What is a Paleo Diet? – The Top Paleo Diet Foods
Lately, a lot has been said about the effectiveness of the paleo diet, but what is it about going paleo that is so beneficial? Well, the basic premise behind the paleo diet is that you eat like cavemen used to back in the Palaeolithic era. Back then, their diets consisted of food that had to be found, foraged, or killed. There was nothing processed, nothing artificial, and no additives. There were also no food allergies. Whereas now, the typical western citizen is overweight or obese, Neanderthals back then were lean, muscular, and athletic. This is why the paleo diet is so effective. It promotes healthy, natural eating, the way evolution intended. The types of foods we eat on paleo are the types of foods that cavemen used to eat millions of years ago. Don’t worry, you don’t need to eat your steak raw and live off seeds and berries found growing on trees, you are allowed to cook your food and use certain sauces and seasonings etc. You don’t, however, get to consume anything processed, which means that foods such as: bread, pasta, cereals, and whole grains, are all off-limits. But just what can you eat on the paleo diet? Well, that’s what we’re going to be finding out. Here are some of the top paleo diet foods currently available.
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable which most people consider to be a superfood. In all honesty, no matter which diet plan or lifestyle you’re following, you should ideally eat spinach on a regular basis because it’s so great for you. On the paleo diet however, it is especially useful. You see, the paleo diet allows people to eat foods like steak, bacon, and meat, but some people consume too much meat and not enough veggies. Spinach is packed full of fiber which promotes digestive health, it is rich in vitamins, and it is rammed full of minerals. Spinach contains vitamins: A, C, and K in large amounts, as well as minerals such as potassium and calcium, which respectively help to prevent lactic acid build ups in the body, and help strengthen the teeth and bones. In fact, pound for pound, spinach contains more calcium than milk. If you’re looking for a vegetable side dish to have with your steak, spinach is perfect.
Salmon is, without question, one of the healthiest foods in the world. It is a great source of protein, which is important for the growth and repair of muscle tissue. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which function as potent anti-inflammatories, as well as helping to promote cognitive function, cardiovascular health, a healthy metabolism, and much more besides. This oily fish is truly one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and it is absolutely perfect for paleo diets. If your budget will allow for it, always opt for wild salmon as it is so much healthier than farmed. Farmed salmon is still a very healthy fish, but compared with wild, there’s no comparisons.
Many people wrongly assume that the paleo diet is a low carb diet. It isn’t. Sure, it doesn’t allow for the consumption of cereals, rice, and whole grains, but many starchy vegetables and fruits containing fructose sugars, are still allowed on the diet. Despite this however, the diet is lower in carbs than usual, which is why it’s important to consume plenty of healthy fats which the body can then use for energy. Avocados are packed full of beneficial fats that work wonders on the human body. Avocado is a fruit that is commonly referred to as ‘nature’s butter’ because it is naturally so rich and creamy when ripe. One cup of avocado provides 14g of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as plenty of dietary fiber, and potassium. In fact, avocados contain more potassium than bananas. With generous amounts of vitamins C, and E, this wonderful little fruit promotes all around health and well-being.
Yes, we know that chicken is probably the most boring food on this list so far, but it’s so important to paleo diets and lifestyles that we couldn’t not include it on here. Chicken is great because it is largely very lean, especially if you use the breasts and remove the skin. Chicken is great for paleo because it’s such a versatile meat. Chicken can be used in a variety of ways, and can be cooked to make so many different dishes that it would take us all day to list each one. You can fry chicken, grill it, bake it, mince it, barbeque it, roast it, and much more besides. Chicken is also a fantastic source of lean protein, which again makes it ideal for people looking to build muscle and watch their figures. Surprisingly, chicken is actually rich in certain vitamins, with B-vitamins like B6 and B12 being key ingredients. Chicken also contains magnesium, which helps to promote healthy hormone regulation and function in the body.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, while we aren’t going to try to answer this question, we are going to look at the many health benefits associated with eggs, and at why they’re so awesome for paleo diets. Eggs contain protein which promotes muscle growth and healthy cellular function. One egg contains roughly 4-6g of protein, depending on its size. Not only that, but eggs are also rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein molecules. Eggs are the only food to be able to provide a complete amino acid profile for both essential, and non-essential amino acids. Even the yolks are healthy, as they contain healthy fats which help to lower harmful LDL cholesterol. Eggs contain vitamins A, B, and D, as well as choline which promotes cognitive health, zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and iron. Eggs are also great for paleo as you can scramble them, fry them, make omelettes, make frittatas, poach them, and much more besides.