Navratra is the time when wheat flour is omitted from the diet and substituted it with buckwheat flour or kuttu ka aata. Buckwheat is not a cereal grain; it is a fruit and hence is a good substitute for Navratra fasts where cereals are prohibited.

  1. The flour is extremely high in protein and is a wonderful substitute for those who are allergic to gluten (found in wheat).
  2. It is good for patients with celiac disease as it is gluten-free.
  3. It contains phytonutrient rutin, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
  4. It is rich in magnesium, vitamin B, iron, calcium, folate, zinc, copper, manganese and phosphorus.
  5. As the buckwheat hulls are hard to chew, traditionally they are soaked for about six hours and then cooked to make them softer and easily digestible.
  6. It also contains alpha linolenic acid, which increases HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) and controls LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol).
  7. It is a good source of insoluble fiber and prevents occurrences of gallbladder 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.
  8. Kuttu is 75% of complex carbohydrates and 25% of high quality protein, which makes it an ideal food for weight loss.
  9. As the flour is gluten-free, a potato is used to bind the flour together.
  10. The flour tastes different.
  11. Pooris made from kuttu flour are crunchier than the normal wheat flour pooris.
  12. One should not make pooris with hydrogenated oils or vanaspati as it will take away all the medical benefits of buckwheat flour.
  13. Buckwheat flour however is subjected to adulteration.
  14. Mixtures of rye flour, Indian corn flour, wheat flour, and other ground cereals are often used as a substitute for buckwheat.
  15. Being high in fiber and 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).
  16. The chiro-inositol present in buckwheat has been identified as the diabetes preventing component.
  17. 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.
  18. Eat kuttu ki roti instead of poori or pakodas (fried items) made from kuttu atta (buckwheat flour).
  19. One can also prepare idlis from kuttu atta (buckwheat flour) and dosa from the samak rice (non grain seed)
  20. Food poisoning may occur if flour left over from the previous year is reused.