I’m sure you’ve heard about this magical seed called quinoa, proclaimed by all nutritionists to be a superfood. It definitely is very healthy, it’s high in protein, flavonoids (plant antioxidants beneficial to health), it’s anti-flammatory, gluten free, high in fibre etc etc. But it can also be pretty expensive, compared to other super healthy seeds like millet and buckwheat. These are pretty common in central Europe at least but when I moved over to the UK I had to look really hard to find them. They were mostly only available in Polish grocery shops anyway – buckwheat in Poland is as easy to get as rice.
Why should you try to get them into your diet as well, apart from the more reasonable price and very good taste? (Buckwheat esspecially is very tasty to me, it tastes kind of nutty whereas the taste of millet is pretty much the same as quinoa.)
When you hear about millet you might think of bird feed and you’d be kind of right haha, shelled millet is a part of bird seed mixes. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it either, millet is pretty delicious and you can make both savoury and sweet dishes from it. It’s also a source of copper (stimulates the immune system to fight infections, essential for normal growth and development), phosphorus (for ATP, nucleic acids, and phospholipids), manganese, and magnesium (reduces asthma and the frequency of migraines, lowers the blood pressure and reduces the risk of a heart attack). It’s high in soluble fibre which can prevent gallstones, it alkalises the body, it’s a prebiotic for the gut microflora, it’s gluten free, and it’s easily digestible. There are so many more health benefits to it and there are various recipes in which you can use millet, either as a substitute for rice or potatoes as a side if you want a little bit of a change, or I like having it with scrambled tofu, tomatoes and rocket or in a porridge with some prunes and almonds.
Wherever I read about buckwheat it always says that it’s very beneficial to the cardiovascular system. It’s because it lowers the blood pressure and the cholesterol linked to cardiovascular disease, which is due to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin which also helps to maintain blood flow and keeps platelets from clotting excessively. Buckwheat also contains magnesium which relaxes bood vessels, by which it improves blood flow and nutrient delivery. It’s also very beneficial to people with diabetes as it contributes to blood sugar cotrol – it lowers blood glucose and insulin responses. Buckwheat is gluten free, it improves digestion and it’s packed with antioxidants. I like to eat it with an avocado and fried eggs or in a stir fry.
Both millet and buckwheat are very easy to prepare, they take about 10 minutes to cook and you don’t have to soak them beforehand. What I do with millet though is that I pour boiling water on it, pour it out and refill the pot so that it’s clean, as you would do with rice.
Let me know if you’ve ever tried millet or buckwheat and what recipes you use them in 🙂