If you’ve decided to embrace Paleo as a lifestyle, you have positive changes to look forward to. Unlike regular fad diets that are usually built with only weight loss in mind, a Paleo diet supports the perfect gene expression for our bodies. Everything about how your system works will start to adjust beginning at the cellular level. You’ll experience all sorts of transformations unique to your own needs as your body begins to balance itself and create homeostasis.
Here are 27 of the most common changes experienced by others, most of which are backed by scientific evidence. (Paleo Dietary Guidelines always recommend grass fed or pastured animals and organic produce).
- Effortless weight loss - Protein and fats create satiety, so you feel full. You’re meeting the body’s nutritional needs so cravings disappear, fat stores are utilized, and unnecessary weight falls off.
- Better digestion - Healthy fats and amino acids from proteins slow carbohydrate metabolism and aid in moving food through the digestive system.
- Muscle gain (and weight gain for those who are underweight) -Your body will seek a comfortable level based on the value of the food you eat. Overweight and underweight people are depriving their bodies of nutrients and the body reacts adversely by either storing energy until it gets what it needs, or rejecting artificial values like those that come from industrially processed foods.
- Higher libido - Your weight will affect your libido both physically and emotionally. Balancing your hormones will also balance your sexual drive, whether it’s off the charts or nonexistent.
- Clearer and softer skin, less acne - Blood sugar spikes caused by refined high glycemic foods also contribute to flare-ups and are not recommended on Paleo. Selenium, B5, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids found in meat and fats are powerhouses for skin.
- Healing of tooth decay - Tooth enamel can repair itself if it’s not constantly bombarded with sugary foods that eat away at it. Cravings and between meal snacks can disappear.
- Hormone regulation - High amounts of caffeine, toxins, and high levels of omega 6 all affect hormone balance. Paleo virtually eliminates toxins and increases omega 3 to balance omega 6. Coconut oil is one of the preferred plant oils and can be used on hair, as a toothpaste and mouthwash, deodorant, and moisturizer eliminating the need for many cosmetics that contain chemical hormone disruptors.
- Increased fertility - Leafy greens increase the master hormone leptin; excessive carbohydrates like those found in grains and processed foods reduce leptin, which can cause fertility problems.
- General well-being - A general feeling of well-being is achieved when the body is in homeostasis and functioning properly, not toxically.
- More restorative sleep - B6 or pyridoxine found in tuna, poultry, pork, beef, avocados, and spinach helps your body make melatonin and seratonin, the hormones that set your sleep-wake cycles. Turkey, shrimp and lobster provide tryptophan, another melatonin booster.
- Less stress and lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) - Magnesium in spinach, vitamin C-rich fruits and microgreens, omega 3s, adaptogens like holy basil, and zinc from beef and oysters all reduce inflammation and cortisol levels.
- Less painful periods - Dairy, caffeine, sugar and alcohol can all trigger cramps. Fatty fishes ease associated migraines and omega 3s inhibit prostaglandins that cause uterine spasms.
- Fewer or no allergic reactions to environmental triggers - Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in cold water fish contain the natural anti-inflammatory EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid); eliminating industrial junk oils lowers inflammation causing omega 6. Antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables also reduce inflammation.
- Remission of diseases like celiac’s, type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s , IBD, IBS, ulcerative colitis, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure - All disease is caused by an imbalance somewhere in the body at the cellular level, whether it’s in the blood, bones, tissues, bowels, or organs, and it all begins with the body’s ability to synthesize food. Chemicals are not recognized by cells as “food” and act to impair signals while they build up to toxic levels. Saturated fats, phyto- macro- and micronutrients, and protein amino acids act to edify and build all systems, giving them what they need to function optimally and eliminate waste efficiently.
- More physical endurance and energy - Protein, B vitamins and iron help keep energy levels up along with healthy amounts of low glycemic carbohydrates and quality fats. Eliminating processed foods relieves blood sugar spikes that can zap energy.
- Less or no cravings for sugary foods - Sugar over-stimulates the brain’s reward center and causes addictive cravings. Paleo guidelines recommend “no added sugar of any kind” and combining foods that contain high amounts of natural sugar with protein and fat to slow biosynthesis and reduce sugar spikes.
- Relief from gas and constipation - Industrial cereal grains that are difficult to digest are not recommended. Fruits rich in pectin keep things moving without causing painful gas or bowel blockage.
- Frequent and smooth bowel movements - Adequate amounts of water, saturated fats, omega 3s, and fiber from fruits and vegetables (not cereal grains) keep things moving; lemons, vinegar, and fermented foods act as stimulants for the digestive system and keep intestinal bacteria healthy.
- More flexibility - Sulfur rich vegetables, essential amino acids and micronutrients assist connective tissues that allow muscles to lengthen; joints stay hydrated, and neurons fire correctly.
- Stronger bones - Calcium, collagen, and gelatin from bone broths, vitamin K and magnesium from greens, vitamin D from oily fish, boron from apples and potatoes with skin all assist in healthy bone formation.
- Less hair loss and even new hair - Several factors contribute to follicle health and hair growth including essential fatty acids that keep hair healthy, hormone balance, immune function that prevents follicle infection, clogged follicles that clear as a result of detoxing the body, nutrient needs are being met, and eliminating chemical shampoos and hair products that can build up in follicles.
- Loss of dangerous belly fat - Visceral and subcutaneous fat found around the belly is burned by powerful heat and energy creating brown adipose fat. Brown fat activating foods include fatty fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, and complete proteins.
- Better natural scent - Fermented foods, saturated fats, whole fresh foods, and no added sugar or processed carbohydrates all contribute to ridding the body of toxins and organ stress resulting in a “clean” sweat or scent.
- Healthier children - Fewer or no symptoms of ADD, ADHD and compulsive behaviors, clearer verbal expression and better comprehension, healthy bowel movements, less nervousness and anxiety, fewer cavities, clear skin in teens, easier transition through puberty, greater mental focus, stronger bones, clear neurotransmission for all functions including metabolism resulting in less obesity in children, and stronger immune systems are all the result of saturated fats that aid brain health and other body systems.
- Relief from back pain and muscle aches - Natural pain relievers such as ginger, olive oil, omega 3s from fish, sour cherries, cayenne and turmeric, thyme and sage have various properties that relieve pain, and are all part of a Paleo diet.
- Fewer leg cramps - Apple cider vinegar used to naturally ferment foods, menthol in peppermint, sardines with bones and bone broths, fresh fruits and leafy vegetables all boost magnesium, potassium, and calcium to eliminate cramps and spasms.
- Healing of joint injuries - Vitamin C found in fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables helps slow joint wear; sulphur rich vegetables (brocolli, onion, cabbage, etc.) help build chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine sulphate to aid repair.
The biggest contributing factors that differentiate our Paleo Dietary Guidelines are:
- Eating home grown, organic, or biologically grown produce without chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides
- Eating edible skins from fruits, roots, tubers, and vine produce
- Eating all parts of grass fed and pastured animals that graze at will and are not raised in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), including bones, organs, fat, and skin.
- Eating more fat in general, particularly saturated fats including butter from healthy animal and vegetable sources
- Adding oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Using plants as a first choice for healing and prevention of disease and discomfort in non-life threatening situations
- Naturally fermenting and curing foods using celery juice, vinegar, salt or starter culture
- Eliminating dairy/milk proteins
- Eliminating manmade trans fats
- Eliminating industrially processed vegetable seed oils
- Eliminating all industrially processed foods
- Eliminating cultivated cereal grains
- Eliminating chemicals in cosmetics and non food products such as toothpaste and lotions
Of course, everybody is different and you may have experiences completely unique to what’s listed above. We’d love it if you would contact us here and let us know what positive changes you experience by incorporating Paleo into your life. The best ones will be added to the list.
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