Over the years, ‘food’ has gained increasing importance in people’s life. Newer varieties, recipes and plans are introduced daily and nutritionists exert a lot in designing diet plans apt for your height, weight & requirement. One unique kind of diet popular these days is named as the “Paleolithic diet” or “Paleo diet” for short. This modern nutritional diet derives its origin from the acknowledged ancient diet of nomadic group of people that existed during the Paleolithic era dating back approximately 10,000 years. Hence the Paleo diet assumes alternative names such as ‘Stone Age diet’, ‘Hunter- gatherer diet’ or ‘Caveman diet’.
The Paleo diet constitutes types of foods that were available to ancient sapiens, before the onset of agricultural practices. Examples of foods used then were understandably natural like wild animal sources & non- cultivated edible wild plants including meat, fish, eggs, milk, fruits & vegetables etc. It seems pretty obvious from the afore mentioned list of food items that people consuming them would have been matchless in terms of health, strength, nutritional levels, immunity and fitness. Natural food essence reached them without the impurities of artificial man- induced modifications. It is this very property of the ancient Paleo diet that has instilled interest among nutritionists to promote it nowadays. Various researchers have reported Paleo Diet as a cure for obesity, metabolic syndrome and Diabetes.
The Paleo diet does not include cultivated food crops or reared livestock farming products such as grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils because these things were out of question in Paleolithic era. They neither were skilled enough nor equipped sufficiently. Their diets were like a ‘blessing in disguise’ for them. However a drawback of Paleo diet is deduced to be the deficiency of Calcium which needs to be supplemented to prevent bone and teeth weakness.
Paleo diet basically consists of the following food groups;
Vegetables: consuming raw vegetables is the key to a healthy life and the paleo diet secret resides in this very fact. The diet plan essentially includes all types of vegetables.
Fruits: fruits contain necessary vitamins and mineral required by human body. Including larger proportions of fruits of all types in the diet boosts health.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almond, pistachio, walnuts, pecans, cashew, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds and many more help boost health.
Herbs: in our modern lifestyle, the food we eat has, to a great extent, excluded various types of beneficial herbs. Ingredients like parsley, thyme, basil, tarragon, chives, oregano, sage, dill, bay leaves, coriander, lavender, mint, and rosemary not only make the food tastier but they also help make the food nutritious.
Natural spices: these include garlic, cloves, chilies, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, onions, black pepper, hot peppers, star anise, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, paprika, and ginger.
Animal protein and fats: these two food groups are also very important as they give the body its necessary energy required to stay healthy.
Food like grains, wheat, rice or soy should be strictly avoided when following a paleo diet.
A renowned PhD researcher Mr. Loren Cordain has dedicated his life in elucidating the benefits of Paleo diet. He has evidenced that the suggested and approved USDA’s food pyramid is not in agreement with the kind of diet that supplemented human evolution over a period of billions of years. Paleo diet is natural and health- friendly with no serious nutritional omissions unlike other diet plans that are either too saturated in Carbs or else Fats. It also provides an ideal balance between unsaturated and saturated fats upon body consumption. Tremendous rapid research has been done on benefits of Paleo diet incorporation in our modern diet consumptions. It also eliminates the chances of high Omega-6 / Omega-3 ratios (types of fats). It offers a safe range i.e. between 1:1 to 3:1. Modern day diets have an upsetting ratio of the two thereby imposing health threats like cardiovascular diseases, oncogenic symptoms and intensify many inflammatory diseases.
Paleo diet has been a long lost secret to a healthy strong life. The tribes of hunter- gatherer and nomadic communities were physically fit, tall and firm, had straight teeth and perfect eye-sights and were rarely inflicted with diseases common nowadays such as arthritis, diabetes, heart strokes, depression, hypertension etc. One huge obstacle in the perfection of Paleo diet was that without the knowledge of fire and cooking, many food items were excluded. Their toxins rendered them inedible and a lot of energy remained trapped and didn’t become part of Paleolithic food chains. However, sense of cooking these foods was a major breakthrough in what we call the Neolithic Diet.
Clinical trials have depicted that the epidemic levels of cardiovascular diseases, obesity & diabetes are a direct result of Westernized, artificial and synthetic additives to our diets and that switching to Paleo Diet can optimize such risks. However, paleo diet has been a subject of various controversies. Adversaries argue that the people nowadays have adapted to a broadened range of food items like whole grain, dairy, legumes, pulses etc whereas supporters answer that Paleo diet coincides with the evolutionary logic and is adapted by our genomes. Other foods can trigger inflammatory diseases at cellular level.
Experiments suggested that apart from being a very appropriate and effective weight loss diet plan, Paleo Diet resulted in reduced blood pressure, decreased fasting insulin levels (11.5 to 3.6 µU/ml),lower insulin secretion after ingestion of glucose, lower levels of total & LDL- cholesterol as well as of triglycerides and improved blood vessel elasticity, muscle mass and hormonal balance. As a whole this means that Paleo Diet promises reduced risks of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular ailments. This is a major breakthrough as prevention is better than treatment! Thus there are innumerable benefits that popularize the Paleo Diet, which was first introduced by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin in mid 70s and is embraced since then. The genetic adaptability to the diet is the basis of its beneficial value and genes are expected to have been conserved since the advent of Agriculture era.
( For more information on Paleo Diet go on Wikipedia )
The Levels of Energy in Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet changes the levels of energy in an individual and the boost of energy can be felt by its follower than before he/she started the diet. It is because of the consumption of all the healthy proteins which are present in the important elements of the diet. The body will function very well and in a better way than before because all of the artificial sugars and the toxins are removed from the diet. As a result you won’t feel a worn out effect in the body and also the feeling of the body to crash will not be there either. This positive and constructive feeling will motivate you further to enjoy this fantastic diet regime.
The credit of all the feelings mentioned above would go to the eating habits controlled by the body, and it will not only improve your abilities to tackle the day to day activities but also it will help you enjoy a good and peaceful night sleep. Now it won’t happen on its own, you would need to motivate yourself by keeping under control and more active. There are very interesting mental benefits which a follower of Paleo diet could experience;
- The attitude for an individual will be improved and an individual would feel very positive because there will be no effects on the body which will show tiredness.
- With all the positive energy, there will be a feeling of productiveness, which will improve the work quality being done by the individual.
- It will also help you to focus on the diet program which you are following, because it is very easy to go wrong when people do not study completely about their diet plans and eating habits. With a perfect diet like Paleo diet, it will also help you to stay under control and more active than ever. After that, nothing possibly could go wrong.
Physical Improvements in Paleo Diet
You will be really amazed by the impact of Paleo diet on your body, but you won’t see them straight away. They will show by themselves within your body and you would feel it.
When an individual consumes an unhealthy diet, it results in the occurrence of bloating around the body, which could be very disruptive to your abs. In Paleo diet, it helps you to reduce the bloating effect and helps you to attain flatter abs. It is because the diet revolves around the food items which are enriched with the natural sources of fibre which are in unprocessed form. It is also because of the high consumption of water and a dramatic reduction of salt in the diet, which is not good for your body.
Your abs will look better without bloating and it will also be helpful to keep the tissues in the abdominal area from being worn out. It will also help you to get more defined muscles in the abs area.
Paleo diet will allow you to have a better series of measurements around the body, which will include the toned down measurements because you will end up having leaner body with lean muscles and less fat tissues. For Example, you may be able to lose a couple of inches of your chest area in about 2 months time, and an additional lose of 2 to 4 inches from your hip area. Now it could prove very difficult to lose in those specific areas but it is very much possible once you commit yourself to Paleo diet sincerely.
Controlling Eating Habits
When you are following the Paleo diet, then it is very easy for you to control your eating habits. The majority of food items which are in Paleo diet are very delicious and filling, which will help you to keep away from craving for more. This is very much a case when it comes to the natural fibres obtained from the vegetables and the high level consumption of water. The filling foods would also help you to control your eating over time routine. It will definitely give your body something to look forward for a longer run.
A diet that mimicks our ancestral diet is the most suitable one for our well- being and health!