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Superfoods for Navratri : Load Up On Them

When I think about the Navratri fast, the first thing that comes to mind is Buckwheat (kuttu), which is one of the most widely known and used pseudo-cereals in India. Fasting is commonly celebrated by making puris and parathas from coarse flour.

With Navratri 2021 just around the corner, people will be using this ingredient in a variety of dishes. Kuttu puris are often served with other special Navratri dishes like sabudana kheer, for instance. Did you know that Buckwheat is not related to wheat and is not a cereal grain? It allows people to eat it during those times when they are fasting.

Although Buckwheat (kuttu) is traditionally used in Indian cuisine, its high carbohydrate content makes it suitable for consumption as a cereal. Buckwheat is a key ingredient in several dishes such as Japanese Soba noodles, Russian Blini, and the Ukrainian Kasha.

Why You Should Include This Superfood in Your Diet:

1. Minerals:

Despite its higher mineral content and protein content, Buckwheat starch differs from cereal starch. One 30g serving of buckwheat flour can provide 16% of the daily requirement for phosphorus and 22% of the daily requirement for magnesium for an adult man. Among other functions, phosphorus is vital for the body’s energy production and muscle contraction. In addition to selenium, zinc, copper, and potassium, buckwheat contains several minerals.

2. Amino Acids:

Several essential amino acids are found in buckwheat, which makes it a highly nutritious source of protein. It is rich in arginine and lysine, amino acids that are typically lacking in cereal grains. Buckwheat proteins suppress factors that cause colon and breast cancer.

3. Gluten Free:

Gluten free staples are easily available all year round. Buckwheat’s excellent amino acid composition also helps those with gluten sensitivities compensate for the lack of protein in wheat and other cereals.

4. Fibre:

buckwheat contains a high fiber content. Buckwheat contains fiber in all three forms – soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and resistant starch. Buckwheat consumption lowers cholesterol through its fiber content. Buckwheat contains resistant starch (the component of starch not absorbed in the small intestine), which acts as a prebiotic, supplying nutrients to the gut bacteria.

5. Antioxidants:

Several studies have shown that phenolic compounds possess antioxidant properties. Buckwheat contains rutin, a flavonoid that contributes to its antioxidant activity. Additionally, rutin has been associated with lowering blood pressure and serum LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

6. Diabetic Friendly:

Despite Buckwheat’s high carbohydrate content, it has a low Glycaemic Index, making it a superfood. The GI of Buckwheat is 49-51. As a result, it is a good choice for diabetics as well as for those with metabolic syndrome and PCOS. Buckwheat contains fatty acids that act as insulin mediators and may be used to treat diabetes and PCOS. As Buckwheat has a low GI, combining it with potatoes while fasting lowers the overall glycaemic load of the meal.

7. Buckwheat is a great source of B vitamins, especially Thiamine,Vitamin B6, Riboflavin and Folate. Riboflavin helps metabolize fats and proteins, while Thiamine converts carbohydrates into energy that can be used by the body.

How to Use This Superfood?

Buckwheat, also called Kuttu ka atta, is used as a versatile flour substitute. It can be used to make papdi, chapatti, parantha, or puri. For those craving sweets while fasting, you can also make panjiri, peda, or burfi. In place of all the fried foods consumed during Navratri, buckwheat groats are an excellent substitute.

Tips for Cooking Buckwheat:

Since cooking reduces the amount of resistant starch in Buckwheat, methods involving lower temperatures and shorter cooking times are recommended. Buckwheat, being high in fiber, absorbs water from the digestive tract. On the days one consumes Buckwheat, it is advisable to drink plenty of fluids.

Buckwheat (kuttu) should become a common ingredient in every Indian kitchen beyond Navratri 2020 fasting. Making it a fine choice for a change from the usual staples routine and a guilt-free replacement for refined flour in baking.


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