The Power of Soba

Have you ever tried soba, the Japanese buckwheat noodle? Today, I would like to tell you how fabulous soba is and why you should eat it more.

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat. These noodles are highly popular in Japan and known most commonly as a health food. We consume them in two different ways – chilled noodles with dipping sauce or hot noodles in broth.

Zaru Soba: traditionally enjoyed cold with shallots, wasabi and dipping sauce on a hot summers day

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Buckwheat is good for WEIGHT LOSS:

  • CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR

In my previous newsletter, I mentioned that controlling your blood sugar level is one of the keys for weight loss. It’s been found that the nutrients in buckwheat can help control your blood sugar and also improve the insulin response of the cells. Buckwheat is also a rich sources of magnesium- a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion. Buckwheat is low on the GI (glycemic index). The complex carbohydrates found in buckwheat are absorbed into the bloodstream slowly, which help you to feel full for longer and support sustainable energy.

  • HEALTHY SOURCE OF CALORIES

Buckwheat contains relatively few calories and practically no fat. Despite this, it is high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – It’s a nutrient-rich superfood! Buckwheat is also a low-energy-dense food, which means it fills you up on fewer calories and can help you better manage your weight

 

Buckwheat is good for your HEART HEALTH:

Buckwheat’s beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly “Rutin”.

Rutin helps reduce LDL (BAD) cholesterol, which is linked with heart disease conditions and promotes the generation of HDL (GOOD) cholesterol, which improves your cardio health. Buckwheat’s lipid-lowering activity is largely because of rutin and other flavonoid compounds.

Buckwheat is also a good source of magnesium. This mineral relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure—the perfect combination for a healthy heart!

 

Buckwheat is GLUTEN FREE

Many people might think that buckwheat is a cereal grain but it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. Buckwheat is free of gluten! Avoiding gluten can help prevent digestive disturbances like bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

 

Buckwheat contains quality PROTEIN

Buckwheat nutrition is a great source of plant-based protein and contains twelve amino acids — the “building blocks of protein” that support energy, growth and muscle synthesis. Buckwheat contains all the essential amino acids meaning, you cannot make on your own and must get from the foods you eat including lysine, which is absent or contain very little in cereal grains.

 

Buckwheat supplies ESSENTIAL VITAMINS and MINERALS

Buckwheat contains a number of important vitamins and minerals your body needs for good health, including a great source of energy-boosting vitamin B plus magnesium, manganese, folic acid, copper, phosphorus and zinc. Magnesium can help improve digestion, aid in muscle growth and recovery, and defend against the negative impact of stress on the body. Folic acid helps your body make new cells. Adequate intake of the mineral copper prevents neurodegenerative diseases. Getting enough zinc helps you fight illness by boosting your immune system. B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus and zinc all help with healthy circulation and blood vessel function, plus they’re needed for neurotransmitter signaling in the brain that fights depression, anxiety and headaches.

 

FEEL LIKE EATING SOBA NOW?

I just want to let you know that most soba noodle in Japan is mixture of wheat flour and buckwheat flour, so they are not gluten free.

The lowest quality soba contain 70% wheat and 30% buckwheat! This ratio is not ideal at all… so if you want to consume the health benefits associated with Buckwheat, don’t go cheap! The price of the product rises according to the buckwheat content.

In my upcoming Natural weight loss with Japanese superfoods cooking class, you will cook:

 

Cold soba salad with lemon miso dressing, served with tofu ball

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I will use 100% buckwheat soba so that you can enjoy full nutritious value of buckwheat!

Tofu balls are easy to prepare, just hide your favourite seaweeds and veggies and fry. You can fool yourself, your kids or fussy husband like mine!

Miso dressing is great way to benefit all goodness of miso. We will use alive, enzyme and probiotic rich miso.

 

Crunchy soba: Ideal low calorie snack substitute for fatty chips or crackers. Flavours from your left; Matcha and Salt, Wasabi and Salt, Tamari, Salt.

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It is super easy to make and perfect snack for your crunchy, salty craving.

I made 4 flavours – tamari (gluten free soy sauce) salt. You can also easily make different flavours like wasabi and matcha for a sweet flavour. It is very versatile once you know how to prepare it.

If you are not gluten intolerant, I will use not only 100% buckwheat soba noodle but also normal soba and quinoa soba for taste comparison 😉

You might find soba is easier and tastier than 100% buckwheat soba but it is definitely much more nutritious!

Why don’t you try substituting your favourite pasta dish with soba noodles or simply mix it with your salad!

Happy healthy cooking,

Yoshiko



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