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Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa: Which Is Healthier?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between buckwheat flour and quinoa, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the buckwheat flour vs quinoa comparison.
Esther Bumpus, Health Writer

Written by Esther Bumpus, Health Writer. Updated on February 2, 2023.

Buckwheat flour and quinoa belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare buckwheat flour and quinoa and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Buckwheat flour

Buckwheat flour (Fagopyrum esculentum) is made from ground buckwheat groats, which are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. It has a nutty, earthy flavor and a dark color due to the presence of polyphenols.

Buckwheat flour is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. It is also a good source of protein, antioxidants, and flavonoids, making it a valuable food for vegetarians and vegans.

Buckwheat flour is commonly used in baking, particularly in traditional dishes like soba noodles, crepes, and blinis. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest, making it a great option for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Buckwheat flour is considered a functional food, as it has been shown to positively impact health when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. It is also a sustainable crop, as it can be grown in poor soil conditions and is resistant to pests and diseases.

Buckwheat flour is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin K.

Quinoa

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds.

It is a good source of complete protein, providing all essential amino acids, and also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and zinc.

Quinoa also contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which have been linked to various health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and weight management.

It is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked and eaten as a side dish, added to soups and stews, or ground into flour to make breads, pancakes, and other baked goods.

Quinoa is an excellent source of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and Vitamin B9 (Folate).

It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin E.

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing buckwheat flour vs quinoa.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of buckwheat flour and quinoa and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

Buckwheat flourQuinoa
Energy335 kcal368 kcal
Carbs70.6 g64.2 g
Sugar2.6 g1.45 g
Fiber10 g7 g
Protein12.6 g14.1 g
Fat3.1 g6.07 g
Saturated Fat0.677 g0.706 g

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing buckwheat flour vs quinoa for weight loss, buckwheat flour is slightly lower in calories, with 335 calories per 100 grams, compared to 368 calories per 100 grams of quinoa.

However, both buckwheat flour and quinoa can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Protein

Grains and most grain products, including buckwheat flour and quinoa, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Quinoa offers around 11% more protein than buckwheat flour.

Quinoa has 14.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while buckwheat flour has 12.6 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in buckwheat flour and quinoa.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 9% higher in buckwheat flour than in quinoa. It has 70.6 grams per 100 grams, compared to 64.2 grams in quinoa.

There’s less sugar in quinoa than in buckwheat flour, 42% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of quinoa contains 1.5 grams of sugar, while the same amount of buckwheat flour contains 2.6 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in buckwheat flour and quinoa.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 10 grams of fiber per 100 grams, buckwheat flour is a better source of fiber than quinoa which buckwheat flour offers 7 grams per 100 gram portion.

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Fats

Like most other grains, buckwheat flour and quinoa are low in fat.

Fats in buckwheat flour and quinoa are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in buckwheat flour and quinoa:

  • Buckwheat flour: 3.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Quinoa: 6.1 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, buckwheat flour and quinoa contain the same amount of saturated fats, 0.7 grams per 100 grams.

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of buckwheat flour and quinoa.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

Buckwheat flour has a higher amount of vitamin A, vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (Folate), and vitamin E.

However, quinoa has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), and vitamin K.

Buckwheat flour and quinoa contain the same amount of vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins buckwheat flour and quinoa contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

Buckwheat flourQuinoa
Vitamin A014 IU
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.417 mg0.36 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.19 mg0.318 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)6.15 mg1.52 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.44 mg0.772 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.582 mg0.487 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)54 µg184 µg
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.32 mg2.44 mg
Vitamin K7 µg0

Buckwheat flour vs Quinoa Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the buckwheat flour and quinoa comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Buckwheat flour is a better source of calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and selenium than quinoa.

On the other hand, quinoa is a higher amount of magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

Buckwheat flour and quinoa contain the same amount of fluoride, and manganese.

Check out the table below to learn how buckwheat flour and quinoa compare when it comes to mineral content.

Buckwheat flourQuinoa
Calcium41 mg47 mg
Copper0.515 mg0.59 mg
Fluoride00
Iron4.06 mg4.57 mg
Magnesium251 mg197 mg
Manganese2.03 mg2.03 mg
Phosphorus337 mg457 mg
Potassium577 mg563 mg
Selenium5.7 µg8.5 µg
Sodium11 mg5 mg
Zinc3.12 mg3.1 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between buckwheat flour and quinoa.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.

Sources

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