Welcome to the world of nutrition, today we will share the best benefits of paleo diet well in case you are new here and you are seeing various diet like keto, paleo, dukan, vegan, low carb diet etc., and you are pretty much clueless about these different diets, you don’t need to feel awkward because I was exactly at that same spot when I first encountered the vast world of dieting & nutrition and I must also tell you that there is so much to what you eat than you know now.
On this article, we are discussing paleo diet and as the name implies, you can think of the paleolithic period of the human history of existence, oh yes! the idea is to try and go back to the Paleolithic times’ way, style or manner of eating.
What do you mean paleolithic?
Did you just ask what paleolithic actually means? well, here’s a brief explanation for you;
The paleolithic times refers to about 3 million years ago to 10,000 B. C. (a rough estimate), a prehistoric period in the human existence where they were hunters and foods gatherer and it was also the time when stone tools were originally developed therefore also called the old stone age.
What is Paleo diet?
So, you may be wondering, what is the correlation? In what way does paleo diet concern paleolithic times?
It has a lot actually because paleo diet is a diet that restricts the current eating mode or style of humans to that of the paleolithic times. It is a diet that consists of the kind of foods that humans who existed in paleolithic times (era) ate, it strongly believes that due to the eating and living style of humans then, they lived longer and rarely suffered from many diseases (e.g. heart diseases, diabetics etc.), unlike today.
It actually involves eating whole foods such as whole grains, berries, vegetables, legumes, fishes, meats etc., although it is hard to completely tell what humans in that period truly ate but this is the closest to which several kinds of research got us.
It is not usually a ‘low-carb diet’ but some people practice it as such, then it also strongly kicks against processed or canned foods. Although there are several versions of this diet, I would warn that you keep an open mind and do not hesitate to seek any medical advice before starting, it is not restricted to all you read in this article.
What are the Best Benefits Of Paleo Diet
What to eat on a paleo diet?
So, what does it entail, right? I mean a lot of people will be curious on what to expect on a paleo diet but you do not have to worry as it is not as restrictive as people think though it might need some getting used to, with a little adjustment you are good to go.
On a paleo diet, you are to consume more of the following;
- Vegetables and fruits: like bananas, carrots, broccoli, onions, kale, pepper, strawberries, cauliflower, peaches and others. Care should be taken due to the starchy content of some vegetables and high sugar content in fruits in case you would love to practice it as a low carb diet or if you are watching your weight
- Tubers: ranging from Irish potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips, taro and the likes. Tubers are essential on a paleo diet and it is one of the foods hunter-gatherers ate many centuries ago.
- Seafood: like shellfish, salmon, carp, catfish, shrimp, haddock, sardines, crayfish, caviar, tuna etc. It was easy to rely on seafood as it only requires hunting for it in the rivers. Seafood is highly nutritious as they are low in calories and very high in proteins and vitamins.
- Egg: Eggs are good for paleo diet, due to them being a rich source of protein, fats and other nutrients. It is very nutritious and thereby promotes the purpose of a paleo diet.
- Nuts and Seeds: Here we are looking at samples like hazelnut, walnut, chestnut, acorn, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkin nut, pistachios, cashews etc., as these were easily picked and eaten.
Note: Paleo diets differ in many ways as people choose to practice it in different ways, the above are just the some of the foods consumed on a paleo diet and the most important thing is to avoid processed foods generally which includes marinated meats, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners etc.
What are the benefits of Paleo diet?
The benefits of paleo diet vary as it depends on what the paleo diet contains, different people practice paleo diet in several ways these days, the only important thing like we mentioned before is to avoid processed foods, artificial sweeteners, 80% of dairy products, sugar, grains etc., and then focus mainly on whole foods, you could include some modern foods like grass-fed butter or gluten-free grains.
The following are few benefits of Paleo diet;
- Weight Loss: When it comes to weight loss or treating obesity, the advocates for paleo diet couldn’t be more right as paleo diet reasonably works wonders here. Remember, we already mentioned that paleo diet can be treated solely as a low carb diet which helps curb weight increase. Do not be overly concerned about counting calories here as all you need to do is ensure you remove the lists of foods that should never be allowed on a paleo diet. Watch out for unprocessed foods, unhealthy fats, refined sugar, high-calorie intake and take more of foods low in carb, high in protein and other important vitamins and minerals.
- Improved Immune System: The main reason for subscribing to the paleo diet idea is due to the various health conditions present in these days that were not present in the paleolithic times. Since the reason for the good health conditions they experienced is linked to their eating pattern and lifestyle in that period, it was only tempting to try and see the benefits.
Many foods that humans take today are toxic either due to processing or modifications, they leave the body in danger and weaken the immune system but paleo diet does the opposite by eliminating those toxic food materials that build up in the body and including those that will provide nutrients and minerals such as vitamin C, D, E, zinc, fiber etc., that will help build up the immune system. The diet consists of those nutrients in a reasonable amount necessary thereby helpful in building our immune system and making us less susceptible to the various diseases.
- Allergies: We all know that allergies have no single cure and are very dangerous when not properly treated or looked out for. So, paleo diet does not necessarily treat all allergies but it may help many to experience less of it because paleo diet helps the immune system basically get stronger and also avoids all processed foods, preservatives, refined sugar which are the major causes of some allergies. Also, when we put the anti-inflammatory benefit of paleo diet into consideration, we get a better insight into how it helps to avoid allergies or reduce them. Allergies are not only caused by foods and it usually happens when the immune system sees a harmless substance as harmful, so, should not be treated solely by paleo diet.
- Healthy skin and hair: Amid various health benefits of paleo diet is also included an ever-young vibrant skin and a very smooth and healthy hair. Firstly, paleo is anti-inflammatory so it mostly eliminates all those inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and we also know that inflammation is basically caused by the foods we eat. Secondly, the diet also includes a lot of zinc, vitamin A and iron which are very good for our skin and hair. Those who practice the paleo diet will most likely have better skin and healthier hair than most people.
There are more benefits of the paleo diet which includes increased fitness, raised glucose tolerance, healthier gut, clearer mind etc., some of which can be proved scientifically. Also, there’s so much more to know about the paleo diet, one thing is certain, if you need to change your diet to a healthier one, paleo might just be the choice for you. So, think about it, try it.
* You can download a free copy of the eBook on “Ketogenic Diet 101”