As far as popular diet plans go, you’d struggle to find a more popular example than the paleo diet plan which is currently being followed by countless individuals all across the globe. To be honest, referring to the paleo diet plan as a “diet” is a little bit misleading because in reality it isn’t a diet at all, it’s actually a lifestyle change. Whereas other “diets” are designed to primarily help people lose body fat, the paleo diet is instead about promoting energy, health, wellness, proper nutrition, proper digestion, and weight loss in the process. Not only is paleo ideal for people looking to lose weight, it is also perfect for people who find themselves constantly lacking energy, and suffering from various food allergies and intolerances in the process.
What is the paleo diet?
Although it would take an age to cover every last aspect of the paleo diet, put very simply, the paleo diet is a diet plan which is similar to the ones followed by our caveman ancestors millions of years ago, back in the Paleolithic era. We’ve only been eating processed and refined foods for around 10,000 years, since the discovery of farming and agriculture, and as a result, evolutionarily speaking, our digestive systems have not yet fully evolved to be able to cope with certain farmed foods such as processed wheat and grains. The idea is that by eating similar foods to those that cavemen used to eat millions of years ago, our digestive systems will have evolved enough to be able to deal with them, which is why it’s considered ideal for people with food allergies such as gluten intolerances. Put simply, if it could be killed, found, or foraged, it would have been eaten, and a similar principle applies to this very day, at least with the foods consumed. Here’s a look at six of the healthiest paleo-approved foods currently available:
This green leafy vegetable is one of the healthiest paleo-friendly foods you could ever hope for. Not only is spinach packed full of vitamins, it’s also a great source of phytonutrients, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants in the process. Unlike most other vegetables, spinach actually gets slightly healthier when it is heated up, as the nutritional profile is actually increased. Spinach is rich in vitamins including C, A and K, as well as minerals including iron, zinc, and calcium too, making it ideal for the immune system and your bones and teeth. The fiber also assists with digestion and nutrient absorption, and helps promote satiety so you feel full for longer.
No, your eyes do not deceive you, chocolate really has made it onto a list of healthy foods, and for very good reason too. Dark chocolate isn’t just considered healthy, it’s actually considered a superfood due to its highly impressive antioxidant profile it’s able to boast. It is still high in calories and healthy fats and so should still be enjoyed in moderation. If possible, look for a dark chocolate of at least 70% cocoa, although preferably 75 – 90% is even better. Dark chocolate also contains plenty of flavonoids which help to improve cardiovascular health and well-being and help to reduce hypertension.
When talking about “diets” and healthy eating, many people tend to avoid fats like the plague, and that is not the way that things should be. Fat is a vital macronutrient, and if the fat consumed is from a healthy source such as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, it’s also extremely healthy and beneficial and can actually help you to lose weight and enjoy more energy as a result. Avocados are known as “nature’s butter” because they’re so rich and creamy, and whilst they are high in calories and fats, the fats they contain are extremely healthy. They’re also a great source of potassium, of fiber, and of vitamins B and C. From a paleo point of view, avocados are ideal because they go with so many different foods.
Whether you’re following a paleo diet plan or not, you should still ensure that you get plenty of broccoli inside your body because it’s a superfood with so many different health benefits it would take us all day to list them all. Broccoli is a proven anti-cancer food because it contains so many different antioxidants, and vitamins. As well as that however, it’s also a great source of fiber, it contains more vitamin C than an orange, and it’s packed full of minerals and B vitamins as well.
We’ve already spoken about just how important it is to eat more fats, and as far as healthy fats go, salmon is another perfect source because it is so rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These omega 3s help to boost the metabolism, improve your vision, improve brain health, fight inflammation, improve organ health, and much more besides. Salmon is also a great source of protein which promotes cellular health and function, along with the growth and repair of your muscle tissue as well. What most people don’t realise about salmon however, is that it is also a great source of vitamin B6 and B12.
Yet more healthy fats and the ones found in coconut oil are just as essential as the others on our list which we previously covered. Coconut oil contains MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which boost metabolism, increase energy levels, fight inflammation, and help provide anti-viral and anti-microbial properties too. Coconut oil helps to promote fat loss because the MCTs it contains actually help to body to utilize long chain fatty acids, which in turn helps reduce body fat levels. Oh, and there’s also the added benefit that coconut oil smells great, it tastes amazing, it’s far less greasy than other oils, and it can also be used on the skin and on the hair as well.