Yes, vegetables are Paleo!
Reasons to Eat Vegetables
Vegetables are very important part in healthy eating regardless of what type of diet you follow. There are lots of benefits that you can get from eating vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, brussells sprouts, onions and even fermented ones.
- Vegetables are rich in nutrients including potassium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, Vitamins A, E and C. These nutrients are essential for health and maintenance of the body. Magnesium and potassium help in balancing the body’s cortisol, a stress hormone, by relaxing the blood vessels keeping the blood pressure low.
- Most vegetables have phytonutrients (plant-based antioxidant compounds) which have proven in some studies to reduce the risk of inflammation, stroke, diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer.
- Eating vegetables help in boosting ones immune system. Majority of the immune receptors are in the stomach and they will need a healthy environment by consuming more vegetables to work properly.
- Carotenoid, an antioxidant which is commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach is responsible for making the skin glow.
- Vegetables can help reduce bloating. Bloating and gas are normally associated with the kind of food you eat. Foods like dairy, grains, sweeteners, legumes and sweeteners cause bloating.
Vegetables to Avoid in the Paleo Diet
Paleo diet is about staying healthy by eating the right kind of food. Almost all vegetables can be eaten in the Paleo diet with the exception of legumes and beans as they are technically grains. They were not eaten by the Paleolithic ancestors and they have to be cooked to become edible.
The types of legumes and beans to be avoided are lentils and all beans including, soy beans, kidney beans, string beans, snow peas, peanuts, cashews and chickpeas. Legumes are similar to grains because they contain phytates which inhibit nutrient absorption and promote inflammatory responses. They also have lectins which can interrupt healthy hormonal functions.
Vegetables that are high in starch like squash and potatoes are Paleo approved but not recommended as they contain more carbohydrates compared to other vegetables. Carbohydrates when broken down become simple glucose. This means sugar in the body. (Again sugar is not Paleo!) Also, potatoes contain toxins when raw.
What experts say about Vegetables? Is it Paleo?
“Eat your fruits and vegetables! There is no doubt that a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables offers a whole host of health benefits including protection from heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, eye diseases and gastrointestinal troubles.” – Dr. Loren Cordain
“We can summarize by saying eat vegetables and fruits, for that matter, regularly. They have a lot of beneficial nutrients in them that are difficult to find in other foods”. – Chris Kresser
“Plants complement meat. They make meat taste better, make it healthier by preventing the formation of carcinogens during cooking when you incorporate them into marinades, and reduce the impact of those harmful compounds when you consume them alongside”. – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Vegetables and Paleo
Ultimate Paleo Guide. Paleo Diet Food List
Paleo Leap. Vegetables are not the Holy Grail.
The Paleo Diet. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Chris Kresser. RHR: Vegetables—How Many to Eat and What Kinds
Mark’s Daily Apple. How to Eat More Vegetables
Mark’s Daily Apple Do You Really Need to Eat Vegetables to Be Healthy?
10 “Vegetables” You Shouldn’t Be Eating
Eat Drink Paleo. Paleo Diet Food List
For Dummies. Paleo Diet Foods to Eat: Proteins, Vegetables, Fruits, Fats
Did we miss anything?
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photo credit: Summer is for Farmer’s Markets