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Is Buckwheat Safe for a Gluten-Free Diet?

Buckwheat is a healthy, safe gluten-free option for people with celiac disease


Buckwheat is actually closely related to rhubarb. Photo: CC--Ervin Strauhmanis

Celiac.com 11/18/2017 - Just looking at its name, one might wonder if buckwheat is safe for people on a gluten-free diet.

However, unlike its name, buckwheat does not naturally contain any wheat or gluten. As a result, buckwheat is considered safe for people with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet.

Turns out that buckwheat and wheat are from different, unrelated botanical families. As with quinoa, buckwheat is the seed of a flowering plant, as such it is not considered a grain or a cereal.

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Buckwheat is actually closely related to rhubarb. It is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. A serving of cooked buckwheat groats, the small triangular seeds, offers 17 grams of dietary fiber and 22 grams of protein.

Buckwheat is not only nutritious, but it contains rutin, a compound shown to strengthen capillary walls and improve circulation. As such, buckwheat, is also regarded as beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

As with grains, buckwheat can become contaminated with wheat during processing, transportation or if it is grown in fields also used to grow wheat.

To make sure your buckwheat is gluten-free, it is important to find certified gluten-free buckwheat. Also, remember that some products labled as buckwheat may include wheat flour, so double check to make sure your product is labled gluten-free. Otherwise, buckwheat is a healthy, nutritious gluten-free alternative for people with celiac disease.

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