Buckwheat is actually not related to wheat at all. Buckwheat is a bush-like plant, which comes from the same family as rhubarb. Buckwheat flour is made from the triangle-shaped seed, or fruit, of the plant. The seed is similar to a sunflower seed, with a small seed inside a hard outer hull. This tiny seed is what the buckwheat flour is made from. This seed may be tiny, but it is mighty powerful when it comes to nutrition.
Buckwheat has a high concentration of all the essential amino acids, which even whole-grain wheat can’t claim. Buckwheat especially contains high levels of lysine, threonine, tryptophan and the sulpher-containing amino acids. Our bodies cannot make most of these amino acids, so we have to get them through our food sources.
All of these amino acids are very important to our bodies, but lysine is the most significant when we are comparing buckwheat to other flours. Corn, rice, and even wheat come up short in lysine, when compared to buckwheat flour.
Lysine helps build muscle protein, which is essential in recovering from sports injuries or surgery. Lysine is very important in the absorption of calcium and the production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. Enzymes play a huge role in a person who is gluten intolerant, because they are essential to the breakdown of food in our digestion system. Most people that are gluten intolerant also struggle with allergies. Therefore, the production of antibodies to battle these allergies is extremely important.