Going Paleo is all about returning to our ancestors’ way of eating: wild vegetables, grass-fed meat and in-season fruits. Here are some of our favorite Paleo diet benefits.
The modern diet is loaded with preservatives and other obscure chemicals, so it’s not surprising that diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity and hyperthyroidism are on the rise.
When you “go Paleo” you not only cut out all the toxic, processed foods that are making us sick, but you start eating real meals packed with nutrients.
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After the first few weeks Paleo, many experience weight loss, big surges in energy, and many other benefits that come with eating real, nourishing food. Here are 16 of the biggest Paleo diet benefits, and why they matter.
1. Squeaky-Clean Eating
The Paleo diet emphasizes clean eating, removing processed, unnatural foods and replacing them with whole ones. You won’t have to compromise flavor for health – in fact, the more whole, nourishing foods you eat, the less you’ll crave the bad stuff. This is not to say you can’t indulge, you’ll just do so with better-for-you options, like natural sweeteners low on the glycemic index, or higher-quality dark chocolate.
2. More Movement
There’s no one-size-fits-all fitness regimen particular to the Paleo lifestyle, but we highly recommend incorporating movement into your everyday life. Don’t isolate your exercise to an hour at the gym each day, just move! Take a walk, bike, hike, swim, dance – bonus points for getting outside.
3. Reduced Inflammation
Inflammation, caused by damage to the lining of your digestive system, can cause increased sensitivity in your immune system. This triggers allergies, asthma, and more. The Paleo diet eliminates four major inflammation culprits: dairy, gluten, sugar, and alcohol and suggests eating these 10 anti-inflammatory foods instead.
4. Fewer Cravings
You don’t have to worry about feeling deprived on the Paleo diet. You’ll eat more protein and healthy fats compared to the typical Western diet, leaving you satisfied for longer. No more blood sugar spikes that wind up making you hangry later!
If you still find yourself hankering for something in between meals, try reaching for any of these 6 Paleo snacks that will stop cravings in its tracks.
5. A Healthier Gut
Your gut is your second brain: it houses the trillions of microbes, or gut flora, that help digest food, synthesize vitamins, boost your immune system and regulate metabolism. By removing foods that irritate this system and restoring it with foods that promote its health, the Paleo diet can contribute to a healthier gut.
Your gut is more important than you thought. A healthy microbiome is the foundation of good health!
6. Better Sleep
Going Paleo gives you a holistic approach to health, treating your mind, body and soul. Your diet is important, but equally so is your fitness activity and self-care, including adequate sleep hygiene. With proper sleep, your body is able to function at it’s best.
If sleep still doesn’t come easier when you make the switch to Paleo, try turning your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary for a calming oasis you’ll look forward to all day!
7. Enjoy Amazing Food
If you think you have to eat plain old fruits and veggies all the time when you go Paleo, think again. Our healthy community is full of enterprising kitchen dwellers that cook up new Paleo-friendly ideas all the time. Think Spicy chicken fajitas, crispy sweet potato tater tots and even doughy cinnamon rolls! There’s always something new and exciting to try, so you’ll never get bored with your meals.
8. More Nutrients
By eliminating filler foods like grains and legumes (which slow the absorption of nutrients due to the presence of anti-nutrients), you’ll naturally get more of the foods your body needs, like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
9. Better Mental Health
A healthy, balanced diet can do tremendous things for your mental health and wellness. Better nutrition breeds more energy and mental clarity. Coupled with better sleep, self-care and regular exercise, the Paleo diet can truly help you to cultivate a healthy headspace.
If you’re struggling with depression, here’s how inflammation might be making things worse, and how certain dietary changes might help.
10. Healthy Disconnection
Living primal means channeling our ancestors, who never had a smartphone, iPad or laptop. The Paleo lifestyle encourages disconnecting from the bustle of the digital world whenever you can, and taking some time for you. Here are some suggestions on doing a digital detox.
11. Leaner Muscle Tone
The Paleo diet’s relatively high consumption of protein fuels muscle mass. Coupled with weight lifting, the diet can target underdeveloped muscles and fat, cultivating a leaner, muscle-toned physique.
12. No Calorie Counting
Unlike other diets, the Paleo diet recognizes a person’s individuality. There’s no strict calorie-in, calorie-out figure that suits every individual, so why eat according to a metric? Rather than count calories, going Paleo encourages eating as many whole, natural foods you feel that you need at any given time.
13. Fewer Toxins
Cutting out food additives helps reduce your exposure to toxins. So does the increased consumption of antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits and spices. This natural form of detoxification boosts your immune system, promoting healing from within.
14. More Energy
The Paleo diet encourages eating to live, not living to eat. Generally, you’re eating foods that fuel your body rather than plummet your energy levels, like starting your day with eggs and spinach or bacon and avocado instead of a blood sugar spiking donut, leaving you with more energy to help face the day.
15. Eco-Friendly Living
The Paleo diet encourages organic, local and seasonal eating as much as possible. Not only is it better for your health, but the environment and the farmers benefit as well. Be sure that your meat is sourced from animals that are grass-fed and pasture-raised, giving the animal a better quality of life – and your food more nutrient dense and flavorful.
16. More Natural Solutions
If you can make the shift to eating Paleo, you’ll likely want to explore more ways you can incorporate Paleo principles into other facets of your life. You might pursue a more natural approach in cosmetics, cleaning products, or even making your home thyroid-friendly!
For more healthy inspo, check out The 14 Biggest Paleo Challenges and How to Conquer Them