Ayurvedic Diet

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About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC


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Buckwheat Ayurveda Medicinal Properties
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Grounding, Relaxes-mind, Satisfies-stomach, Strengthens-resolve, Warms-abdomen, Diuretic, Muscle-relaxant
Effect: Ojas, Acidifying
Recommended for: Autumn-Winter
Type: Grains
Occasion: Cleanse, On-the-mend
Element: Earth, Fire
Subtaste: Bland
Nutrient: Flavonoids, Insoluble-fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Selenium, Soluble-fiber, Zinc, Carbohydrate
Nourishes: Muscle, Red-Blood, Plasma
Moves energy: Outward

Serving Size: 1/4 c
Species: Fagopyrum esculentum
Family: Polygonaceae
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Is Buckwheat Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Buckwheat is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

The substantial feel of buckwheat is like a cast iron pot on an open flame - warm, rustic, and comforting. It contains both warming and drying properties, making this a superfood for those who feel chronically weighed down, heavy and weak. It is a great substitute for rice, but more textured. Unlike rice, buckwheat's flavor boldly commands the plate. You won't forget the experience of eating this ingredient, and you'll crave it at the first sign of frost in the late-autumn air.

Strengthening & Circulating

Buckwheat, a hardy & versatile plant, may be ideal for chronic weakness due low metabolism associated with aging. A lack of metabolic function is at the core of most chronic disorders. Buckwheat's warmth comes with an ample dose of earth element. It is ideal among metabolism building foods because it is nutritious and strengthening as well. Its high iron content makes it a good blood tonic while magnesium nourishes and relaxes the muscles. According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods, "Buckwheat strengthens capillaries and blood vessels, inhibits haemorrhages, reduces blood pressure and increases circulation to the hands and feet."

Warm Yourself from Within

Buckwheat's popularity in northern climates and high altitudes is a testimony to its warming qualities. However, its warmth is unlike ginger or black pepper, whose pungency fans the flames of metabolism quickly. Rather, it improves metabolism without over stimulating the body. In macrobiotic language, buckwheat "activates yang reserves" much like salt - supporting your body's sustainable energy from deep within. Its warmth also comes in handy for balancing cold conditions, such as Vata type diarrhea in the intestines or undigested food in the stools.

Dry Out Excess Baggage

It is unique to find a drying astringent that also heating, but we've found it in buckwheat. It is ideal for watery kapha dosha due to its diuretic ability to reduce water weight and dry up mucus in the respiratory tract. It lowers blood sugar levels and has even been used for lowering blood pressure. Several studies have also shown that buckwheat improves insulin uptake in cells, which may be useful in insulin resistant diabetes.

Narrow Your Focus

Buckwheat is contracting according to macrobiotics - good for focused attention. Buckwheat's flavor, scent and qualities bring you right here, right now. Enough of other worries that cloud your mind - buckwheat will help you focus on what's really important.
Buckwheat's hearty warmth hits the spot on any damp cloudy day in November. Enjoy as you snuggle up with your loved ones, or while listening to crackling logs in a wood burning stove. Smoky, nutty and earthy, buckwheat is slightly demulcent like oatmeal but lighter on the stomach. Its rustic flavor is suitable for savory crepes and pastas. Its warming qualities make it one of the most commonly used grain-like foods in northern countries like Russia. It is also used in mountainous regions like Tibet where wheat cannot be grown.

The triangular shape of buckwheat and its hazel color make it resemble the nuts of the beech tree. This pseudo grain looks like rice, cooks like quinoa, but is really a fruit seed! Despite the name, buckwheat isn't related to wheat. Used as a grain or flour, the closest food relatives to this unique ingredient are rhubarb and sorrel.

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buying & preparation
Buckwheat can be found in most whole food grocery stores next to the rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. Its unusual triangular shape makes it particularly easy to spot. The seeds are called buckwheat groats, and often you'll see them included in a breakfast porridge mix along with other well-loved hot cereals. Roasted buckwheat imparts an earthy, nutty flavor. Unroasted buckwheat tends to be more bland.
Browse Recipes
Interested in buckwheat for breakfast? We prefer buckwheat crepes to wheat, especially for the savory kind (called gallettes in Brittany, France). Have you ever eaten Japanese food? Then you might have already eaten buckwheat without even knowing. The grain-like fruit seed is ground up to make Soba noodles, which are a favorite in stir-fry dishes.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Impressions of 'Buckwheat'

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Hi! What is the nutritional quality of bulgur wheat? I couldn't find it on the database. Thank you! Pippa

- , 03-06-15 (Reply)
Are these gunas and is the other information for toasted or roasted buckwheat or is this for raw? I have noticed a large difference in taste and wondered about the effect on qualities.
- Madonna Das, HI, 02-06-17 (Reply)
This write up is for raw buckwheat.
- Kimberly Kubicke, Wall, NJ, 02-07-17 (Reply)

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Browse recipes and hundreds of other ingredients on this extensive educational website. Joyful Belly helps people confidently choose food that restores their healthy glow, using the ancient technique of Ayurveda. Our extensive collection of online recipes, ingredients, and articles makes health easy. To get started, take the free dosha quiz to find your Ayurvedic body type.

What is Ayurveda?

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John Immel.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information and products on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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