Life Extension Magazine®
Yellow bowl of buckwheat high in fiber and rutin

Issue: May 2018


Buckwheat—which is neither wheat nor grain—is an ideal wheat substitute for the gluten-sensitive. Its phenolic compounds, oxidant reducers, high fiber content, and rutin can protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Scientifically reviewed by: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, on March 2021. Written By Garry Messick.

What you need to know

From reducing oxidative stress and blood pressure, to lowering cholesterol, buckwheat makes an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

Buckwheat, oddly enough, is not a type of wheat or even a cereal grain of any kind, but rather a fruit seed related to rhubarb, knotweed, and sorrel. As a "pseudocereal," rich in complex carbohydrates, it makes an excellent wheat substitute for those with celiac disease or who are sensitive to gluten.

Buckwheat's health benefits are many and varied. What follows are a few of the more noteworthy reasons you should add this super food to your diet.

Oxidant Reducers

Present in buckwheat's hulls and seeds and also in ground buckwheat flour are phenolic compounds and oxidant reducers.1 These can have a large number of benefits, including support for brain as well as protective effects against cancer and cardiovascular disease.2

Reduced Blood Pressure

Along with its high fiber content, buckwheat contains the phytonutrient rutin,3 an oxidant reducer that supports a healthy circulatory system and helps fight high blood pressure.4

Lower Cholesterol

Research shows that buckwheat can have a hand in improving cholesterol levels and inflammation. Consumption has been linked to lower LDL ("bad cholesterol") but higher levels of HDL ("good cholesterol").3,4


  1. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;72(1-2):35-42.
  2. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2015;63(36):7896-913.
  3. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2011;225(2):123-30.
  4. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61(2):366-72.