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Should You Use a Superfood Flour Alternative?

By Skye Sherman  •   September 26, 2022
•    Medically Reviewed By Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - Jan 30, 2023

Photo Credit: by Monstera, Pexels.com
Photo Credit: by Monstera, Pexels.com

Have you heard of resistant starch? Did you know that the flour you use in cooking and baking can actually affect your health?

Some say that Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is the most nutrient-dense flour alternative on the market today. It’s considered a superfood because it’s packed with polyphenols, magnesium, B vitamins, 2-HOBA, fiber, protein, and resistant starch. Have you ever heard of it?

One of the most surprising things about Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is that it actually has nothing to do with wheat. Believe it or not, Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is completely grain-free and gluten-free. It’s actually a seed, not a grain.

As if it’s not enough that it’s a very nutrient-dense flour, it’s also more earth-friendly and eco-conscious than other types of flour. You can switch out regular flour for this nutrient-dense option when you make pizza dough, pasta, bread, cakes, muffins, and pretty much anything else you would want to make.

In this article, we’ll discuss the many health benefits of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat and why you might want to consider switching out your typical flour with this surprising superfood.

What are flour alternatives?

You might think that flour is flour. But did you know there are many alternatives available to cook and bake with? Some of the most common flour alternatives are almond, chickpea, rice, quinoa, coconut, cassava, and others. The choices can be overwhelming, but each alternative flour option has its benefits.

Flour alternatives are exactly what they sound like. They are an alternative option that you can use instead of the common white flour found in most kitchens. Flour alternatives function the same way in recipes so you can opt for a different type of flour that has more nutrients or other differences depending on your dietary needs and health concerns.

For example, some flours are gluten-free while others are not. Some flours contain no actual grains, while typical flour is made from a grain. You can even find a flour that’s 100% organic, non-grain, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, and non-GMO! (That would be Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat. It truly is a superfood!) Depending on your needs and wants, you’re sure to be able to find a flour that works for you and your health.

The health benefits of resistant starch

One of the main benefits of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is the fact that it is a resistant starch. Adding resistant starches to your daily diet can have a profound impact on your health.

Healthline explains it this way: “Most of the carbohydrates in your diet are starches. Starches are long chains of glucose that are found in grains, potatoes and various foods. But not all of the starch you eat gets digested. Sometimes a small part of it passes through your digestive tract unchanged. In other words, it is resistant to digestion. This type of starch is called resistant starch, which functions kind of like soluble fiber.”

So why does this matter? Don’t you want your food to be easily digestible? Not in this case. Many studies show that resistant starch can dramatically improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduce your appetite (because you are already full in a healthy way), and provide various other digestive benefits.

The article goes on to explain that when you eat resistant starch, it ends up in your large intestine, where the bacteria digest it and turn it into short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, which “is the preferred fuel of the cells that line your colon.” Resistant starch feeds the good bacteria in your gut and, which in turn produce more butyrate, hence making your colon happy too.

Healthline reports that it also “reduces the PH level [and] potently reduces inflammation and leads to several beneficial changes that should lower your risk of colorectal cancer, which is the fourth most common cause of cancer death worldwide.”

When you put it that way, you can see why resistant starch would be such a healthy choice! It can actually lower your risk of a certain type of cancer and improve your sensitivity to insulin, which can ward off diabetes. Read on to learn more about how this super flour is connected to certain diseases.

Can flour help heal diseases?

Believe it or not, studies show that the type of flour you use can have major effects on your health and healing. For example, Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat has immune-supporting properties, may promote brain health, and is full of important vitamins and minerals.

MindBodyGreen reports, “Another star antioxidant you’ll find in HTB: rutin. Studies suggest this phytonutrient may protect against neurodegenerative diseases by fighting free radicals and oxidative stress. And there’s 50 times more rutin (a beneficial plant protein) in HTB than regular buckwheat.” Fighting against neurodegenerative disease so you don’t have to take medication for Alzheimer’s disease can be a great idea if you are predisposed to certain brain diseases or are at greater risk of threats to your brain health.

If you plan to incorporate Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat into your diet, you should know that this type of flour is slightly bitter when compared to some of the other flours that are more commonly used, but that’s just because it contains a high concentration of health-boosting polyphenols. Think of it as a good taste thanks to all the health benefits it brings!

This flour also has high levels of quercetin, which supports immune health and manages inflammation; an ample supply of crucial nutrients like zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins, including B1, B2, and B6; and a molecule called D-chiro-inositol, which is involved in blood sugar regulation and hormone balance.

The superfood flour for diabetes, cholesterol, brain and heart health, and more

Obviously, this flour powerhouse will have major effects on certain diseases!

As WebMD puts it, “Buckwheat is used for diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, varicose veins, and other conditions … Buckwheat might help people with diabetes by slowing the break-down of some foods into sugar and improving how well the body deals with blood sugar.”

If your body can better balance its blood sugar and process insulin more effectively, that can ward off or reverse diabetes in some instances. Many people with this condition have to stay on diabetes medications permanently. If you can avoid a lifetime of prescription drugs or reduce your dependence on these medications, it may be worth it to simply switch out your flour!

Another study shows that this super flour has a positive effect on cholesterol. Cholesterol medications are another common drug that many people end up taking, so if you can lower your unhealthy cholesterol levels or keep your body in balance enough not to require these drugs, that may be a better idea for your health and overall lifestyle of wellness.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine reports, “It was reported for a mouse model that the herb extracts in combination with Tartary buckwheat grain infusion can reduce blood glucose levels, and lower serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels.” A similar study backs up these findings: “Previous research has shown that Tartary buckwheat flour is capable of reducing plasma cholesterol.”

As you can see, Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat has positive effects on diabetes, cholesterol issues, immune system functioning, and even brain health.

But that’s not all! It can even boost heart health, helping people to stay off of heart medications or reduce their dependence on them. Holistic Primary Care reports, “This phytonutrient also has potential heart-health benefits. It may protect against cardiovascular pathology by preventing the protein dysfunction and inflammation associated with reactive carbonyl species.”



The purpose of the above content is to raise awareness only and does not advocate treatment or diagnosis. This information should not be substituted for your physician's consultation and it should not indicate that use of the drug is safe and suitable for you or your (pet). Seek professional medical advice and treatment if you have any questions or concerns.