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The Paleolithic Diet and its Benefits

Updated on July 7, 2015
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An experienced integrative healthcare professional & Member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists

The Paleolithic diet is a modern dietary regimen which includes a diet presumable eaten regularly during the Paleolithic era (1). It comprised of lean meat, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, roots, eggs and nuts as well as olive oil and coconut oil(1). This diet does not include grains, dairy products, salt or refined fats and sugar which has become staple foods after the appearance of fully modern humans (1).


Super Paleo Foods (1)

Broccoli

-is anti-carcinogenic. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in isothiocyanates which protect the body against cancer through inducing Phase II conjugation detoxification enzymes in particular Glutathione S-transferrases. Also shown to reduce the risk of lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers as well as cause a decrease in cancer growth.

-1 week intake of broccoli sprouts significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and normalized triglyceride levels. Females had no significant reduction in total cholesterol but showed increased HDL cholesterol


Tomatoes

-contains lycopene that reduces cancer and inhibits cancer growth

-in breast cancer cells, lycopene can interfere with insulin-like growth factor 1- stimulated tumour cell proliferation

-may reduce proliferation and increase apoptosis in the human prostate tissue

-lycopene may also inhibit cholesterol synthesis and enhance LDL degradation


Green Tea

-tea consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of developing cancers of the ovart, oral cavity, colon, stomach and prostate

-its beneficial effect has been attributed to the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)


Garlic

-prevents atherosclerosis and cancers (through raising activity of enzyme systems that detoxify carcinogens

-part of the allium class of vegetables, it has a very high antioxidant activity compared to other vegetables

-possess antifungal, antibacterial, hypoglycaemic, hypolipidaemic, normalises blood sugar levels, antiatherosclerotic activities and also claimed to be effective against a number of diseases

-garlic prevents cancer better than chemotherapy in a number of research on the use of fresh garlic extract and diallyl trisulfide shown to be more potent than 5-fluorouracil or mitomycin C in killing gastric cancer cells


Turmeric

-increases Phase II liver detoxification enzymes

- anti-inflammatory, antitumour and antioxidant properties


Benefits of consuming the Paleo diet

In a randomized controlled feeding trial in domestic swine, they found higher insulin sensitivity, lower C-reactive protein (CRP) and lower DBP after 15 months of Paleolithic diet compared to cereal-bases swine feed (1).

In a randomized control study in 29 men with ischemic heart disease and impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes, they found improved glucose tolerance independent of weight loss after 12 weeks of Paleolithic diet compared to a Mediterranean diet (1).

An example of how the Paleolithic diet is beneficial can be represented by Acne. Acne appears to represent a visible indicator disease of over-activated mTORC1 signalling an unfavourable metabolic deviation on the road to serious common Western diseases which are associated with increased body mass index and insulin resistance (1). A Paleolithic diet with reduced intake of sugar, hyperglycaemic grains, milk and milk products but with an enriched consumption of vegetables and fish helps attenuate or reduce increase mTORC1 activity (1).


References


1)The Paleo Diet Seminar Notes 2014


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