Inflammatory diseases are on the rise. Millions of people suffer from Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, cancer, and other disorders caused by inflammation. Numerous studies conducted over the years have linked these conditions to the modern diet. Many common foods and ingredients, such as sugar, fries, and pasta, cause an inflammatory response in the body. Switching to the paleo diet could help prevent these ailments and boost overall health.
The paleo lifestyle focuses on the consumption of whole foods and eliminates gluten, additives, artificial sweeteners, dairy, and refined oils. Those who embrace this diet are encouraged to eat avocado, broccoli, red cabbage, salmon, tuna, and healthy fats. These foods are not only nutritious, but also boast anti-inflammatory effects.
Walnuts, which are a staple of the paleo diet, contain omega-3 essential fats, quinones, flavonoids, and tannins. These compounds have been linked to decreased markers of C-reactive protein, a substance that triggers inflammation and raises heart disease risk. Ginger, one of the healthiest spices on earth, suppresses pro-inflammatory compounds in the body. Blueberries support the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which helps reduce inflammation.
Many paleo recipes are made with red cabbage. Due to its high content of anthocyanins, this vegetable decreases inflammatory response. The same goes for broccoli, which is an excellent source of vitamin C and sulforaphane compounds. The PFAs and phytosterols in avocado help keep inflammation under control and reduce its harmful effects on the body. Papain, chymopapain, vitamin E, and other natural compounds in papaya fight oxidative damage and lower inflammation.
According to researchers, going paleo is one of the best ways to suppress inflammatory response. The results are immediate. Most dieters notice major improvements in their overall health as soon as they ditch the sugar and processed carbs. Refined sugar triggers the release of cytokines, a type of inflammatory messengers. Grain-based deserts, pasta dishes, pretzels, breakfast cereals, and other products made with grains cause inflammation too. These foods are off limits on the paleo diet.
This eating plan also restricts junk food, cookies, donuts, and other products containing trans fats. Known to trigger systemic inflammation, these fats are commonly found in junk food and sweets. Other studies indicate that white potatoes, white rice, and white flour products trigger an inflammatory response by increasing AGE (advanced glycation end) levels. Paleo dieters do not consume these foods, so they are less likely to develop inflammatory disorders, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions associated with poor nutrition.