Chef making soba noodles

Soba: The Healthy Side of Japanese Noodles

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Soba noodles have more to offer than their delectable taste and smooth, gooey-goodness texture. They’re a ramen alternative that foodies everywhere love for their versatility and unmatched flavor.

What are soba noodles, exactly?

Soba noodles are the spaghetti noodles of Japanese cuisine. Used in both hot and cold dishes, the authentic soba noodle is made from 100 percent buckwheat flour, which is a bit different from the flour we are used to seeing in cereal and other grains.

Lucky for all of us soba enthusiasts, buckwheat is loaded with nutritional value. Take a look to see some of its top benefits:

High Manganese Content

Manganese is a trace mineral stored in the pancreas, kidneys, and bones. Although its amount in the body is small, it is essential to proper and optimal function. Manganese is necessary for metabolic processes of cholesterol, carbs, and proteins. Manganese supports healthy blood sugar levels and fosters good bone density. Bone density is critical as the body ages, and thankfully, manganese keeps this regular.

At just 0.4mg of manganese, one cup of soba noodles provides nearly a quarter (21 percent) of the body’s recommended daily value.

Prebiotic

Buckwheat can be considered prebiotic, meaning it feeds probiotics. Probiotics are the gut’s good bacteria that eat bacteria in the digestive tract. Many people take probiotics to support digestive function, and eating prebiotics is a great supplement, too! Feed to good bacteria so they can grow and eat the bad.

Mineral Content

Just about any noodle soup restaurant near me with soba on the menu provides a generous dose of other valuable minerals. Amongst the most beneficial in a soba dish, you will find zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, and iron.  

Controlled Blood Sugar

Compared to white wheat bread, buckwheat induces a much healthier, lower glucose index response post-consumption. Because of buckwheat’s high fiber content, the carbohydrates metabolize slowly, helping control the sugar spike.

Vitamin B-1 (aka Thiamin)

Thanks to buckwheat, soba noodles are packed with vitamin B-1, one of the many B vitamins. B-is essential for cell growth and breakdown (and reproducing) energy. A lack of B-1 results in a slew of problems, including confusion, memory loss, muscle weakness and abnormal heart size. During alcohol consumption, vitamin B-1 becomes depleted, so soaking up soba noodles before, during or after consumption is wise.

Who knew Japanese food could be a hangover cure?

Cardiovascular Health

By lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, buckwheat has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system (your heart!). A high flavonoid content acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing cell damage and bringing many other benefits to the body’s functioning.  

Low-Fat Content

Amongst the essentials that soba ranks high in, it ranks ultra-low in fat content; in fact, soba noodles are close to fat-free. Remember, your soup and toppings of choice can change your dish so if you are looking to keep your soba dish low-fat, stick to a light broth.

Gluten Free

As long as the soba noodles you’re eyeing are made entirely from buckwheat, you can enjoy your noodle dish as gluten-free. Gluten-free noodles are a healthy option for many, but are especially handy to have on the menu if you are gluten intolerant or dining with a friend who is!

Source of Fiber

Soluble fiber helps combat belly fat, so don’t feel bad about filling up on these carbs.

Not all restaurants downtown Phoenix have the pleasure of offering both healthy and delicious dishes, but at Noodle Bar, we are proud to serve both. Come dine with our friendly staff and soak up our savory Japanese dishes. We’ll see you soon!

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