There are two types of buckwheat groats—roasted buckwheat kernels and raw buckwheat kernels. The two do not differ in terms of benefits and nutritional facts.
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Benefits of Kasha
- Improves Heart Health and Lowers Risk of Cancer
The Kasha is rich in Rutin and Quercetin, which is a classification of a phytonutrient and antioxidant responsible for reducing cholesterol, preventing risks of certain cancers, and improve blood lipid profile. The unique component of buckwheat contributes to various health benefits such as anti-oxidative, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and improved cognition.
- Reduces Blood Sugar
Kasha contains a unique soluble carbohydrate called D-chiro-inositol (DCI), which help reduces blood sugar levels and assist in insulin resistance. Recent studies show that the DCI in Kasha can also inhibit oxidative stress in HepG2 cells—a human liver cancer cell line. The very low glycemic index of Kasha makes it essential to diabetes management.
- Gluten Free
The Kasha is naturally gluten free, which makes it a food option for individuals who have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
- Dietary Fiber
Kasha is one of the complex carbohydrate food items with a high portion of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is responsible for normalizing bowel movements, and helps the food move smoothly through the digestive tract. This results in improved colon health. Hence, Kasha is also beneficial for individuals who want to lose weight.
- Good Source of Protein
Compared to whole groats, Kasha is an excellent source of protein, which helps in muscle growth and repair.
- Vitamins and Minerals
Multiple vitamins and minerals can be found in the Kasha. These include—manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B complex. These vitamins and minerals are responsible for the development of the body’s antioxidants and body’s tissues and reduces the risk of Type II Diabetes and chronic heart diseases.
History of the Kasha
The Kasha was first known to be grown in Southeast Asia in 6000 BCE. It has spread to China, as well as Middle East and Europe from 4000 BCE. It is usually grown in high latitude areas and has a growing period of only 10 to 12 weeks. At present, Kasha is mainly grown in Russia, China, Ukraine, France, and Poland.
The term “buckwheat” came from its triangular shape, which is similar to that of the beech nut seed, and that it is used like wheat. However, it has no association to wheat, as it is not grass.