Soba Noodle Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Soba noodles

Soba noodles are thin pasta made with buckwheat flour. These long, brown noodles may have originated in China as far back as thousands of years ago but have since become a staple in Japanese cuisine. A popular choice in both hot and cold dishes, they have a nutty flavor and chewy texture that blend well with all sorts of savory preparations.

Soba noodles also offer some distinct advantages for health. Since, in their traditional form, they’re made only with gluten-free buckwheat flour, they can be a useful alternative for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, many brands mix in wheat flour, so it is important to double-check the product label.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to add more protein to your diet, it might be time to swap spaghetti for soba.  With high-protein buckwheat as their base, these noodles offer significantly more protein than most other pastas.

Soba Noodle Nutrition Facts

The nutrition information, for a 100-gram serving of cooked soba noodles, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 99
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 60mg
  • Carbohydrates: 21.4g
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Protein: 5.1g

Carbs?

The 21.4 grams of carbohydrate in a serving of soba noodles might seem like a lot, but depending on the product’s recipe, there may be a silver lining to this high carb count. When made with buckwheat flour and whole wheat flour, the carbs come primarily from slow-digesting, complex whole grains. buckwheat is consumed and prepared as a grain, it's technically not a grain. It's a pseudo grain. Buckwheat is consumed and prepared as a grain, but it's technically not a grain. It's a pseudo grain.

Fats?

Soba noodles contain just a hint of fat. Less than one gram per serving is all you’ll find here.

Protein

Compared to most other noodles, soba is surprisingly high in protein at 5.1 grams per 100-gram serving. That’s because the noodles’ primary ingredient, buckwheat flour, is one of the highest protein grains around. Another bonus: Soba noodles offer what’s called complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids the body cannot produce on its own.

Vitamins and Minerals

Most whole grains are an excellent source of micronutrients—and soba noodles are no exception. In a 2-ounce serving, you can expect to take in approximately 9% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron and 3.5% RDI of calcium.

You’ll find varying amounts of sodium in soba, depending on how much salt is added during processing. According to the USDA, a 2-ounce serving of soba contains 100mg of sodium or 4% of your recommended daily sodium intake.

Health Benefits

May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease?

Eating your way to a healthier heart can be delicious! Buckwheat-based soba noodles are packed with whole grains that can contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.

May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural (and often positive) process, helping the body heal from injuries and external assaults. However, when inflammation gets out of control and becomes chronic, it can have damaging health effects. One way to reduce overall inflammation may be to increase your intake of whole grains. A 2017 study found that when adults substituted whole grains for refined grains over a six-week period, they ended up with reduced markers of inflammation.

For the highest anti-inflammatory impact from soba noodles, be sure to look for those made with 100% buckwheat flour or a combination of buckwheat and whole wheat.

Could Boost Weight Loss

Compared with other pastas, soba noodles are rich in satiating protein. Consuming higher-protein foods may promote weight loss by keeping you full and curbing cravings. According to a 2008 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating more protein might also boost metabolism and help retain lean muscle mass. Plus, since whole grain intake is associated with healthier weight, soba noodles pack a one-two punch for weight loss.

A Healthy Choice for People With Diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, whole grains are a “superfood” for managing diabetes. Research indicates that consuming more whole grains, like the buckwheat flour in soba, could help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.

May Be Suitable for Gluten-Free Diets

Traditional soba noodles are made solely with buckwheat flour, meaning they are 100% gluten-free. This variety of soba makes an excellent choice for people who can’t tolerate gluten, such as those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. But be sure to check ingredient lists carefully; buckwheat flour is difficult to turn into noodles, so many brands add wheat flour for a better texture.

Allergies

Because soba noodles often include wheat, which is one of the top eight food allergens, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to them. If you know you have a wheat allergy, celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity, you’ll want to avoid soba noodles unless they’re wheat-free.

Adverse Effects

Except for the possibility of an allergic reaction to wheat, adverse side effects from eating soba noodles are rare. 

Varieties

Think all soba is the same? Think again! These noodles can vary by the amount of buckwheat flour used and flavorings added. Some specialty food stores even sell soba noodles with added flavorings like green tea or sesame. Below are a few common varieties:

  • Juwari soba is the most classic version, made using 100% buckwheat flour.
  • Nihachi soba comes together with a blend of about 80% buckwheat and 20% wheat flour.
  • Inaka soba, on the other hand, is made with ground un-hulled buckwheat seeds for a darker color and thicker texture.

When It’s Best

Buckwheat has a relatively brief growing cycle of just three months, so it can be harvested multiple times per year—about once in the spring, summer, and fall. This allows for a steady stream of grains for soba noodle production. For this reason (and because they have a lengthy shelf life in dry storage), there’s no one best time for consuming soba noodles.

Storage and Food Safety

Like most pasta, dry soba noodles can hang around your pantry for a good long time—up to two years. However, even dry pasta does eventually go bad. Look for changes in texture or smell to tell you that uncooked soba is past its prime.

Have leftover cooked soba noodles from your latest broth bowl or cold salad? Be sure to store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container and use them within five days.

How to Prepare

Soba noodles are a snap to prepare. Simply follow package directions, or bring a pot of water to a boil, submerge the noodles, reduce heat to a low boil, and cook for four to five minutes (or until the noodles are soft). Some people like to rinse cooked soba noodles under cold water to prevent sticking.

Recipes

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Noodles, japanese, soba, cooked. USDA FoodData Central. Updated 4/1/2019

  2. Soba noodles. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published April 1, 2019.

  3. Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci E, et al. Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.?BMJ. Published online June 14, 2016:i2716. doi:10.1136/bmj.i2716

  4. Vanegas SM, Meydani M, Barnett JB, et al. Substituting whole grains for refined grains in a 6-wk randomized trial has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immune and inflammatory markers of healthy adults.?Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(3):635-650. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.146928

  5. Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety.?The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;87(5):1558S-1561S. doi:10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1558S

  6. American Diabetes Association. What superfoods are good for diabetes?

  7. Della Pepa G, Vetrani C, Vitale M, Riccardi G. Wholegrain intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: evidence from epidemiological and intervention studies.?Nutrients. 2018;10(9):1288. doi:10.3390/nu10091288