What To Look For In a Paleo Recipe
It’s true. The paleo diet did become a fad in the last few years, with the growing popularity from the CrossFit community and members of online fitness forums – it was only a matter of time. People now share paleo recipes over communities like Reddit, daily!
There’s been many studies published in the past 5 years that delve into the science of why paleo recipes can benefit you, so we won’t do that here. What we’d like to offer you is a little more clarification into what specific ingredients you should include and why.
If you’re new to the paleo scene, you may want to check out this quick summary of foods to avoid:
- Cereal grains
- Refined sugar
- Processed food
- Refined oils and fats
- Candy and other junk food
Now, here’s a list of the most popular foods within the paleo community:
- Grass-fed animal products
- Meats like beef and lamb
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit
- Healthy fats and oils
- Olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia and flaxseed
Fresh vegetables refers to mainly leafy greens, bell peppers and other non-starchy root vegetables.
You may want to note that some paleo recipes may stray from these rules for vegetable as there are certain nutrients found in “restricted” vegetables that your body functions better with.
Discover the Best Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Favorite Paleo Recipes
Adapting a paleo diet and switching to all-natural, protein-rich foods may be difficult for some. Whether your motivation is leading a healthier lifestyle, cutting sugar from your diet, or you want to try something new, altering your lifestyle and finding paleo recipes that work for you is an achievable goal – you just have to educate yourself on what a paleo diet is and what foods you should be avoiding. Consuming only healthy fats, cutting out dairy and grains, and eliminating sugar and processed foods can seem like a drastic change, but when you think of it simply, the essence of the paleo diet is about consuming natural and nutrient-rich food that fuels your body and promotes overall health.
No matter what your reason may be, starting your paleo journey will help you achieve 5 major health benefits. These include:
- Increased energy;
- Decreased craving for junk food;
- Healthier skin and hair;
- Reduce the risk of diseases; and,
- Weight loss.
Discover paleo recipes either online or in cookbooks so you can stock your kitchen with healthy ingredients. Perusing your local markets and organic food supply stores can inspire you to welcome the paleo diet. Here are 4 paleo-approved, nutrient-rich foods that should be a staple in your home.
Liver is often avoided, but it is probably one of healthiest cuts of meat you can buy. Here’s why you should consider using liver as the main protein in some of your paleo recipes.
- Liver is incredibly concentrated with B vitamins, most importantly B12 which is essential for optimal functioning of the nervous system;
- It is an excellent source of dietary iron which is essential– especially for those who are anemic;
- It has the best source of vitamin A than any other food; and,
- Liver contains essential fatty acids your body needs to be healthy.
Liver may not be the most appealing protein for some, but because of its many health benefits, you should consider introducing it to your diet especially if you plan on becoming paleo. If you’re having a difficult time getting used to liver, try to incorporate small portions of this protein into your paleo recipes to familiarize yourself with the flavor and texture. Combining liver in your minced meats or cooking with fragrant herbs will easily mask the flavor making it more appealing.
This type of fish is not only delicious, but it is also extremely beneficial to your health because of its high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids. It is crucial that you regularly consume this type of fatty acid because it plays an important role in your body’s ability to:
- Reduce inflammation;
- Lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; and,
- Prevent heart disease.
It’s important to find wild salmon that looks fresh and is virtually odorless. The flesh should have a vivid pink color and should not feel dry or slimy. If you are purchasing an entire fish, make sure the skin still has a slight sheen to it and that the eyes are not cloudy. Alternatively, sardines and anchovies are also an excellent option for those on a paleo diet.
This superfood is full of incredible flavor and nutrients. The fragrant characteristics of garlic will boost the flavor of your paleo recipes while it’s fighting properties will arm your body with a natural defense system. Some of the health benefits of garlic include:
- Combating the cold and flu and reducing the duration of these illnesses;
- Reduced blood pressure;
- Anti-clotting properties;
- Cancer prevention; and,
- Lower cholesterol.
Allicin is the primary health-component in garlic. This compound can only be absorbed by the body if you consume your garlic raw. Try adding raw garlic to paleo recipes that include salads and dressings so you can ensure you get the most out of this powerful vegetable.
Eat Your Veggies
You’ve heard this time and time again since you were a child, but it still rings true today. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, they promote body function and overall health, and they taste good! When you look at your plate, you should see a myriad of colors from a variety of vegetables. Nature has a way of showing us what foods are good for our bodies, and generally, the more vibrant and luscious the color, the better it is for us. When cooking your favorite paleo recipes, try to incorporate these excellent veggies for maximum health benefits!
- Pepper (all varieties)
- Green onions
Discovering paleo recipes using natural, nutrient-rich ingredients shouldn’t be a daunting or stressful task. Learn everything you can about the diet, embrace the change, and discover foods that help your mind and body feel healthier.