Chances are, if you’re one of the thousands of Paleo dieters in the U.S., you’ve fielded the following questions:
What is so great about the Paleo Diet? Does it actually work?
For what seems like the hundredth (or thousandth) time, you replied that you do, indeed, feel better, have more energy, are losing weight. Judging by their incredulous expression, you know that you probably didn’t convince them.
Yet, despite some media negativity (critics love to find fault with what’s popular,) there’s science behind your answers. The paleo diet has been shown in scientific studies to lower blood pressure, decrease liver fat, and encourage weight loss.
You may be thinking that the boost in mood probably comes from the psychological effects of weight loss, but studies are showing more subtlety than this.
For instance, one of the most significant ways that the diet can improve overall mental wellbeing is biologically, through a reduction in inflammation of the brain. Surprisingly, such swelling of brain tissue can cause an array of mental disorders, from reduced ability to feel pleasure (a disorder called anhedonia) to all-out depression.
Luckily the anti-inflammatory agents found on the menu of the Paleo Diet have been shown to reduce the risk of inflammation-related mental illnesses.
The healthy fat content of the diet provides another way to regulate mood and reduce the risk of mental illness. An article in Paleo Leapreviews the scientific literature thoroughly, concluding that fat has a prominent and necessary role in overall wellbeing and cognitive function. A deficiency in natural fats, on the other hand, can be damaging to our mental stamina and mood.
So the next time you get the standard questions about the legitimacy of your lifestyle, bring in the mental health experts. They’ll agree that the Paleo Diet is the way to a healthy and happy life.