If you are reading this you have either already discovered the benefits of the Paleo Diet for yourself, or you are considering changing the way you eat in order to improve something about yourself. You are not alone. The principles behind the Paleo Diet has continued to gain attention as more people want to discover how they can improve their health through the foods that they eat. It is why you can find over 100 Paleo books available for purchase on Amazon.com. There are obvious reasons why the Paleo Diet is gaining popularity, such as for weight loss or as a tool to increase performance results in recreational sports.
I recently received the following question on Twitter:
Here is my view on the top 3 hidden benefits of the Paleo Diet. What benefits have you discovered for yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
1. The Paleo Diet Reduces Inflammation.
The Standard American diet provides way too many Omega 6 fatty acids (which are inflammatory) to Omega 3 fatty acids (which are anti-inflammatory), compared to the Paleo Diet. Dairy products, refined sugar, lectins (found in beans, grains, and legumes), low levels of sleep, and too much stress also contribute to inflammatory conditions within the body.
Why does it matter if you aren’t eating the right ratio of fatty acids? Our bodies inflame in order to heal from disease or injury, however our modern lifestyle inhibits the anti-inflammatory process from completing its job. Imagine spraining your ankle. It will swell and bruise and instead of resting and elevating the injury you continue to run and jump on it. It certainly won’t heal and it will be painful. Sadly, this is what goes on in most of the bodies you see — a constant barrage of internal injuries caused by poor dietary choices. Chronic inflammation leads to chronic diseases, such as obesity, type two diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
2. The Paleo Diet Regulates Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar or blood sugar dysregulation is so common, most people don’t realize it can be eliminated from their lives. Blood sugar imbalances look like: feeling starved a few hours after a meal, craving sugar or caffeine, or experiencing an afternoon dip in energy where you have to put your head down. Our Paleo ancestors didn’t have the luxury of being able to grab a snack every 2-3 hours. They ate healthy fat as their primary fuel source. When you eat a diet high in healthy fat, it burns like thick logs on the fire, which is a slow burn that lasts a long time.
Eating a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates is like fueling your body with kindling that burns as fast as dry leaves or newspaper. Stable blood sugar levels allow the body to function at its best capacity, and keeps you away from the unhealthy snacks lurking on your office coffee break. In turn you will feel energized and ready to conquer anything that comes your way.
3. The Paleo Diet Can Help Identify Food Sensitivities/ Intolerances.
It is now believed that many undiagnosed health complaints, such as fatigue, migraines, acne, and digestive disturbances, are caused by reactions to foods. The Paleo Diet eliminates many of the common food culprits (grains/ gluten, dairy, legumes/ soy) contributing to undesirable physical symptoms. These foods are hard to digest and tend to irritate the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to inflammation and allow the intestines to leak large particle of undigested food directly into your bloodstream.
Don’t think you suffer from a food intolerance? Often, the clear reaction to the food isn’t noticed until it has been eliminated for a period of time– from two weeks to 3 months. The first thing I notice in people who transition to the Paleo Diet is that their skin begins to glow and radiate — it is something you might not personally notice without taking a before and after photo. A beautiful complexion is certainly desirable, but most importantly the health of your large intestine is reflected in the health and appearance of your skin.