With vegan lunch recipes and plant-based snack ideas clogging up our Instagram feeds, it’s fair to say that healthy, clean eating has become increasingly popular and almost fashionable among young people in recent years. One of the popular diets that has emerged from this phenomenon is the Paleo Diet, which encourages its followers to eat how our ancestors did in the caveman days by following a healthier and simpler way of eating. The diet focuses on the consumption of whole and unprocessed foods that existed in the Palaeolithic era before agriculture came along roughly 10,000 or so years ago and means that grains, dairy, legumes, beans or processed foods with added ingredients are banned and are to be replaced with nuts, seeds, meat fish and vegetables. So, why make this leap into the Paleo world and sacrifice your morning croissant for a side of kale? Here are the main paleo diet benefits!
1. Cleaner Conscience.
One of the key benefits of the Paleo Diet is that by sticking to this diet plan, you will be maintaining a much cleaner diet free of additives, preservatives, and chemicals by replacing the empty, processed foods with whole foods which can nourish your mind and body. After all, there’s a reason that brands try to market products as ‘healthy’ by sticking a bright red ‘free from colourants, preservatives and added sugar’ label on the box. This is one of the greatest paleo diet benefits!
2. Improved Satiety (just a fancy way of saying ‘fullness’).
The Paleo Diet encourages the consumption of proteins and healthy fats, which leave you feeling full and satisfied, unlike processed foods and refined sugars which leave you feeling sickly but still wanting more. This means that sticking to a Paleo Diet will make you more likely to eat three full and nutritious meals a day with fewer cravings and desires to snack in between, so be prepared to cross that packet of dark chocolate digestives off your weekly shopping list (and no, just because they are dark chocolate, it doesn’t make them healthy). This is definitely one of the best paleo diet benefits!
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties.
The Paleo Diet eliminates four major inflammation culprits: dairy, sugar, alcohol, and gluten. When not consumed in moderation, these food groups can damage the lining of your digestive system and, in some cases, cause chronic inflammation. According to research carried out by the Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association, the latter can cause diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, food intolerances, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. So, it’s safe to say that that the anti-inflammatory paleo diet benefits are a strong reason to consider making the switch to the *not so* dark side.
4. Trim the Tum.
As the Paleo diet eliminates highly processed foods and added sugar while reducing your carb and calorie intake, it’s no surprise that there is enough evidence to suggest that said diet can help you to trim down your waistline, which is not a bad thing considering bikini weather is fast approaching in the UK! While many diets can be extremely unhealthy because they focus solely on calorie counting to induce weight loss, the Paleo way of eating focuses on clean-eating and purely has weight loss as a bonus on the side.
5. Beauty Sleep.
I have good news for all the insomniacs out there: the Paleo diet has been proven to help us fall asleep quicker and improve your quality of our sleep. Hallelujah! I’ll give you a bit of a science lesson. So, the way in which your hormones behave is strongly related to your food intake, and as hormones basically control the steering-wheel of our ships, it is extremely important that they stay in check. If you’re eating a diet of Walkers ready salted crisps and Lucozade, you’re hormones will get out of control, meaning that you won’t be able to sleep well at night. However, a Paleo Diet of clean meat and leafy greens with a side of quinoa (am I Deliciously Ella yet?) will help to balance your hormones and, as a result, you’ll sleep like a baby at night. This is one of the most interesting paleo diet benefits!
6. You’ll Be Buzzing For Longer.
Forget the Coffee and Red Bulls, on the Paleo Diet vegetables will become your new found energy source. Vegetables! Who’d have thought it? These sugary, caffeine filled beverages that our generation have become so dependent on are actually extremely harmful for our bodies as we break them down very quickly, meaning that their effects are short lived and leave us constantly reaching for more. A key benefit of the Paleo Diet is that it consists of foods which contain naturally occurring energy which is released slowly into the body and means that the foods take longer to break down, keeping us going for longer. A bit like feeding your dog cat treats rather than a big old bone, he’ll just keep coming back for more.
As we can see, there are many health benefits to switching to a Paleo Diet that everyone should consider. Of course, it is important to find the perfect diet for you, as the Paleo Diet will not be up everyone’s street as it means cutting out some major food groups. However, done correctly and healthily, the Paleo Diet (or, more fittingly, the Paleo ‘lifestyle’, as it shouldn’t be seen as a restrictive diet) can leave you feeling like a brand new person.