When you take on any new type of eating lifestyle, it can seem overwhelming figuring out what foods you “can” and “cannot” or “should” and “should not” be eating. Even more so, it can be confusing if you don’t understand the reasons why certain foods are good for you to eat and while others are best just in moderation. The Paleo diet is no exception. There are many foods that are considered Paleo‐friendly but that are also the basic “meat” of the eating lifestyle (no pun intended). Here are a list of some of those foods and just why they are important to consume.
- Salmon ‐ Full of Omega 3’s, protein, iron, zinc niacin, Vitamins B6 & B12. These properties help fight inflammation, contain antioxidants, supply a healthy source of protein and help keep your heart healthy.
- Lean Beef‐ Lean cuts of beef pack a protein punch without a high amount of saturated fats. There are 29 cuts of lean beef to choose from.
- Chicken ‐ Versatile and healthy, chicken fulfills your protein needs while giving you a variety of ways to cook and prepare it. Opt for boneless, skinless chicken. Provides for over 20% of recommended daily intake for selenium and potassium.
- Turkey ‐ Contains protein, Vitamin C and iron. A great source of protein that can be bought either ground, sliced or as an entire breast.
- Beets ‐ In a class all their own, beets contain betalains, a phytonutrient that has anti‐ inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxification properties. Possible anti‐cancer benefits have also been linked to beets.
- Kale ‐ Extremely high in Vitamins A, K & C. Packed with antioxidants (carotenoids and flavonoids) and lutein, which helps the blood flow smoother throughout the body.
- Spinach ‐ As with most veggies, low calorie content means you can eat a large quantity. Contains magnesium, Vitamin C and folate, just to name a few. Can possibly reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Eggs ‐ Believe it or not, eggs are a great source of both protein and fat (Omega 3’s included!). They contain all 9 of the essential amino acids and contribute to your daily calcium intake.
- Avocado ‐ Full of potassium and healthy fats, avocado consumption has been linked to lower chances of contracting metabolic syndrome and possibly increasing HDL‐ the good cholesterol.
- Almonds ‐ Portable and filling, almonds are a great on‐the‐go snack and contain a good amount of calcium, magnesium, fiber and protein. Because Paleo diets don’t incorporate dairy, this is a great way to get your calcium intake up.
As you can see, none of these Paleo diet foods are much different choices than that of any healthy person, irrespective of diet, would eat on a regular basis. It’s important to make sure you are consuming an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, especially if you are cutting stuff out of your “normal” diet as you transition to Paleo. Above all, remember to make healthy choices because they make sense to you, not because they fall into a specific diet or fad.