Buckwheat can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and may boost heart health according to a small study in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences.

Those who consumed a diet containing buckwheat as a main source of carbohydrates for two months or longer found that they had significantly reduced markers of cardiovascular disease including Type 2 Diabetes and oxidative or cellular stress in both overweight men and women, the research found.

Buckwheat is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds and is used as a substitute for grains in people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.

The health benefits of Buckwheat are vast and may be due to its low impact on blood sugar levels, while containing high levels of protein, fiber and nutrients, including polyphenols that can fight disease, research suggests.

The researchers from The University of Florence in Italy analysed and monitored 21 people in their mid-50s for their blood composition following two eight-week diets. One of the diets was enriched with buckwheat and were separated with eight weeks of unrestricted eating. The other diet included bread, pasta and other kinds of carbohydrates made with wheat flour that were enriched with 40-50% buckwheat flour.

Results indicated that on average, the buckwheat diet showed a decreased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein or LDL and triglycerides. The study also found that markers of oxidative stress decreased significantly in those people on the buckwheat diet.

The study holds promising results for anyone wanting to improve their cardiovascular health in the long term. By following a healthy diet and lifestyle including Buckwheat, it’s possible to get healthier and over time, see significant improvements in chronic diseases and one’s general level of health.