Paleolithic nutrition explains precisely what nature intended us to consume as humans who belong at the top of the food chain. The groundbreaking discovery on the way the Stone-age man consumed his food has opened up new avenues in the branch of therapeutic and clinical nutrition.
Nutrition experts and health researchers have scoured through number of scientific papers on Paleolithic nutrition and Paleo-anthropology to understand the nuances of our ancestral foods, why they were consumed and their amazing health benefits.
Top 10 Paleo Super Foods
In general, such foods with high nutritional value and remarkable health benefits are defined as “Super foods”. There is no doubt that Paleolithic diet, by itself is a directory of Super foods, however some foods are known to have significant therapeutic effects and thus qualify on the top most list of Super foods.
Super food # 1: Nuts
Nuts are the powerhouse of nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, protein, monounsaturated fats. Nuts also reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases.
Super food # 2: Salmon
Salmon is touted for its heart protective benefits. They are the excellent source of essential fats that prevent blood clots and inflammation of the arteries. A large number of clinical studies have shown that the essential fats in salmon have direct effect in reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis and associated heart diseases. Wild caught salmon are rich source of the carotenoid, astaxanthin which is a powerful antioxidant.
Super food # 3: Flax seed
Flax seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fats that help to lower blood cholesterol levels, prevent build-up of plaque in the arteries. Studies reveal that regular consumption of flax seed helps to regulate the blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Super food # 4: Tomatoes
This most common everyday food has many health benefits to its credit. Tomatoes are good sources of the carotenoid, lycopene which is a super antioxidant. They have a major role in reducing the risk of many types of cancer and also the risk of cardiac problems.
Super food # 5: Asparagus
Asparagus supplies an array of antioxidants namely glutathione, beta-carotene, N-acetylcysteine and vitamin C. Growing number of studies on antioxidants reveal that consuming foods that provide a mix of antioxidants are more beneficial than consuming a single source of antioxidant. Asparagus by itself or in tandem with other antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables provides extra ordinary health benefits.
Super food # 6: Mushrooms
Mushrooms such as portobello and shiitake have special phytonutrients that help in reducing cancer. They also aid in boosting the immune system and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. They also supply most of the B vitamins, selenium and beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have received special importance in recent years due to their ability to attack the cancer cells.
Super food # 7: Sea weeds
Seaweeds are rich in vitamins A E, K, most B vitamins and good sources of calcium, iron and magnesium. The nutrient fucoxanthin in wakame seaweed was found to reduce insulin resistance and help improve blood sugar levels.
Super food # 8: Broccoli
The special phytonutrient in broccoli that makes it a super food is the compound called sulforaphane that protects the arteries from clogging. They are also rich in flavonoids called kaempferol which exhibit potent anti-inflammatory properties. The fiber in broccoli help in lowering cholesterol and the glucosinolate phytonutrients in broccoli help in liver detoxification process.
Super food # 9: Kale
Kale belongs to the cabbage family and is packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene and many antioxidant phytonutrient and is touted as the most powerful antioxidant food. This super food can be sauteed or eaten raw for its remarkable anti-cancer benefits.
Super food # 10: Carrots
Carrots contain the bright red-orange pigments called the carotenoids that are powerful antioxidants. These natural pigments have been linked to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. The mixed carotenoids in carrot work at various sites in our body such as eyes, skin, heart etc to provide the potent antioxidant effects.
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It is easier to embark on the Paleo journey with this quick check list of super foods that are allowed in Paleolithic diet. Paleolithic diet is naturally built-in with these super foods and with strong research backing about these foods it is the perfect way to great health.