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Healthy From the Inside Out: The Paleo Diet and Internal Organs | The Paleo Diet

It’s no surprise that by eating balanced meals of natural proteins, local veggies and high quality fats, we’ll reach a healthy, lean body weight and feel great, too. But did you know that eating properly can also keep us on track from our inner most selves, too?

We tend to focus a lot on autoimmune conditions which have, unfortunately, become very common these days, right up there with obesity. But we may overlook some other equally important health concerns that are also impacted significantly by what we put in our bodies. That’s right, I’m referring to our organs!

Gall Bladder

The gall bladder holds bile produced in the liver until it is needed for digesting fatty foods in the duodenum of the small intestine.  When the gall bladder becomes diseased, painful gallstones can develop and it can become infected with bacteria causing even more pain and inflammation. Why not be proactive and prevent this disastrous event from happening in the first place?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease illustrate the factors that affect a person’s risk of gallstones include diet.1 “Research suggests diets high in calories and refined carbohydrates and low in fiber increase the risk of gallstones. Refined carbohydrates are grains processed to remove bran and germ, which contain nutrients and fiber, such as white bread and white rice.”

Liver

We’re all somewhat familiar with what the liver does; it serves to produce bile which helps to remove waste, break down fat in the small intestine, and helps to produce proteins for blood plasma.

In addition to avoiding some obvious culprits, such as excessive alcohol consumption, if we eat properly, we can ensure a lifetime of healthy hepatic function.

In fact, Huffington Post’s Top 10 Foods for a Healthy Liver all happen to be Paleo:2

  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Beets
  • Leafy Greens
  • Green Tea
  • Avocados
  • Cruciferous Veggies
  • Lemons
  • Turmeric
  • Walnuts

Pancreas

Many of us have become aware of what the pancreas does as we learn more about type II diabetes which is seemingly affecting every other person we meet. The endocrine function of this organ is to regulate two important hormones, insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar and glucagon, which raises it.

The Center for Disease Control stated last year that “More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, up from the previous estimate of 26 million in 2010, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it. Another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have pre-diabetes, where their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type II diabetes.  Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 percent to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.”3

By adhering to the naturally low in sugar, high quality foods inherent in a true Paleo regime, the chance of developing pancreas disease and type II diabetes compared to the Standard American Diet (SAD) is lowered as we’re not taxing our bodies with the constant job of trying to lower high blood sugar levels resulting from a reliance of processed carbohydrates.

Once again, another example of the quote from the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

The simplicity of a diet based on eating real, fresh foods and avoiding manufactured “food by-products” is the most straightforward path to optimal health we can take!

REFERENCES

[1] “Gallstones.” Gallstones. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

[2] “10 Foods For A Healthy Liver.” The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

[3] “Diabetes Latest.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 June 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

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