Sometimes I write posts that aren't all that easy for the non-raw, or non-vegan to understand/follow. So today I am dedicating a more scientific post to buckwheat. I want everybody to know what it is, why I sprout it, why we eat it in the raw world.
Let me start by saying buckwheat is NOT wheat at all. We would think of it as a cousin to such foods as rice or wheat or barley. Well, despite the common name and the grain-like use of the crop, buckwheat is not a cereal or grass. It is called a pseudocereal to emphasize that it is not related to wheat. It in fact comes from the dicot family, otherwise known as the Rhubarb family. (see photo below)
According to Wikipedia,
Buckwheat contains rutin, a medicinal chemical
that strengthens capillary walls, reducing hemorrhaging in people with
high blood pressure and increasing microcirculation in people with
chronic venous insufficiency. Dried buckwheat leaves for tea were manufactured in Europe under the brand name "Fagorutin."
Buckwheat contains D-chiro-inositol, a component of the secondary messenger pathway for insulin signal transduction found to be deficient in Type II diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is being studied for use in treating Type II diabetes. Research on D-chiro-inositol and PCOS has shown promising results.
A buckwheat protein has been found to bind cholesterol tightly. It
is being studied for reducing plasma cholesterol in people with an
excess of this compound.