What Is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is a plant cultivated for its seeds and was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. With the introduction and popularity of nitrogen-based fertilizers, its popularity has shrunk.
It is still produced in significant quantities in Russia and China, but the production within the western world is minimal.
Despite its name, Buckwheat isn’t related or similar to Wheat. Instead, it is closer to Rhubarb, which is a surprising fact.
It is most commonly used to create Buckwheat noodles in Tibet, China, and Japan. It has also seen some use as a gluten-free alternative to create Beer.
However, in recent years Buckwheat has featured in some dog food recipes.
Advantages Of Buckwheat In Dog Food
Buckwheat, like its alternatives, is primarily used in dog food to provide carbohydrates. Buckwheat has a high proportion of starch, which allows it to provide carbohydrates easily.
Buckwheat also has a relatively high proportion of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Also, this protein has a high biological value meaning that it is easy to digest and contains all the required proteins. A high proportion of protein is quite uncommon and could put it above other grains.
Buckwheat is high in some minerals such as Zinc, Iron, and Selenium. These minerals can provide certain health benefits to dogs who may have previously lacked them. In particular, Iron can benefit a dog’s blood health, and Zinc can improve its immune system.
Lastly, Buckwheat has a reasonable portion of dietary fiber. Fiber can be critical to some dogs to ensure that their digestion remains steady and consistent.
Is Buckwheat Popular In Dog Food?
Buckwheat is not popular in dog food yet, but it has started to see increased use. Since the revelation that legumes such as Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas may have negative health consequences, which you can read about it here, many dog food brands have been searching for high-quality alternatives.
Instead of reverting to lower-quality grains like Corn and Wheat, many have tested out less popular ones like Buckwheat, Millet, and Sorghum.
However, Buckwheat can be challenging to source, and to date, most consumers are not familiar with it, which may put some more prominent brands off using it heavily. Despite this, we anticipate its use will rise over the coming years.
Dog Food Brands That Use Buckwheat
Examples of brands that are using Buckwheat in their recipes include Earthborn Holistic and American Natural Premium. We recommend you check out Earthborn Holistic’s Unrefined Smoked Salmon recipe.
As discussed earlier, the common factor between both these brands is that they have recently produced new ranges to appeal to dog owners worried about the use of legumes in dog food.
If you want to learn more about those brands, you can read our review pages, which you can find below.