Buckwheat: A great wheat alternative for IBS sufferers

This humble grain has a deceptive name; it’s related to rhubarb and has no association with wheat at all. It was originally widely used in China and found its way through Europe over the centuries.


Particularly for people with IBS or gluten intolerance, buckwheat can be a great gluten-free alternative, as it is low FODMAP and its flavour is very similar to wholemeal wheat.

What are the benefits of buckwheat?

  • It is rich in B2, B5, folate, niacin, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium.
  • Per dry 60g, it contains approximately 206 calories.
  • Of this, it has 42g of carbohydrate and the high fibre content lowers both insulin response and blood sugars. It is, therefore, diabetic friendly.
  • It’s low in fat and has a unique makeup of amino acids. Regular consumption can lower total cholesterol, which is great for heart health.
  • The flour tastes very similar to wholemeal wheat, so can be used for all sorts of recipes as a simple substitute.

How can buckwheat be used?

  • Cook buckwheat grains in the same way as you would rice, and use to add variety to your diet.
  • Use it in soups, casseroles and even curries in the same way you would use lentils. It adds ‘substance’ to sauces, so they are not thin and watery.
  • Buckwheat flour makes excellent crepes, pancakes for breakfast, cakes and breads.
  • Buckwheat flakes can be added to muesli as a wheat alternative.

Buckwheat breakfast crepe recipe

For the batter, you will need:

60g buckwheat flour

240ml skimmed milk or dairy-free alternative

3 medium eggs

1tsp vanilla essence

Suggested toppings:

275g fresh blueberries and/or raspberries

1tsp stevia sweetener (optional)

Crème fraîche

Maple syrup

Buckwheat pancakes with berry fruit and honey


1. Using a large mixing bowl, add the flour, milk, eggs and vanilla essence. Beat or blend in a mixer until the mixture is smooth in texture.

2. Let the batter stand for a minimum of 15 minutes (at room temperature is best). You can place in the refrigerator for up to two hours if you can’t use the batter straight away.

3. Using a small non-stick pan, brush the surface with olive oil. Heat gently on a medium heat. It should not smoke or spit.

4. Gently, from low down, pour approximately two tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan. Gently swirl the pan, so the batter settles evenly.

5. Cooking times will vary, dependent on the pan and thickness of the batter, however, approximately two minutes should be enough, or until the crepe is golden brown on the underside.

6. Turn the crepe over using a large spatula, and cook the other side. This will be quicker as it will just need browning, so approximately 30 seconds should be fine.

7. Serve the crepe onto a plate, and add fruit to taste, a sprinkle of stevia and one tablespoon of crème fraîche.

8. Roll the crepe carefully and pin it closed with a cocktail stick. A sticky alternative is to use maple syrup. A healthy alternative is to use low-fat Greek yoghurt or quark.

This recipe can be easily adapted to make it wheat, dairy and gluten-free.

Here, Marie Jarvis joins Happiful’s podcast to talk about IBS, symptom tracking and why talking about poo is good for you.

Help with IBS podcast episode

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Faversham ME13 & Folkestone CT19
Written by Victoria Shorland, Nutritionist, Allergy Testing, Phlebotomist, Faversham, Kent
Faversham ME13 & Folkestone CT19

Victoria has been a Nutritionist for ten years, working with SureStart, the Osteoporosis Society, Spire St Saviours and in private practice.

She runs a Specialist IBS Clinic in Faversham, Kent, and Hythe Kent and sees patients with other various health problems.

The Body Blitz and Weight Loss Programmes are very successful.

No fads, no gimmicks.

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