The Health Benefits of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat: A Polyphenol Powerhouse

The Health Benefits of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat: A Polyphenol Powerhouse
By Andrew Luer
Category: Food

Seems like just about every week we hear about another superfood. I find that, by and large, when I investigate these products, there’s nothing all that “super” about them. But there is one new gem that I feel clear qualifies as a superfood because of its unique combination of health-promoting nutrients. That food is Himalayan Tartary buckwheat. This ancient seed (despite the name, it’s not related to wheat and not a grain at all) is known for its well-researched, robust nutritional profile, and has gained recent attention for its potential health benefits, especially those relating to longevity and energy. It’s no surprise then that Whole Foods named buckwheat a top food for 2024, saying the following: “Gaining popularity as a cover crop to support soil health, buckwheat is a superfood seed containing protein, carbs and fiber. Plus, it’s naturally gluten free.”

One of the most unique aspects of this plant and its seed when compared to common buckwheat is a stunningly high polyphenol content. Polyphenols, a category of plant compounds with well-described antioxidant properties, are believed to play a significant role in promoting health and preventing chronic diseases. In this blog, I explore the health benefits of Himalayan Tartary buckwheat, emphasizing the polyphenols it contains and why they are so remarkable.

What is Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat?

Himalayan Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) is a plant native to the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas. Unlike common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), Tartary buckwheat thrives in challenging conditions. This characteristic contributes to its dense nutritional composition. Tartary buckwheat is naturally gluten-free and contains nutrients like vitamin B and magnesium making it an excellent choice for those with dietary restrictions and those looking to enhance their overall health through diet.

The Polyphenol Content of Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat

Polyphenols are phytochemicals (or phytonutrients) that we consume when we eat plant-based foods. This diverse group of over 8000 molecules are well known as antioxidants and are believed to translate into a host of potential health benefits to systems throughout the body. Tartary Buckwheat contains a wide repertoire of polyphenols including rutin and quercetin


Rutin is a close relative of the well-known polyphenol quercetin (in fact, it can be converted into quercetin on digestion). Rutin is believed to help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals and has been studied for its potential benefits in reducing inflammation, improving blood circulation, and supporting cardiovascular health. It is also believed to has anti-diabetic properties, which may help regulate blood sugar levels. Compared to almost any other food, including common buckwheat, Tartary buckwheat is at the top of the list for rutin concentration.


Quercetin is a highly popular polyphenol (perhaps the best known of all) and can be found in Tartary buckwheat. Quercetin has been aggressively studied in thousands of publications and has been linked to a range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties. Quercetin is perhaps best known for a role in supporting balanced immune function.

Health Benefits of Polyphenols in Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat

The polyphenols in Himalayan Tartary buckwheat are believed to contribute to its health benefits. Here are some of the key ways these compounds promote health and wellness:

Antioxidant Protection

Polyphenols are renowned for their antioxidant capabilities. They neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage and contribute to chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. By combating oxidative stress, the polyphenols in Tartary buckwheat may help maintain cellular health and reduce the risk of chronic conditions.

Anti-Inflammatory and Immune-Balancing Effects

Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. The polyphenols in Tartary buckwheat, particularly rutin and quercetin are believed to act on the immune system to help balance immunity and help modulate the body’s inflammatory response. This may reduce the risk of inflammation-related diseases and could additionally help alleviate symptoms for those already affected.

Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death worldwide. The polyphenols in Tartary buckwheat may support heart health by improving blood vessel function, reducing blood pressure, and lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Rutin, in particular is believed to strengthen blood vessels and improve circulation, which may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is crucial for preventing and managing diabetes. The polyphenols in Tartary buckwheat, especially rutin and catechins, have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity and regulated blood sugar levels. Buckwheat also contains d-chiro-inositol (DCI), a molecule studied for its effects at regulating hormones and metabolism. Himalayan Tartary buckwheat is also a source of dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and energy balance. These effects may make Tartary buckwheat a valuable food for those with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition.

Incorporating Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat into Your Diet

Himalayan Tartary buckwheat can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast porridges to savory meals. Its nutty flavor and versatility make it a great addition to soups, salads, and baked goods. For those seeking a gluten-free alternative to traditional grains, Tartary buckwheat offers a nutritious and healthful option. Other forms of Tartary buckwheat, including sprouted seeds, may further enhance polyphenol and nutritional value while increasing versatility of ways to incorporate it into one’s diet.


Himalayan Tartary buckwheat is a nutritional powerhouse, especially notable for polyphenols like rutin and quercetin. From antioxidant protection and immune regulating effects to cardiovascular impact and blood sugar regulation, the polyphenols in this ancient seed are a strong vote for a healthy diet. As an added benefit, Himalayan Tartary buckwheat is great for soil health, and is being actively studied for its climate resilience. By incorporating Himalayan Tartary buckwheat into your diet, you can take advantage of its unique nutritional profile and know you’re making a vote for personal and planetary health!

My favorite source of 100% organic Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat comes from Big Bold Health. I’m especially a fan of their Organic Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat sprout powder.

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