The Paleo Diet – despite facing its fair share of controversy – has rapidly gained popularity over the past several years. Although there are many different takes on the diet, Paleo is essentially about getting back to the dietary routine of paleolithic humans.
According to its supporters, going Paleo has tons of benefits. One of these perks that attracts a lot of attention, though, has to do with the diets impact of inflammation.
How can the paleo diet help reduce inflammation? Why is this important?
The Effects of Inflammation
Although it's a normal reaction, inflammation can cause tons of problems when it gets out hand. Chronic, uncontrolled inflammation has been linked to a host of health concerns and chronic illness, including:
- Heart disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Gum disease
In addition to all of that, inflammation also plays a role in persistent pain and even obesity. Managing inflammation, then, is a major step toward improving your overall well-being.
Role of Paleo
So, what does Paleo have to do with the battle on inflammation? A few things, actually. As mentioned, Paleo encourages a return to an ancestral diet.
Generally, this means cutting out grains and heavily processed foods in favor of whole vegetables, fruits and nuts. Palaeolithic eaters also avoid grain-fed beef, farm-raised fish and other foods that come from a standard commercial farming environment. What you're left with, then, is a nutrient-dense, high-protein whole food diet. And this is where anti-inflammatory potential appears.
Those fruits, vegetables and nuts that play such a vital role in Paleo are packed with anti-oxidants – substances that actively fight the inflammatory action of free radicals in your body.
Studies have also found that high-protein, low-carb diets like Paleo are powerful anti-inflammatory tools. In large part, this is likely because of the impact that healthy fats – like omega 3s and 6s – have on inflammation. And Paleo is full of healthy fats.
Of course, the nuts mentioned earlier are famous sources of the beneficial fatty acids. But grass-fed beef is also rich in the healthy fats, while also containing less harmful fat than beef produced on more conventional farms.