“Fatty liver disease, like alcohol-induced cyrrhosis, can lead to terminal liver failure, and it’s increasing, as it often goes hand in hand with type 2 diabetes. Korean researchers found that buckwheat sprouted for 48 hours developed “potent anti-fatty liver activities” that signiﬁcantly reduced fatty liver in mice after 8 weeks. Scientists found that sprouting the buckwheat increased the concentration of rutin tenfold, and also increased quercitin, both of which are known for their anti-inﬂammatory eﬀects.”
Phytomedicine, August 2007; 14(7-8):563-7. Epub 2007 Jun 29.
Isn’t this interesting?
Fatty Liver Disease is becoming more and more prevalent in the US, but not just because of alcohol. In fact, it’s present at greater and greater numbers among the non drinking population. Studies show that the common denominator seems to be excess consumption of fructose. So, if you live on fast food and processed food, you are likely ingesting a frightening amount of high fructose corn syrup or another high fructose sweetener. If you’re using alcohol, and it’s best friend, junk food, your risk for fatty liver disease doubles!
But here’s the good news, with a few simple dietary changes you can give your liver function the support it needs. The even better news is that if like me you’ve wondered if you’ve caused your body irreparable damage, it’s unlikely, I promise. Our bodies are beautifully complicated yet surprisingly forgiving and user friendly.
Let’s talk about buckwheat. First off, it’s neither wheat, nor actually a grain. It is a seed. However for my purposes, since I’ll be using it as I would a grain, I’ll be referring to it as a grain. As for sprouted vs non sprouted grains: In general, the product will contain the same nutrients, they just become more bioavailable with sprouting. Though it’s not necessary to do so, I’m using sprouted grains and nuts almost exclusively these days, but they can be a little harder to find. Here’s a good online source: purelivingorganic.com
Buckwheat is my favorite alternative to wheat. It contains no gluten and scores low to medium on the glycemic index (GI) — a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar after a meal — It’s a great source of Potassium, Fiber, Protein, Iron, and Vitamin B6. B6 aids in balancing blood sugar and plays an important role in the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin which help control mood, energy and concentration, and sleep!
Here is one way to incorporate buckwheat into your daily life: buckwheat granola. Ive been eating so much of this that my liver is the envy of all my other organs.
This is a recipe that can be adapted so many ways. The only thing I would not change is soaking the buckwheat. When I was first developing this recipe, I made it without soaking the buckwheat and it was like chewing on gravel. Other than that, substitute oils, grains, nuts, fruits, whatever sounds good or better yet, whatever you have on hand.
I’ve included Goji Berries and raw dried white mulberries for an extra superfood punch.
Goji berries have tons of health benefits I could list, vitamin C being at the top, but what I find remarkable is that they contain all 9 essential amino acids (the ones we don’t make ourselves) which is pretty crazy for a fruit or berry!
I would eat dried mulberries just for their crunchy goodness, but they too have pretty great health benefits. Vitamin C, iron and potassium. I know I shouldn’t play favorites, but along with magnesium, potassium is one of my favorite minerals. They are thought to help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar AND help prevent fatty liver disease!
- 2 Tbl coconut oil
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup buckwheat (buckwheat groats)
- ½ cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup dried mulberry
- ½ cup unsweetened dried and flaked coconut
- ⅓ cup goji berries
- ½ cup dried cherries coarsely chopped
- 3 T maple syrup
- Place buckwheat groats with water to cover by one inch. Let soak for at least one hour, no longer than 3 hours.
- Spread soaked buckwheat on a kitchen towel or paper towels and pat dry
- Pre heat oven to 300 degrees
- Scoop the coconut oil onto a foil or parchment covered baking sheet and place in the oven for a minute or two until just melted. Remove from oven
- Place all dry ingredients except the coconut, mulberry and goji berries on the same sheet pan along with the maple syrup and toss well
- Place in the pre heated oven and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
- Add the coconut and mulberry and toss
- Cook for an additional 30 minutes stirring halfway through
- Remove from oven and while hot, toss with goji berries and cherries
- Let cool
- Can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for at least two weeks but it probably won't last that long!