Buckwheat (BW) is a gluten-free pseudocereal that belongs to the Polygonaceae family. BW grain is a highly nutritional food component that has been shown to provide a wide range of beneficial effects. Health benefits attributed to BW include plasma cholesterol level reduction, neuroprotection, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic effects, and improvement of hypertension conditions. In addition, BW has been reported to possess prebiotic and antioxidant activities. In vitro and animal studies suggest that BW's bioactive compounds, such as D-chiro-inositol (DCI), BW proteins (BWP), and BW flavonoids (mainly rutin and quercetin) may be partially responsible for the observed effects. The purpose of this paper is to review the recent research regarding the health benefits of BW, in vitro and in vivo, focusing on the specific role of its bioactive compounds and on the mechanisms by which these effects are exerted.
Keywords: Fagopyrum; bioactive compounds; buckwheat protein; common buckwheat; rutin.