Navratre is the time to omit wheat flour from the diet and substitute it with buckwheat flour or kuttu ka aata. It’s not a cereal but a classified under a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratre fasts where cereals are prohibited.

The flour is extremely high in protein and is a wonderful substitute for those who are allergic to gluten (found in wheat). It is also good for patients with celiac disease.

It contains phytonutrient rutin, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. It is rich in Mg, vitamin B, iron, calcium, folate, zinc, copper, manganese and phosphorus.

As the buckwheat hulls are hard to chew, traditionally they are soaked for about six hours and then cooked so as to make them softer and easily digestible.

It also contains Alpha Linolenic Acid which is helpful in promoting HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) and controlling LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol).

It is a good source of insoluble fibre and prevents occurrences of gall-bladder stones. According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, a 5% increase in the insoluble fiber intake results in a 10% reduced risk of gall-bladder stones.

Kuttu is 75% of complex carbohydrates and 25% of high quality protein which makes it an ideal food for weight loss.

The flour is gluten-free and hence potato is used to bind the flour together.

The flour has a different taste. Puris made of this flour are crunchier than the normal wheat flour pooris. One should not make pooris with hydrogenated oils or vanaspati as it will take away all the medical benefits of buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat flour however is subjected to adulteration. Left over flour of last year can cause food poisoning.

Mixtures of rye flour, Indian corn flour, wheat flour, and other ground cereals are often used as a substitute for buckwheat.

Being high in fiber and with low glycemic index it is good substitute for diabetic patients. The glycemic Index for buck wheat is 47. Low GI foods have a GI value less than 55; medium GI foods have a GI value between 55 and 69 and high GI foods have GI value greater than 70.

The chiro-inositol present in the buck wheat has been identified as responsible for the diabetes preventing component.

Asthma symptoms can occur in sensitized children when food allergens such as buckwheat are cooked in a confined area. Both acute and late-phase respiratory symptoms are seen.

In the place of puri or pakodas (fried items) made from kuttu atta one must go for kuttu ki roti. One can also prepare idli from the kuttu atta and dosa from the samak rice.