Kasha is the common name given to roasted buckwheat groats, which are then boiled in water or milk to make a buckwheat porridge that can be enjoyed as both a savory or sweet dish. In many Eastern European countries like Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, kasha is actually the general term for any grain prepared in this way, but today we’re going to be talking about buckwheat kasha, which is what the term refers to in the English language. This basic food is often enjoyed salted as a side dish to a meal, or with sugar, honey or fruit as a popular and tasty breakfast. Kasha has become a craze amongst health food lovers here in the west, which has left some of those who eat the grain on a daily basis a bit bemused! So, what is all the fuss about? Well, Kasha has a high number of positive health benefits that put it at the top end of the healthy grain chart, and here are some of the benefits you could enjoy from adding a little of the grain into your regular diet!
Regulate Blood Pressure
Kasha has a high potassium to sodium ratio (148mg: 7mg per cup to be precise), which is actually quite rare in grains. Many Americans eat way too much sodium on a regular basis, but often don’t hit the 4,700mg per day recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. High sodium diets are linked to high blood pressure. Consuming this grain on a regular basis can go a long way to rebalancing your sodium to potassium intake ratio; just make sure you don’t add too much salt as this will undo all that good work!
In its unrefined form, Kasha (meaning with the husk still intact) is a great source of whole grain. Currently, Americans only consume around 15% of the recommended amount of whole grain in their diet, which is extraordinarily low! Whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease and are great for the digestion and blood, so try adding a bowl of kasha to your day to hit that all-important whole grain intake!
Low-glycemic foods, such as the kasha grain, are those that don’t spike the blood sugar levels in your blood, meaning your pancreas does not need to work so hard to produce insulin. Awareness about these kinds of foods has become more popular in recent times as it is believed that a diet high in low-glycemic foods lowers your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which is on the rise partly due to the overconsumption of foods using processed grains!
The macronutrients found in Kasha are also a great reason to give it a go! It contains high levels of dietary fiber, 6g of protein per cup, and very low fat, which means it is a perfect source for keeping you fuller for longer, but also for getting those essential nutrients into your body!
We’re constantly being bombarded with information about new wonder grains, so we don’t want to oversell kasha as a super grain that will end all of your problems. However, the facts show that eating this tasty, versatile grain on a regular basis can really add a number of benefits to your health! So, why not head down to your local NetCost Market and try something new? We currently offer a wide range of kasha from different regions, which can be enjoyed as a savory side dish or as a sweet breakfast snack!