I’m sure many of you have heard about the paleo diet. It’s also known as the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet (think Flinstones), and the hunter-gatherer diet. Basically, it goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat?
This is one of the healthiest ways to eat since it is the only nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you be lean, stay strong, and build up energy levels. According to Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, “By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being.”
This particular diet lessens the body’s glycemic load and also increases vitamin and nutrient consumption. In addition, it has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids and also possesses an optimal balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
Nowadays, since we’ve been exposed to processed food and fast food, sticking to this diet might be a little difficult. But with self-determination, this is actually quite achievable.
The Paleo Philosophy
The paleo diet is a way for us twenty-first-century humans to get back to nature. Basically, you consume anything that you can “hunt or find.” This means meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds. Pasta, cereal, and anything else that did not exist yet during the Stone Age will have to take a backseat. You have to actually give up modern food. That means anything that comes in a bag, box, or jar is a no-no.
What’s great about this diet is you don’t count calories, carbs, or grams of fat. This makes it easier to stick to the plan.
So with that said, let’s tackle each paleo diet factor one by one.
Eating lean proteins in the form of meat support strong muscles, promotes bone health, and boosts the overall immune function. Protein also makes you feel fuller longer in between meals.
You can obtain this from nuts, seeds, olive oil, fish oil, avocados, or grass-fed meats. The fats you want to get a healthy amount of are the omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats. Studies show that these healthy fats reduce the likelihood of getting cancer, diabetes, overweight and obesity, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
Fruits and Vegetables
Of course, how can these guys go wrong? Fresh fruits and super healthy vegetables is the way to go! These babies are rich in vitamins, minerals, powerful antioxidants, and helpful phytonutrients. These factors decrease the development of a number of degenerative diseases. Some examples are diabetes, cancer, and neurological decline.
The Paleo Diet Benefits
Of course, if you religiously follow this diet, you will soon notice the positive effects it will have for you and your body? What are these effects? Here are just some of them.
Promotes Brain Health
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Also, they’re great for brain development and brain function. For babies, these healthy fats are vital for brain development and learning. And when you reach senior age, they are important for brain health during old age. Omega-3s reduce the likelihood of dementia and cognitive decline. And finally, they regulate the production of serotonin. This is an important neurotransmitter for mood.
Helps in Weight Loss
It’s a sad truth that very many Americans nowadays are overweight or obese. This is because of all the unhealthy but easily available (and really yummy!) food around us.
Of course, due to the limited food choices in the paleo diet, people tend to lose weight. It eliminates the highly processed and refined carbohydrates that are such a big part in the standard American diet. Also, this diet tends to keep you fuller longer.
Promotes Good Digestion
Eating too much man-made fats, sugar, and other processed food is super unhealthy. This causes inflammation in your intestinal tract. With the healthy food choices in the paleo diet, inflammation is obviously avoided.
In addition, the paleo diet provides a lot of fiber, which means lesser bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues. And finally, this diet, improves the gut flora. This is vital in keeping a healthy digestion.
Fights against Diabetes
Around 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. And unfortunately, this number continues to rise.
However, fortunately, the paleo diet can help you combat this. It prevents insulin resistance and also improves existing glucose metabolism. In addition, it also prevents the rise of insulin resistance and regulates the blood sugar levels.
In many ways, the paleo diet is a healthy and natural way to halt the progression of diabetes.
Boosts the Immune System
Because you are taking in a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables, that means you naturally get a ton of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into your system. Along with that, you also get a healthy dose of antioxidants.
All these factors combined are natural defenses against harmful free radicals. These free radicals are responsible for introducing bad bacteria and diseases into our system. So with our immunity given an extra boost, we can safely conclude that we won’t get sick easily.
Provides Leaner Muscles
A major factor of this diet are lean meats. That means you get a healthy amount of proteins for your muscles. This leads to a leaner physique, where your muscles won’t stay underdeveloped. Eventually, this will also lead to muscle growth if you decide to try out weightlifting.
Having a leaner and better body structure means you can handle life’s challenges and stresses better. You will feel lighter and more energetic.
Makes You Sleep Better
The food we have nowadays contain plenty of chemicals and additives that meddle with our bodies and our brain. Once we get rid of those and start eating natural food, you’ll find that your body will feel tired at night, as it should.
You see, this is because at this time, your brain naturally releases serotonin. This is a signal to your body saying it’s time to rest. So without those additives and chemicals, your body easily gets the signal, and you sleep earlier.
You’ll soon find out that when you wake up in the morning, you won’t feel sluggish or tired. Instead, you’ll wake up feeling energized and ready to start the day. This is your body getting in tune with the circadian rhythm.
Detoxifies the Body
Again, this is because of the elimination of all those unhealthy junk so prevalent today. Say goodbye to refined sugar, gluten, MSG, trans fat, caffeine, and many more.
Give your body a break from all these harmful chemicals and additives. Instead, eat more healthy lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy and natural fats. You’ll be absorbing more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.
This means you’ll be getting rid of built-up and accumulated waste from your body. Many Paleo followers feel lighter and more clearheaded after a few weeks of going into this diet.