Is Buckwheat Healthier Than Rice?

Buckwheat has a high mineral and antioxidant content, resulting in several health benefits.
Buckwheat has a high mineral and antioxidant content, resulting in several health benefits.

Buckwheat contains more protein than rice and has higher essential amino acids, including lysine and arginine (essential for children). Buckwheat is gluten-free, hence safe for people with a gluten allergy or celiac disease. The nutritive properties of rice and buckwheat are: 

  • Rice is lower in saturated fats than buckwheat.
  • Rice is lower in calories.
  • Rice is lower in carbohydrates.
  • Buckwheat is lower in sugars.
  • Buckwheat has a lower glycemic index (the ability to raise blood sugar after being eaten).
  • Buckwheat is richer in minerals.
  • Sodium and vitamin levels are the same in both rich and buckwheat.
  • Both rice and buckwheat are low in cholesterol and have the same amount.

Both rice and buckwheat are nutritious. Rice may be better than buckwheat for a weight loss diet. Brown rice is better than white rice because the nutritional value is preserved in brown rice, brown rice has fiber content. Brown rice is better for a weight loss diet than white rice because brown ricer helps stay full for longer, decreasing calorie consumption in other forms. White rice is cheaper than brown rice and buckwheat. Brown rice is usually not advised for those with intestinal diseases because it is more difficult to digest. 

Nutrition facts of rice and buckwheat

The nutritional value of 100 grams of raw buckwheat is:

  • Calories: 343 kcal
  • Water: 10%
  • Protein: 13.3 grams
  • Carbs: 71.5 grams
  • Sugar0 grams
  • Fiber: 10 grams
  • Fat: 3.4 grams
  • Minerals: Manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. All these minerals play an essential role in the growth and maintenance of body tissues.
  • Plant compounds that are antioxidants: Rutin, quercetin, vitexin, and D-chiro-inositol.

The nutritional value of 100 grams of white rice is:

  • Calories: 123 kcal
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 0.2 grams
  • Iron: 0.63 grams
  • Sodium: 1 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams

Health benefits of buckwheat

Health benefits include:

  • Improved blood sugar control: Buckwheat has a low to medium glycemic index (reduces the rise in blood sugar after meals), hence safe for diabetics to eat and is also beneficial to those who want to improve their blood sugar balance. Maintaining good blood sugar balance helps in maintaining good health.
  • Good for heart health: Magnesium, copper, fiber, certain proteins, and plant compounds, such as rutin, help in maintaining good heart health. Buckwheat has the highest amount of rutin, an antioxidant amongst cereals and pseudocereals. Antioxidants protect the body tissues from oxidative stress and slow the process of aging. Rutin protects the heart, reduces the risk of formation of blood clots in the blood vessels, inflammation, and blood pressure. Buckwheat has also been found to reduce cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
The Nutrition Source. Rice. Harvard T.H. Chan.

WebMD. Health Benefits of Buckwheat.

Wronkowska M, Soral-Smietana M, Krupa-Kozak U. Buckwheat, as a Food Component of a High Nutritional Value, Used in the Prophylaxis of Gastrointestinal Diseases. European J Plant Sci and Biotech. January 2010.