Have extreme mood swings, irregular periods and a bulging belly? You are not alone. These common symptoms of impaired endocrine regulation affect many women. If you are tired of the medications and thinking to take some food supplements, Buckwheat should be among your consideration for food choices. Continue reading and discover its awesome health benefits for endocrine regulation.
Before we start, let’s first keep in mind that Buckwheat and wheat are not the same. Remember wheat contains the protein gluten, not recommended for those having celiac disease. On the contrary, Buckwheat is gluten-free and celiac patients can take it without a hint of worry. In our Asana Daily Restore Women’s Superfood blend, we’ve included buckwheat as a primary ingredient for its potential benefits supporting healthy hormones and fertility especially in women with PCOS.
Here are some interesting facts about Buckwheat.
- Buckwheat is a pseudocereal. Meaning, you can consume it like a cereal but it is not a grass.
- It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Most notably, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper and B-vitamins.
- High fiber content makes it an ideal “superfood” for constipation, maintenance of digestive health and diabetes improvement. As a matter of fact, Buckwheat has a low glycemic index. That said, the blood sugar level does not spike after you take it. This helps to maintain the sugar level at a steady state which is essential if you have diabetes.
Buckwheat Contains A Host Of Beneficial Chemicals
In addition to the essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers, Buckwheat contains many healthy chemicals called nutraceuticals. These include:
- It contains quercetin, a flavonol, and rutinose which is a sugar. In fact, it is a stronger antioxidant than quercetin. A wealth of animal studies suggests that it may be useful to protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Thus, making it a potential remedy for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Moreover, it may improve circulation, prevent blood clots inside the blood vessels and control the spread of certain cancers. Another amazing health benefit of rutin as observed in the mice study is its ability to treat depression. By interacting with the body’s own cannabinoid receptors, it may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
- It is a flavonol that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There is no doubt that many diseases occur due to the damages caused by free radicals. Quercetin fights against these free radicals and thus helps in health promotion or even disease prevention. That way, it may also delay some symptoms of aging. In a similar manner, studies show that Quercetin inhibits various inflammatory processes inside the body. Like the free radical damage, internal inflammations are another major cause of diseases like gout, ulcers, eye disorders, diabetes and many others.
- Though a common chemical constituent in tea, tannins are also found in Buckwheat in significant amounts. These phenolic compounds are believed to have antimicrobial properties. In addition, they may also help to stabilize the blood glucose levels and thus are a potential dietary supplement for the diabetes patients.
- D-chiro inositol. There is an encouraging scientific evidence that D-chiro inositol may be an effective alternative for the treatment of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Currently, metformin and oral contraceptives are used to treat PCOS. But you cannot use any of these drugs for a long duration because of their side effects. Thus, the researchers believe treatments containing D-chiro inositol should be considered a first-line PCOS treatment.
- Antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. These natural antioxidants are already present inside our body. Their main role is to protect the cells from the damages caused by several free radicals. As a matter of fact, free radicals, the highly reactive chemicals entities, result as a part of normal metabolism. But when genetic and environmental factors affect the functions of the antioxidants, the free radicals collect inside the body and may lead to a host of diseases. The worst of them is cancer. Other diseases may include high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and ALS.
Buckwheat may play a preventive role in the case of such diseases if you consume it on a daily basis. The good news is heating during cooking does not degrade glutathione and superoxide dismutase.
Glutathione and its role in cancer prevention. Glutathione is an antioxidant that protects the cells from the free radicals, toxins and other exogenously administered chemicals. For example, anticancer drugs in the case of cancer. Glutathione acts primarily by two ways. First, if you already have cancer, it regulates the tumor growth. Next, it may decrease the risk by clearing the potential cancer-causing toxins out of your body. The researchers also believe it may enhance the effectiveness of the anticancer drugs and prevent drug resistance.
Another reason why Buckwheat may contribute to the lowered risk is its high fiber content. When you consume a large amount of fiber from your diet, it will reduce the time the fecal materials take to leave the body (colonic transit time). Many studies link longer colonic transit time to a higher risk of colon cancer.
How Buckwheat Can Help With Endocrine Regulation?
Endocrine system comprises of various glands that secrete powerful chemicals directly into the bloodstream. Some examples of endocrine glands include:
- The cells in the pancreas secrete insulin and glucagon. Both these hormones facilitate transport of glucose inside the body.
- Adrenal glands which produce adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone.
- Pineal gland. Melatonin secreted by the pineal gland regulates sleep patterns.
- Thyroid gland. The thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 influence metabolism, appetite and movement of the intestines. Also, they play a key role in maintaining the heart rate and regulating body temperature.
- Parathyroid glands. These glands secrete parathyroid hormone, also called parathormone or parathyrin. It regulates the bone formation process in response to the level of calcium in the serum.
Evidently, hormones are the chemical messengers that coordinate different physiological functions. In essence, hormones affect every biological process from growth and metabolism to the development of sexual characteristics.
The bioactive chemicals in Buckwheat are known to affect the functioning of the endocrine glands and thus may influence the levels of the respective hormones. Here, we take a closer look at how these chemicals can work to maintain endocrine regulation and influence your health.
- Rutin provides relief from the signs and symptoms of PCOS. Like D-chiro inositol, Rutin is shown to alleviate the symptoms by decreasing the number of cystic follicles. PCOS occurs when the endocrine regulation gets out of track. Meaning, the ovaries produce excess male It might also affect insulin sensitivity. Common symptoms include acne, body hair, weight gain, irregular periods, elevated blood sugar and problems getting pregnant. In fact, the effect of Rutin is comparable to that of metformin, a commonly prescribed drug in PCOS.
- Quercetin increases insulin sensitivity in PCOS. Women with PCOS may have problems with utilizing the available insulin. In essence, the insulin fails to transport the glucose molecules from the blood to the cells. As a result, the blood glucose level rises. According to a study, Quercetin improves insulin sensitivity and thus brings down the blood glucose level. It does so by reducing inflammation in the ovarian tissues.
- Quercetin may prevent complications in hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too little hormone. Thus, it affects the overall balance of various physiological systems (Homeostasis). Quercetin, by its effects on the oxidative stress and platelet aggregation, may help to prevent complications that arise due to an impaired blood clotting.
Is Buckwheat Safe?
Of course, it is safe whether you love its role in endocrine regulation or simply want to try a new superfood.
There is no report of serious side effects that may occur when you take it by mouth and follow the instructions. Thus, it is considered “generally safe”. DO NOT take it if you are allergic to any of the contents of the product. Also, some products may contain gluten (remember Buckwheat is gluten-free) during the manufacturing process.
Things To Know Before Using Buckwheat For Endocrine Regulation
- Buckwheat is a superfood that is rich in the goodness of many powerful chemicals. The actions of many such chemicals have been proven in the scientific studies.
- No doubt, food is a medicine. But you should know that the fundamental difference between a food and medicine is that the latter is in concentrated form. Thus, you may not be able to get an immediate effect with a single intake of a supplement. In order to get noticeable health benefits, you should take it regularly and be patient.
- The interest of the scientific community in foods is increasing and we can expect more positive results to roll out in the future. As of now, most studies are limited to animal models. Thus, the same effects may not replicate in humans. But, it does not mean Buckwheat or any other food supplement is ineffective.
- Buckwheat is a healthy food and there is enough evidence that supports its safety among the consumers. Nonetheless, do not take it if you have any medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding. In these cases, you may want to consult your doctor before taking a supplement.
Want To Know More?
At LadiesBalance our passion is creating products to support women’s health. In our Asana Daily Restore Powder Supplement Blend we’ve included buckwheat as a primary ingredient along with other superfoods to promote balance and overall wellness.
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- Benelli, Elena., et al “A Combined Therapy with Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol Improves Endocrine Parameters and Insulin Resistance in PCOS Young Overweight Women” International Journal of Endocrinology Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3204083, 5 pages.
- Nordio, Maurizio., et al “The combined therapy with myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol reduces the risk of metabolic disease in PCOS overweight patients compared to myo-inositol supplementation alone.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 2012 May;16(5):575-81.
- Singh, Simendra., et al “Role of glutathione in cancer pathophysiology and therapeutic interventions.” Journal of Experimental Therapeutics & Oncology 2012;9(4):303-16.
- Jahan, Sarwat., et al “Ameliorative effects of rutin against metabolic, biochemical and hormonal disturbances in polycystic ovary syndrome in rats” Journal of Ovarian Research 2016; 9: 86.