it happened at the same day i ate it. I really like it and couldn’t figure out why such a healthy super-food can cause it. Then i realised that it does contain copper and since i’m allergic to it, I have maybe eaten a bit too much and therefore had the reaction on my face. I still want to believe it’s maybe something different, but maybe it really is this buckwheat. :(

Reply

10 Allergy Guy June 13, 2014 at 21:57

If you eat a lot of it, it you may be allergic to something else but think it’s this new food you’re eating all the time. Or maybe you’re eating too much and have become sensitive to it.

Try leaving it alone for a few weeks, see what happens, then try it again. If all symptoms go away, only to re-appear when you eat it again, chances are you’re sensitive to it. If this happens, cut it out for six months to a year, then try it in small amounts and not too often, you might just find you’re OK with it again.

Good luck!

Reply

11 Kelly August 6, 2014 at 00:15

Hey, Allergy Guy, thanks for the article and for opening up to comments. I’m bummed about a seeming intolerance to buckwheat, which is what led me here. I’d been eating big bowls of the stuff mornings with butter and eggs with no pain…sort of became routine. Maybe I overindulged, too much of a good thing: I started developing mild stomach pain after eating. So I ate it less frequently. Recently, though, I got ahold of some quality buckwheat pancake mix, made and thoroughly enjoyed a stack, but received such horrible stomach pain and bloating, I’m considering abstaining for awhile (the six months you recommend). But Wikipedia says everyone else is eating it. Maybe it’s the lectins, maybe I need sprouted flour, or Russian flour, I don’t know. I just wanted to share this with you good people who’re in the same boat. Thanks :)

Reply

12 Allergy Guy August 6, 2014 at 12:43

Sorry to hear about your bad encounters with buckwheat, Kelly. Sure, everyone is eating it, doesn’t mean to say it agrees with you. Looks like you’ll have to cut it out anyhow if it seems to be causing the problem, so you might as well try it again in six months. If you find you’re OK with it, don’t over-do it!
Good luck!

Reply

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