Antinutrients in Buckwheat and How to Eliminate Them

Antinutrients in Buckwheat and How to Eliminate Them

Buckwheat, a versatile and nutrient-rich pseudocereal, is gaining popularity, particularly among those managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). While buckwheat offers numerous health benefits, it also contains antinutrients that can interfere with nutrient absorption and digestion. Understanding what antinutrients are and how to reduce their presence in buckwheat can help make it one of the best foods for IBS. In this blog post, we'll explore antinutrients, how to eliminate them from buckwheat, and provide some helpful tips and buckwheat recipes for an IBS-friendly diet.

What Are Antinutrients?

Antinutrients are naturally occurring compounds found in many plant-based foods. They serve as a defense mechanism for plants, protecting them from pests and predators. However, these compounds can also interfere with the absorption and utilization of essential nutrients in the human body. The primary antinutrients found in buckwheat are phytic acid and tannins.

Phytic Acid: Phytic acid can bind to minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium, forming insoluble complexes that reduce their bioavailability. This means that even if you consume these minerals, your body may not absorb them effectively.
Tannins: Tannins are polyphenolic compounds that can inhibit the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates. They can also interfere with the absorption of iron and other nutrients.

How to Get Rid of Antinutrients in Buckwheat

To enjoy the full nutritional benefits of buckwheat and make it suitable for an IBS-friendly diet, it is essential to reduce the levels of antinutrients. Here are some effective methods to achieve this:

1. Soaking

Soaking buckwheat is a simple and effective way to reduce phytic acid content. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Place the buckwheat groats in a large bowl.
  2. Add enough water to cover the groats and let them soak for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
  3. After soaking, drain and rinse the buckwheat thoroughly with fresh water.

Soaking helps to break down phytic acid, making the minerals in buckwheat more bioavailable and easier to digest.

2. Sprouting

Sprouting is another excellent method to reduce antinutrients and enhance the nutritional profile of buckwheat. The process involves germinating the seeds to initiate enzymatic activity that reduces phytic acid and tannins.

  1. After soaking, spread the drained buckwheat groats on a flat surface or in a sprouting jar.
  2. Keep them moist and allow them to sprout for 1-3 days, rinsing them with water every 12 hours.
  3. Once small sprouts appear, they are ready to use.

Sprouted buckwheat is not only lower in antinutrients but also higher in vitamins and minerals, making it one of the best foods for IBS.

3. Fermenting

Fermentation is a traditional method that can significantly reduce antinutrients in buckwheat. The process involves beneficial bacteria breaking down phytic acid and other antinutrients.

  1. Mix soaked buckwheat groats with a small amount of water to create a batter.
  2. Allow the batter to ferment at room temperature for 24-48 hours.
  3. Use the fermented batter in various buckwheat recipes like pancakes or bread.

Fermentation enhances the nutritional value of buckwheat, making it a good food for IBS.

4. Cooking

Cooking buckwheat is perhaps the most straightforward method to reduce antinutrients, particularly tannins. Heat treatment can break down tannins and other heat-sensitive antinutrients.

  1. Rinse the buckwheat groats thoroughly.
  2. Cook the groats in boiling water for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain any excess water and use the cooked buckwheat in your desired recipe.

Cooking not only reduces antinutrients but also makes buckwheat more palatable and easier to digest.

Incorporating Buckwheat into an IBS-Friendly Diet

By reducing antinutrients, you can fully enjoy the benefits of buckwheat. Here are a couple of IBS-friendly buckwheat recipes:

Roasted Buckwheat Porridge


  • 1 cup roasted buckwheat groats
  • 2 cups water or plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • Fresh fruits and nuts for topping


  1. Rinse the roasted buckwheat groats under cold water.
  2. In a pot, bring the water or plant-based milk to a boil.
  3. Add the buckwheat groats, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Stir in honey or maple syrup.
  5. Serve with fresh fruits and nuts on top.

Buckwheat Salad


  • 1 cup cooked buckwheat
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the buckwheat according to package instructions and let it cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked buckwheat, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.


Buckwheat is a nutritious and gluten-free grain that can be a valuable addition to an IBS-friendly diet. By using methods such as soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and cooking, you can reduce the antinutrient content and enjoy the full benefits of buckwheat. Incorporate these techniques into your food preparation to make buckwheat one of the best foods for IBS. For more ibs info and tips on what to eat with IBS, stay tuned to our blog.

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