Buckwheat — homegrown protection

Published 1:39 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2019


He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth…Psalm 104:14

Recently, my attention has been focused on buckwheat, the grain that used to be very popular in this country. I for one enjoy eating buckwheat pancakes and have found that I usually have more energy after eating this type of pancake more than the white-floured kind. According to “The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies” by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, buckwheat, or kasha, as the roasted form of the grain is called, is popular in Japan and some researchers suspect that this may partially explain the country’s remarkably low cancer rates.

Buckwheat contains a variety of compounds called flavonoids that have been shown in studies to help block the spread of cancer. Two compounds in particular, quercetin and rutin, are especially promising because they appear to thwart cancer in two ways. These substances make it difficult for cancer-promoting hormones to attach to healthy cells. They can literally stop cancers before they start. The rutin in buckwheat plays another protective role. Working with other compounds, it helps prevent platelets—the components in blood that assist in clotting — from clumping together. By helping to keep blood fluid, buckwheat can play an important part in any heart-protection plan. There’s another way in which the rutin in buckwheat can help keep blood flowing. It appears to shrink particles of the dangerous low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This makes them less likely to stick to artery walls, further reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Rutin has also been reported to stabilize blood vessels and check excessive fluid accumulation in the body. This may help lower blood pressure and with the risk of heart disease.

Another great reason to consume buckwheat, especially for vegetarians and others trying to cut back on meat is buckwheat is the best known grain source of high-quality protein. We need protein for everything from healing wounds to producing brainpower. Yet buckwheat protein does more. It helps lower cholesterol as well. One of the most valuable aspects of buckwheat is its ability to help control blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 (adult-onset diabetes), the most common form of the disease. The carbohydrates in buckwheat are digested more slowly than other types of carbohydrates. This causes blood sugar levels to rise more evenly. Also, don’t forget buckwheat if you or someone you know has celiac disease because buckwheat is free of gluten and of course it needs to be organic.

So, I say let’s have some good old buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup or maybe molasses.

Until next time!

Alice Russell, also known as “Me Me,” re-sides in the Randolph/ Saxe area. She can be reached at letstalk- herbs@gmail.com.

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