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Does the Paleo Diet help with Bloating?
Posted 3 years ago by Jo
The Paleo Diet is currently experiencing a surge in popularity, and I aim to explain and explore what the Paleo Diet is, and most importantly whether adopting the Paleo approach may help reduce bloating.
What is the Paleo Diet?
Sometimes referred to as the Caveman Diet, the Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet is a modern take on the traditional hunter-gatherer diet. It focuses on a diet rich in protein from meat, fish and seafood and carbohydrates in the form of vegetables. It also includes eggs, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
Foods that have no place in the Paleo Diet are predominantly grains (such as wheat, rye, barley), legumes (beans and pulses), all dairy products, refined sugar and certain processed oils. Healthy oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil, are considered acceptable.
The Paleo Diet may reduce bloating in some people due to eliminating problem foods
What are the benefits for bloating?
- Eliminates problem foods
The Paleo Diet omits certain food groups, the perhaps most significantly of which is the grains. It is widely accepted that grains, specifically gluten, can cause bloating and digestive problems in many people. Reducing or eliminating potential trigger foods (such as grains and dairy products) can have a positive effect on bloating in some people who have food intolerances. To find out more about food intolerances as a cause of bloating, click here.
- Promotes balance of good and bad gut bacteria
By its nature, the Paleo Diet eliminates refined sugary foods which can be hugely beneficial in reducing bloating. Sugar is known to provide a source of food for bad gut bacteria in those experiencing dysbiosis, or Candida sufferers, causing fermentation which can trigger bloating.
- Reduces inflammation
Cutting out inflammatory foods such as sugar, can help lower inflammation and support female hormone balance which may be helpful in reducing menstrual bloating.
- Boosts fibre intake
Eating a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit is a significant benefit of the Paleo Diet. This not only provides a significant proportion of vitamins and minerals, but also of dietary fibre which is essential to support a healthy functioning digestive system and reducing bloating and discomfort caused by constipation.
The Paleo Diet eliminates certain food groups
Helpful hints for 'going Paleo'
Following a specific diet, sometimes referred to as a ‘fad’ diet, can throw up certain challenges. If following a certain diet type, such as Paleo, which cuts out foods, it is important that you replace the nutrients those foods were providing. For example, if you remove whole wheat bread from your diet in accordance to the Paleo Diet, you may lose important dietary fibre which is required to keeps things moving, and for helping to flush waste and toxins from the body. Eating plenty of fresh vegetables can help to increase dietary intake of fibre. When eliminating dairy products on the Paleo Diet it is important to focus on boosting your calcium intake from fish such as sardines, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Each person is unique, and there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the right nutrition for us. If you feel you may benefit from a Paleo Diet it is worth experimenting. Try keeping a food diary and make a note of any symptoms (or a lack of) you experience. After two weeks it can be helpful to look back to help determine if ‘going Paleo’ is the right thing for you.
Paleo Salad Wrap
It is worth noting that some people who change to a Paleo Diet may experience increased bloating initially, possibly due to the increased protein intake which can be more difficult for the body to digest. It may be helpful to take a short term supplement of digestive enzymes or a good quality natural probiotic to help support digestion until your body adjusts. For some people, it may be a case of continuing with the diet and seeing how they feel, and quite possibly getting better - whereas for some people it might be a sign that actually the Paleo Diet isn't right for them.
If 'going Paleo' has helped with your bloating, please do let us know by posting your comments below.
Image sources: www.thedetoxdiva.com
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