Paleo diet is a type of diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, meat, and nuts while excluding processed food, dairy, and cereal products. This diet consists of nutrient-dense foods, presumed to be eaten by humans prior to modernization and agriculture.
Following the paleo diet can be difficult but that doesn’t mean you don’t have your indulgence foods.
As the paleo diet is known to improve one’s health. Here are 5 paleo indulgences you didn’t know are actually good for you.
1. Dark Chocolate
Although eating too much chocolate is linked to weight gain, it is important not to overlook the benefits it can have on your health. Surprisingly, eating dark chocolate can boost your metabolism and make you feel full for longer, thereby assisting weight loss. Dark chocolate with 60% or more cocoa content is good.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that can lower the lower the bad cholesterol in the body and improve the blood flow throughout the body.1 These antioxidants or flavonoids can also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, dark chocolate can also improve your mood, and also reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.2 Although chocolate is not considered paleo by many people, dark chocolate can be a part of it.
While most of the dairy products are not a part of the paleo diet, butter is different as it comes from a natural source and contains saturated fat. Despite this, many people following the paleo diet don’t consume butter.
The saturated fats can increase the good cholesterol and might also reduce the risk of heart attack.3 Like cheese, butter also contains conjugated linoleic acid that has anti-cancer properties and can also burn fat.4 Opt for grass-fed butter to benefit from the vitamin K2 that it contains.
3. Red Wine
Red wine is considered paleo-friendly and when consumed in moderation can help manage diabetes, boost heart health, and reduce bad cholesterol. Red wine contains antioxidants that can also fight free radicals, which cause cancer and cardiovascular diseases.5
A cup of coffee in the morning can get you going. In addition to elevating your mood and fighting depression, drinking coffee can also improve your memory and cognitive function as it contains caffeine.8
Studies suggest that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart failure.9 10 Coffee can also boost your metabolism, increase fat burning in the body, and protect you from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.11
Irrespective of the diet you follow, it is always important to consume the food or beverage in moderation, as consuming anything in excess may reverse the health benefits and harm your body.
|↑1||Dark Chocolate and Blood Flow. University of Delaware, College of Health Sciences.|
|↑2||Al Sunni, Ahmed, and Rabia Latif. “Effects of chocolate intake on perceived stress; a controlled clinical study.” International journal of health sciences 8, no. 4 (2014): 393.|
|↑3||Dreon, Darlene M., Harriett A. Fernstrom, Hannia Campos, Patricia Blanche, Paul T. Williams, and Ronald M. Krauss. “Change in dietary saturated fat intake is correlated with change in mass of large low-density-lipoprotein particles in men.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 67, no. 5 (1998): 828-836.|
|↑4||Amarù, Danielle L., and Catherine J. Field. “Conjugated linoleic acid decreases mcf-7 human breast cancer cell growth and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor levels.” Lipids 44, no. 5 (2009): 449.|
|↑5||Lobo, Vijaya, Avinash Patil, A. Phatak, and Naresh Chandra. “Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health.” Pharmacognosy reviews 4, no. 8 (2010): 118.|
|↑6||Markus, M. Andrea, and Brian J. Morris. “Resveratrol in prevention and treatment of common clinical conditions of aging.” Clinical interventions in aging 3, no. 2 (2008): 331.|
|↑7||de Ligt, Marlies, Silvie Timmers, and Patrick Schrauwen. “Resveratrol and obesity: can resveratrol relieve metabolic disturbances?.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease 1852, no. 6 (2015): 1137-1144.|
|↑8||Marriott, Bernadette M. “Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans.” (1994).|
|↑9||Van Dam, Rob M., and Edith JM Feskens. “Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” The Lancet 360, no. 9344 (2002): 1477-1478.|
|↑10||Mostofsky, Elizabeth, Megan S. Rice, Emily B. Levitan, and Murray A. Mittleman. “Habitual coffee consumption and risk of heart failure.” Circulation: Heart Failure 5, no. 4 (2012): 401-405.|
|↑11||Acheson, Kevin J., Gérard Gremaud, Isabelle Meirim, Franck Montigon, Yves Krebs, Laurent B. Fay, Louis-Jean Gay, Philippe Schneiter, Charles Schindler, and Luc Tappy. “Metabolic effects of caffeine in humans: lipid oxidation or futile cycling?.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 79, no. 1 (2004): 40-46.|