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Note To Self : Diet Going Well, Must Do Something About The Hair...[/caption]
The Paleo diet (or Caveman diet if you like) seems to be gaining in popularity of late. I'm not sure why. I think it's a mix of a good name and concept and a general distrust of modern diet programs. As the name suggests, a Paleolithic diet is supposed to represent what our distant ancestors might have eaten. The assumption being that these people weren't fat and didn't suffer from common diseases of today so it must be good. Whilst this is all very debatable, this article is not really concerned with whether it helps you lose weight. It's focus is whether it is good for anti-aging. And on the whole, I would say it is. The main ingredients of such a diet can help slow down aging. Let's find out more.
What's a Paleolithic diet ?
So a Paleolithic diet is something that people from the Paleolithic time may have eaten – notably unprocessed food. Very simple foods that could be hunted or gathered.
So high on the list is fresh fruits and vegetables. Herbs and spices would be included in the list. Nuts too.
A Paleo diet would endorse eating things like berries, apples, oranges, pineapples, grapes and the like. As we have touched on before, many of these fruits are good for body as it ages.
For instance, berries are generally high in anti-oxidants. So they can play a role in neutralizing free radicals that damage cells in the body.
The same goes for apples, pineapples and grapes.
The red skin of grapes has a phenol called resveratrol which is thought to be beneficial in combating age related diseases. Recent studies also suggest that an anti-aging protein within the body could be activated by resveratrol,
In terms of vegetable, red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli and many others should be consumed.
A good mix of vegetables in your diet should be taken as given these days but some of the vegetables mentioned have specific benefits. For instance, Tomatoes and red peppers have a substance known a lycopene which is thought to help reduce the chances of age related diseases like diabetes and cancer (prostate cancer).
Herbs and spices also have many benefits in anti-aging. The list of herbs and spices is long but one, turmeric, is worth noting. The active agent in Turmeric is Curcumin. It has an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities.
Nuts and seeds are also endorsed by “Paleos”. Almonds and Walnuts have a substance known as Omega 3. Consumption of Omega 3 helps with telomere length reduction which is an important factor in cell regeneration and duplication.
Also, organic meats and other protein are recommended. So this means grass feed beef, pork etc. Game meats are also on the list.
Free range chicken and wild salmon should also be eaten.
As far as the meats are concerned, I'm guessing that they advance the need to get protein into the diet so there are no aging related benefits per se. However, fish is a high source of Omega 3 which has many anti-aging benefits.
What's Not A Paleo Diet ?
Off the Paleo list are foods that have been farmed or processed to some extent. So this includes bread, cereals, pasta and noodles. Dairy products are a no no too.
Even grains are not advisable for those who plan to strictly follow the program because they contain lecithin and gluten. Legumes are also on the not to eat list as they contain phytates which can cause inflammation.
Whilst most of these ingredients have no anti-aging benefits of note, it should be pointed out that natto is a fermented soyabean. As we noted, natto is a natural way to get pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) into the body. PQQ helps the mitochondria and slows down cellular aging in the process.
Sugar is also off the list. Most people are coming round to this idea these days. Studies suggest that sugar causes many health problems such as weight gain, diabetes, tooth decay and more. The same can be said about artificial sugars because they contain chlorine and phosegene gas.
On the whole, most of the main ingredients in a Paleo diet would help with anti-aging. Primarily the fresh fruits and vegetables. However there are some ingredients that they would warn against using that can have some anti-aging benefits. Like all things, the solution isn't a perfect fit but I'd say it is a step in the right direction.