At first glance, buckwheat certainly looks promising. Unlike grains, itís not a grass, but rather a flowering pseudocereal. The triangular seed from the buckwheat plant, called a groat, is harvested and can be milled into flour or used whole in cereals. Seed? Seeds work, right? Not necessarily. While I love most seeds for their high fat content and protein, they do have to be low in carbs to pass the test. Buckwheat groats are decidedly starchier than, say, flax (another story altogether) or pumpkin seeds, so we must use caution. Buckwheatís glycemic index is 54, which is still fairly high despite being lower than actual grains.
Historically speaking, buckwheat certainly isnít paleo. You can put lipstick on a pseudocereal, but itís still a high-carb, high-glycemic-loading grain wannabe. It also requires significant amounts of processing (grinding, roasting, rinsing, sprouting) to become edible to humans, and the earliest known domesticated cultivation of buckwheat was in Southeast Asia, probably around 6000 BC, well after the advent of agriculture. A wild form obviously existed before, but Ė as with grains and legumes Ė not in large enough quantities for it to become a regular food source for early man.
Is there a place for buckwheat in the modern Primal diet?
If you want my strict Primal answer, then, well, no.