Recent years have seen increasing interest and attention towards evolutionary medicine. Research studies substantiate that following a paleolithic lifestyle and food choices prevent many of the present day degenerative diseases.
Growing body of evidence shows that modern industrial diet leads to metabolic disorders and degenerative diseases which were non existent during pre-agricultural era. Archeological studies on fossil remains showed that the first evidence of dental caries and signs of arthritis were discovered in agricultural era (5000 B.C), after the paleolithic period indicating that domestication and agricultural techniques as one of the causative agents for trigger of health issues.
Retrospective studies on paleolithic lifestyle showed that the key factors that lead to health and longevity of our ancestors were as follows:
- High intake of fiber rich plant foods
- Active lifestyle that involved physical activity, including lifting of heavy loads.
- Dominance of omega- 3 fats in the diet through seeds and sea food.
- Consumption of lean meat from grass grazing animals.
- Eating a wide variety of uncultivated plants, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Food researchers and scientific publications on paleolithic diet underscore the significant health benefits, based on the above factors and other corroborative findings.
Top 5 Reasons to Eat Paleo
The top five reasons for considering a palaeolithic diet include the following:
1) Nutritional benefits
Paleo diet is nutrient dense, the complex carbohydrates from paleo diet patterns provide steady stream of glucose (energy) to the body, the protein from lean meat provides all the vital aminoacids required for tissue repair, cell building etc
2) Protective benefits
Studies based on paleo diet has clearly implied its efficacy in reducing the risk of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and also certain types of cancer.
The protective benefits are attributed to the rich antioxidant profile, array of phytonutrients, fiber, omega- 3’s etc exhibit significant therapeutic, and disease preventing properties that aid in long term health benefits.
3) Maintains healthy body weight
Paleo lifestyle and diet is nature’s perfect recipe for maintaining healthy weight. Paleo diet stresses the need to steer clear of processed, packaged and sugary foods which are the primary agents leading to excess body weight. Paleo diet is naturally rich in fibers, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that help maintain weight as well as promote weight loss among overweight / obese individuals.
Paleo lifestyle shuns sedentary living and encourages increased physical activity. These two factors act in synergy to promote healthy weight.
4) Perfect alkaline – base diet
Modern industrial diet promotes acidic environment in the body which acts as a precursor for many present day health issues such as acidity, kidney stones, inflammatory conditions, skin problems etc. Paleo diet encourages the consumption of plenty of fruits and vegetables that facilitates the alkaline- base balance in the body that promote better nutrient absorption and exhibits anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant properties.
5) Gut friendly diet
When research on paleolithic diet began, plenty of evidence surfaced reinstating the fact that the human gut is well adapted to ancestral way of consuming foods.Research reveals that human gut is not adapted for modern day industrial diet and has been implicated in conditions such as food allergies, sensitivity, gluten intolerance, inflammatory reactions etc.
Paleolithic lifestyle provides a fantastic baseline to start healthy living and food choices. Paleo diet is not to be considered a diet, instead a way of life of our ancestors, that needs to be observed and followed.
Paleolithic lifestyle and diet places emphasis on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, green leafy vegetables, good fats, protein and staying physically active. It leads to changes in the dimensions of health in present day scenario. Paleo diet not only protects us from degenerative diseases but also improves the quality of life and energizes the body.
Lastly, paleo diet is not another marketing fad or just another diet. It is an attempt to replicate the food habits of our healthy ancestors. Proponents of paleo diet consider it as a panacea for modern day diseases and treat it as guideline for healthy eating habits.