Buckwheat Millet: A Gluten-Free Superfood, and Beyond

Millets, once staple grains in traditional Indian diets, are experiencing a remarkable comeback in the country's cuisine. This resurgence is driven by a growing interest in nutritious, sustainable foods. Millets are drought-resistant and eco-friendly, making them ideal for India's climate. Among the many nutritious options, buckwheat is frequently mistaken for the similarly named 'wheat,' despite being a seed rather than a grain. It has long been associated with fasting, but its versatility and health benefits extend far beyond that. This gluten-free grain offers a wealth of nutritional benefits. Rich in essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and minerals, it's a valuable addition to diets, especially for those with dietary restrictions. Traditionally used during fasting periods, kuttu is versatile and finds its way into dishes like pancakes, bread, and porridge. Its revival represents a broader movement towards recognizing the indigenous grains' nutritional value and their role in fostering a more balanced and eco-friendly diet. 

What is Buckwheat 

Buckwheat is sometimes called a "pseudocereal" because its seeds are often used in the same way as cereal grains, even though buckwheat itself is not a cereal grain. It's very healthy and doesn't contain gluten. It's full of complex carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins (like B vitamins), and minerals (like manganese and magnesium). Millet buckwheat is a versatile grain that is used in many different types of cooking around beyond borders. In Japanese cooking, it's used in pancakes, rice, and even soba noodles because of its earthy, nutty taste. Because of how healthy it is, it's a popular choice for people who want to avoid gluten and still eat carbs. 

We asked nutritionist Amita Gadre, what are the nutritional benefits of incorporating buckwheat into our diets. She elaborated, "A good chunk of dietary fibre and resistant starch, which adds bulk to the diet as well is prebiotic in nature. This helps in improving our gut bacteria.  Buckwheat is also low to medium glycemic index and hence is useful in blood glucose management. Buckwheat is also especially rich in minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium and iron. The minerals in buckwheat are better absorbed by our body as compared to other cereals because buckwheat is low on nutrient inhibitors like phytic acid. " She further notes that individuals with latex or rice allergies, when consuming significant amounts of buckwheat, may also be at risk of developing allergies to buckwheat. 



Buckwheat is a gluten-free grain alternative. This makes it an ideal choice for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, as it doesn't contain the proteins responsible for gluten-related issues. It allows individuals to enjoy a variety of gluten-free dishes while still benefiting from the nutritional value and versatility of buckwheat in their diets. 

Blood sugar control 

Buckwheat helps control blood sugar due to its low to medium glycemic index. Its carbohydrates are digested and absorbed more slowly, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This gradual release of energy can aid in managing glucose, making buckwheat a valuable addition to diets focused on blood sugar control and diabetes management. 

High Antioxidant Content 

Buckwheat is an effective dietary supplement due to its high antioxidant content. Buckwheat contains antioxidants including rutin, quercetin, and other phenolic compounds that help fight off free radicals in the body, hence lowering oxidative stress and the likelihood of developing chronic diseases. Adding buckwheat to your diet has been shown to have positive effects on your health and well-being. 

Improves Digestion 

Buckwheat promotes" improved digestion. Its high dietary fiber content aids in regular bowel movements, preventing constipation. Additionally, buckwheat contains resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria. This supports a healthy digestive system and may alleviate digestive issues. Incorporating buckwheat into your diet can help maintain optimal digestive function. Amita adds, “The high fibre in buckwheat increases satiety from a meal and keeps you feeling full for longer- hence leading to lower calorie intake. Buckwheat also contains a special antioxidant called D-chiro-inositol which helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Buckwheat also contributes to improved heart health and lowering blood cholesterol levels.” 

Heart Health 

Buckwheat is heart-healthy thanks to its rich nutritional profile. It's low in fat and a great source of heart-friendly nutrients like magnesium and fiber. The high fiber content helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Its antioxidant properties also protect against oxidative stress, reducing the risk of heart disease. Including buckwheat in your diet can contribute to overall cardiovascular well-being.