The Paleo diet is nothing but eating everything that humans used to way back in time. In the olden days, humans survived on foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, and nuts. There were no processed foods or grains or candies. Basically, a Paleo diet will require you to give up on the modern-day foods. It is, however, impossible to mimic exactly what our ancestors ate in their times.
Whatever may be your diet and lifestyle, there are chances your body experiences inflammation. Inflammation in your gut is common and makes you feel uneasy in the stomach. It also leads to weight gain. If you are experiencing this in spite of your Paleo lifestyle, then it is time to add some gut-friendly foods to your diet.
Gut-Friendly Foods To Include When You’re On A Paleo Diet
One of the benefits of the Paleo diet is its ability to reduce inflammation. This can occur only if you add the right foods in your diet. Here’s a list of gut-friendly foods that will keep your inflammation under control.
1. Fermented Foods
Fermentation is a very old method of preserving food and a healthy addition to your diet. The presence of the microorganisms in fermented foods lines your intestine and gut with good bacteria that helps in the digestion of food. These foods also boost your metabolism. The bacteria breaks down the sugar and starch in food and converts them to lactic acid.
Some of the fermented foods to include in your diet are as follows:
2. Aromatic Herbs
Aromatic herbs are not only known for their aroma but also their antibacterial properties that help to maintain a healthy gut. Apart from improving digestion, these herbs can also fight bad breath and infection, reduce stress levels, detoxify the liver, and strengthen the immune system. Ginger, one of the widely used herbs, is known for its antibacterial properties and can be used for digestive disorders like nausea and indigestion.1
Some of the well-known aromatic herbs include the following:
3. Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotic foods or simply prebiotics promote the growth of the friendly bacteria in your gut. They also aid in easy digestion.2 Most of the prebiotic foods contain a soluble fiber called inulin that nourishes the gut bacteria.
Some examples of prebiotic foods are as follows:
- Burdock root
- Chicory root
4. Bone Broth
Bone broth is beneficial for the gut lining and fighting food sensitivities. It also helps in the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Another benefit of having bone broth in your diet is that it can be easily digested. Bone broth contains minerals that boost the immune system and the collagen present in it can protect your gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation.
Chicken, beef, and turkey bones are the most common bone broths that you can include in your diet for a healthy gut.
5. Slow-Cooked Meats
Slow cooking your meat may help in faster absorption of the nutrients and digestion. Slow cooking softens the muscles and also melts most of the connective tissues. This makes the meat easier to chew as well as digest.
Foods To Eat In Moderation
The following food groups should be eaten in moderation even though they are allowed on a Paleo diet.
- Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are allowed in the Paleo diet. However, they can also cause irritability in the gut lining and also aggravate inflammation in the body. It is recommended to soak and sprout nuts and seeds before consuming them and must be eaten in moderate quantities.
- Coffee: It is best to avoid caffeine and its products. Coffee is a stimulant and can increase your levels of stress. High stress levels are associated with gastrointestinal discomfort.3 You can replace your daily coffee with low caffeine beverages like herbal tea.
- Fruits: Fruits are good for health but too many fruits a day may do you harm than good. Foods contain fructose and too much can cause adverse effects to the body including the gastrointestinal system.4 If you have digestive disorders or are recovering from one, you should speak to your doctor before consuming any fruit. In addition, it is always better to have whole fruits instead of dried fruits.
|↑1||Malu, S. P., G. O. Obochi, E. N. Tawo, and B. E. Nyong. “Antibacterial activity and medicinal properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale).” Global Journal of pure and applied Sciences 15, no. 3 (2009): 365-368.|
|↑2||Macfarlane, G. T., H. Steed, and S. Macfarlane. “Bacterial metabolism and health‐related effects of galacto‐oligosaccharides and other prebiotics.” Journal of applied microbiology 104, no. 2 (2008): 305-344.|
|↑3||Lyte, Mark, Lucy Vulchanova, and David R. Brown. “Stress at the intestinal surface: catecholamines and mucosa–bacteria interactions.” Cell and tissue research 343, no. 1 (2011): 23-32.|
|↑4||Dekker, Mark J., Qiaozhu Su, Chris Baker, Angela C. Rutledge, and Khosrow Adeli. “Fructose: a highly lipogenic nutrient implicated in insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and the metabolic syndrome.” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism 299, no. 5 (2010): E685-E694.|