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Health Benefits of Buckwheat Noodles

By Erica Roth

Buckwheat noodles, also called soba, are a nutritious staple in Japanese cooking. Instead of semolina or other grains, this type of pasta is made with buckwheat seed, which is sometimes mistaken for a cereal grain, according to The World's Healthiest Foods. This common error means that people who suffer from celiac disease or other conditions that preclude the consumption of cereal grains might be able to gain the nutritional and health benefits of buckwheat noodles without problems. Noodles that contain between 80 percent and 100 percent buckwheat ingredients pack the most nutritional punch per serving.

Regulation of Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Regulation of your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels is associated with eating buckwheat noodles or other buckwheat products on a regular basis. Soba made with buckwheat contains a nutrient called rutin. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, rutin is a flavonoid, or an anti-oxidant compound that protects your body's cells from damage, which can include high blood pressure and plaque build-up that leads to high cholesterol. The high magnesium content of buckwheat noodles also protects you from cardiovascular disease because the mineral helps your blood vessels relax, which can lower your blood pressure and promote normal circulation.

Blood Sugar Stabilization

Research reported in a December 2003 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" suggests that buckwheat products, including noodles, might be able to help you stabilize your blood sugar levels. Two main factors play a role in glucose stabilization: fiber and chiro-inositol. Buckwheat noodles are a good source of dietary fiber similar to whole-grain pastas. Fiber-rich foods are low on the glycemic index and help prevent postprandial blood sugar spikes that are more common when you eat simple carbohydrates such as white breads, pastas and rices. Chiro-inosital is a compound found in buckwheat that alters the way you metabolize glucose. The "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" findings said that animals who were fed buckwheat showed a reduction in their blood glucose levels.

Gall Bladder Health

The insoluble fiber content of buckwheat noodles might help protect you against gallstones and other instances of gall bladder disease, especially if you are a woman. A 2004 issue of the "American Journal of Gastroenterology" reports findings that indicate a 13 percent lower risk of gallstones when insoluble fiber is part of the diet. The fiber in buckwheat pasta regulates the digestive system and lowers the level of blood fats in the body, all of which contribute to a lower gallstone risk.

Source of Protein

Buckwheat noodles are a complete source of protein, which is an important part of a healthful diet. "New York Times" food writer Martha Rose Shulman explains that buckwheat contains each of the eight essential amino acids, making it a rare non-animal source of complete protein. Foods that contain some, but not all, of the amino acids required for a healthy body are considered incomplete proteins and must be supplemented with other foods to help you get the amount of protein you need to function properly.

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