Why did you decide to commit to Paleo Reboot?
Perhaps you wanted to lose weight. Or maybe you were hoping to deal with a medical condition that has a strong connection to your diet, like diabetes or depression. Plenty of people have used Paleo Reboot to help cure a particular ailment—or even put a disease in remission.
Take a look at some of the worst offenders that can cause inflammation in your body.Eating cultivated and processed foods often leads to inflammation in the body, and inflammation is the root cause of many modern diseases. Paleo Reboot eliminates many inflammation-causing ingredients, including grains, legumes and beans, sugar, processed vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates, and dairy. Eating these foods can irritate your gut, which causes the overgrowth of natural bacteria that we call inflammation.
Inflammatory Foods That Cause Disease
Gluten allergies and gluten sensitivity are on the rise, and with this comes an interest in taking a closer look at grains and how they are grown. All varieties of grain, from wheat and rye, to barley and corn, contain a protein called lectin, a defense mechanism produced in plants. It’s found naturally in certain plants, while in others it’s genetically modified to increase their resistance to microorganisms, pests, and insects. The best-known lectin found in grains is gluten.
Since we are unable to digest lectins, or gluten, it travels through our intestines intact. Our built-in antibodies have usually allowed us to eat gluten with at most a minor disturbance (for instance, the way beans cause gas), but our digestive tracts are increasingly mounting an inflammatory response—in other words, antibodies created to fight gluten will also attack normal cells. The result is fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, and even muscular or joint pain.
☞ BEANS AND LEGUMES
Many people have a difficult time digesting beans and legumes because they contain saponins, protease inhibitors, and lectins. These chemical compounds, molecules, and proteins contribute to leaky gut (gut dysbiosis), one of the risk factors for developing autoimmune diseases and chronic intestinal disorders.
☞ SWEETENERS, SUGAR ALCOHOLS, AND SUGARS
Sugar has long been considered an empty calorie food, but worse than that, it is a proven contributor to most major chronic diseases. Our body breaks down sugar into two components: glucose and fructose. Excess glucose can be damaging, but the real threat is fructose, because it is metabolized mostly by the liver. Excessive fructose can lead to an overworked liver, which can become fatty. This creates a metabolic storm in the body, leading to health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, obesity, and cancer. Sugar, sweeteners, and sugar alcohol also irritate the gut and cause unhealthy stress in the body. Since bacteria and yeast love to eat sugar, an excess of sugar can stimulate these to overproduce, leading to a leaky gut, a condition that elevates the risk for autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.
☞ PROCESSED VEGETABLE OILS
Many marketing campaigns label these oils as heart healthy, but this is far from the truth. Extracting these oils uses chemicals that leave behind a residue—reason enough to avoid them in your food. Vegetable oils are also high in omega-6 fatty acid and polyunsaturated fats, so they oxidize easily, producing free radicals in the body. Free radicals increase inflammation in the body, contributing to autoimmune disease, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
☞ REFINED WHITE CARBOHYDRATES
If you examine the shelves in a grocery store, you will find an overwhelming number of products using enriched wheat flour. The quantity of products on these shelves seems endless, ranging from cakes, cookies, and white pasta, to crackers, bread, and cereals. Your body digests refined carbohydrates very swiftly as simple sugars, creating huge spikes in blood sugar and debilitating crashes in energy and mood. Unfortunately, there is little nutritional content in these refined carbohydrates, providing an excess of calories without gains. Refined white carbohydrates increase the risk of heart disease and contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune diseases, and type 2 diabetes.
☞ WHOLE DAIRY
Dairy products seem wholesome and harmless, but in fact they are packed with saturated fats and lactose (a sugar that many people cannot tolerate). Milk also contains bovine growth hormone (BGH), a lab-synthesized hormone designed to increase milk production. This hormone has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, dairy is pro-inflammatory and can increase mucus production, which can impede nutrient absorption in the gut.
Once you’ve become aware of the effects of non-Paleo foods on the body, you will probably find it easier to resist them during mealtimes and as snacks. On the one hand, excluding these foods from your diet can reduce the risk of many serious health conditions. On the other hand, if you already struggle with some of these medical issues, you will begin to see many positive changes. The following conditions are only a few examples that can be improved by switching to Paleo.
Common Medical Conditions that Paleo Helps Cure
Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, creating swelling, pain, and stiffness. For some people, anti-inflammatory diets can help relieve or lessen this pain. Gluten and dairy intolerance are linked to joint pain as are the excess omega-6 fatty acids found in processed vegetable oils.
Paleo Reboot addresses inflammation in the body with its list of “foods to avoid,” but many of the approved Paleo foods are also anti-inflammatory, providing double the impact. For example, fish and nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can relieve the severity of joint stiffness and
pain. Paleo-recommended grass-fed meats are higher in these essential fats than factory-raised animals. So to combat your arthritis, eat plenty of salmon, mackerel, walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, sardines, grass-fed beef, and shrimp.
☞ GUT ISSUES
As already stated, many problems regarding your health can be caused by issues in your gut. Since Paleo Reboot addresses leaky gut and bacteria overgrowth by eliminating many trigger foods, it’s logical that gut issues would recover, as well. Consider the fact that every item of food you eat causes a reaction in your digestive tract, and that the health of this system is crucial to your general well-being—after all, unless your food is properly digested, you won’t receive the nutrients you need. A leaky gut can also allow foreign bodies to enter your body, creating inflammation and other issues. Your gut is home to more than 100 trillion microorganisms responsible for about 75 percent of your immune system and metabolism. To ensure effective gastrointestinal function, keeping these microorganisms in balance is crucial. If you suffer from digestive problems, eliminating the recommended foods—especially grains containing gluten— can be an important strategy. Be sure to eat plenty of probiotic fermented foods, such as sauerkraut or kimchi, which can help boost your good bacteria and balance the digestive flora. If you still experience digestive issues, cut out FODMAPs, eggs, coffee, seeds, and nuts, modifying the Paleo Reboot plan to an autoimmune protocol diet.
☞ THYROID CONDITIONS
Tucked away at the front of the neck, the thyroid gland normally doesn’t attract much attention, yet it plays a crucial role within the endocrine system. This system regulates your hormones, and the thyroid helps determine your body’s level of sensitivity to them. The thyroid is essential for proper metabolism, cardiovascular health, reproduction, and growth. When your thyroid is not working correctly, it can affect the health of your entire body, producing symptoms such as:
- Sleep issues
- Thinning hair
- Weight gain
- Increased or irregular heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
- rhea or constipation
- Altered menstrual cycle
Two common conditions of the thyroid are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). Paleo Reboot addresses issues in your diet that can affect these and other thyroid conditions. A diet high in simple carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, which throws off the balance of insulin within the body. This can create a domino effect since the thyroid needs balanced insulin to function effectively. Paleo Reboot eliminates most of the problem foods that affect blood sugar, allowing the thyroid to operate in an ideal environment.
Gluten is a key contributor to thyroid problems because it can cause inflammation in a leaky gut. Inflammation can cause low levels of thyroid hormones in the system, which in turn creates difficulties in healing the gut. People with low thyroid function often experience sensitivities to at least some of the foods on the Paleo Reboot elimination list. By embracing Paleo Reboot, therefore, and cutting such foods out of their diet, they can manage their thyroid symptoms long-term with fewer symptoms.
☞ BRAIN DISEASES
You might not consider diet as affecting your brain, but what you eat (or don’t eat) can have a profound effect both on this particular organ and your nervous system as a whole. Brain diseases and conditions that can be improved with a Paleo Reboot diet include:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity
You won’t be surprised to learn that gluten plays a role in brain issues. Gluten-containing products create spikes in blood sugar and inflammation, which can affect and even damage the brain—think about how abruptly you become irritable when your blood sugar crashes. There are about 100 million neurons in your gut constantly communicating with your brain, so eating can severely influence your mood, If your gut isn’t working effectively due to a leaky gut or overgrowth of bacteria, imagine the impact on your mental health. The Paleo Reboot diet reduces or eliminates inflammation-causing foods and supports healthy gut flora, which promotes brain health, while reducing the severity of brain diseases and conditions. The Paleo Reboot plan also provides an abundance of micronutrients that promotes healthy digestion and effective brain function, while increasing omega-3 fatty acids and the healthy cholesterol required for connections between brain cells. Try to include fish, dark leafy greens, lean red meat, avocado, berries, and pomegranates to support brain health as well.
☞ BLOOD SUGAR DISEASES
The most well-known and prevalent blood sugar disease is diabetes. Also called diabetes mellitus, diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood glucose (blood sugar) occurring either because the body does not produce enough insulin (type 1) or because the body does not respond properly to insulin (type 2). When you eat, the carbohydrates and starches in your food are broken down by the body into glucose, the fuel used by your cells. Glucose is then ushered into your cells by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. The condition of diabetes means that there is too much glucose present in your blood. If this excess glucose remains in the bloodstream, or there are chronic spikes of glucose due to ineffective or limited insulin, serious health issues can occur, including high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, nerve damage, and even death.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease not caused by diet. However, this disease can be seriously affected by diet choices, such as by consumption of gluten-containing grains and of sugar, as well as by early exposure to cow’s milk.
Type 2 diabetes has long been considered an adult disease, although recent trends point to an increase in frequency among teenagers and children.
The exact cause of type 2 diabetes is not known, but diet and lifestyle choices are significant risk factors, including obesity and a sedimentary lifestyle. The good news is that you can manage diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and limiting your intake of saturated fat.
The Paleo Reboot diet is based on protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates that do not cause wildly fluctuating blood sugar or trigger a damaging autoimmune response in the body. Also key in balancing blood sugar, the diet eliminates trigger foods that cause inflammation. Preventing or reversing obesity along with other elements of the Paleo plan such as exercise, sleep, and managing stress all contribute to managing these blood sugar diseases.
☞ AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system, which normally protects the body, turns around and attacks the body instead of tackling viruses, bacteria, or other foreign invaders. The type of autoimmune disease you have depends on the inflicted area of the body, meaning that autoimmune diseases can affect the entire body, organs, or specific tissue. The cause of autoimmune diseases has not yet been determined by the medical community, but genetics and environmental triggers are thought to be significant. You might have a genetic predisposition to an autoimmune disease, but without environmental factors such as infections, hormones, viruses, smoking, stress, pollutants, and food, you may not develop a disease. Some common autoimmune diseases are:
- Celiac disease (damages the lining of the small intestine)
- Graves’ disease (attacks the thyroid)
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (causes thyroid hormone deficiency)
- Multiple sclerosis (attacks the protective coating around the nerves)
- Pernicious anemia (the body fails to make enough healthy red blood cells)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (attacks the lining of the joints throughout the body)
- Systematic lupus erythematosus (damage the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, and other parts of the body)
- Type 1 diabetes (attacks the cells that make insulin)
Obviously, some environmental triggers are beyond your control, while others like diet, stress levels, and lifestyle choices are within your influence. One of the only effective treatments for autoimmune diseases is the Paleo diet. A strict Paleo diet can eliminate foods that create inflammation in the body and is a perfect starting point for most people with autoimmune diseases. On the Paleo Reboot plan, your immune system has a chance for a break from the damaging autoimmune response. Paleo Reboot foods are anti-inflammatory and help control small intestinal bacteria growth (SIBO) that contributes to leaky gut and severe symptoms. If you still experience flare-ups while following the Paleo Reboot plan, you can increase your restrictions and follow an autoimmune Paleo diet, an elimination diet designed to pinpoint problem foods and heal your gut. Once your flare-ups have subsided, you can start reintroducing foods to determine if they cause a reaction. Once you have completed the full elimination diet, the Paleo Reboot plan is an excellent choice for maintaining your good health and managing your individual autoimmune disease.