Interested in going paleo? You’re not alone in that venture. More and more people are becoming interested in the paleo philosophy, which is based around a clear focus on getting rid of processed foods and unnecessary amounts of gluten and sugar and replacing them with fish, raw nuts, and healthy fats.
If you’re thinking about trying out a paleo diet, then you’re going to need to make sure that you have stocked up your kitchen with all of the necessary foods needed to make your newfound paleo lifestyle a success story!
When it comes to this diet, the paleo way of life is very much built upon the idea of not eating less, but eating better. So, to help you along the way, we’re going to be talking you through eight paleo essentials that are nutritious, healthy, and simply need to have a spot in your kitchen. Shopping list and pens at the ready – let’s jump in!
Paleo Food Staple #1: Fruit
No shock here, but one of the most important staples of any paleo diet is a healthy serving of fruit each and every day. Instead of opting for sugary chocolate and sickly-sweet ice cream after a long day spent at the office, the paleo diet instead recommends that you reach for nature’s candy – aka, fruit.
According to the paleo philosophy, the benefits of incorporating more fruit into your diet are tenfold. Besides being a healthier alternative to processed foods, the sugar within the fruit is much easier digested by the body than other types of sugar and does not cause the same havoc in the body that white, granulated sugar has the tendency to do. In addition to being kinder to our bodies, fruit is also enriched with vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to fortify the body with goodness, all while contributing to healthy overall functioning.
Speaking of antioxidants, fruit also goes some way into providing a dual-action to our bodies. Besides being great for gut health, immune systems, and energy levels, fruit also helps to fight something known as free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can exhilarate signs of aging. So, incorporating fruits high in antioxidants (like blueberries) will help to keep your complexion radiant and youthful. Does it get any better than that?
Top tip: If possible, incorporate two servings of fruit into your daily routine, making sure that you eat a wide range of fruits to make sure that your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs.
Paleo Food Staple #2: Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are like two peas in a pod, so it should come as no surprise to hear that it’s our next paleo food staple. Though we’re sure you already eat vegetables, when it comes to a paleo diet, the trick is to buy fresh vegetables (preferably from local, seasonal sources) that are full to the brim with nutrients and fiber.
Your vegetables will be the main source of your carbohydrate intake, so it’s very important to make sure that you are filling a big portion of your daily diet with fiber-rich veggies.
Top tip: Try to avoid vegetables that are very high in sugar and starch, and instead opt for hydrating and cruciferous vegetables such as celery, radish, kale, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, and Brussel sprouts!
Paleo Food Staple #3: Fermented Foods
Alongside your yummy fruits and vegetables, another food staple that you’ll need to incorporate into your paleo lifestyle is small amounts of fermented foods. Though the name might sound a little off-putting, fermented foods are super high in probiotics, which are the healthy bacteria that help to contribute to good gut health and digestion.
Probiotics have also been shown to help improve mood, and are able to strengthen our immune systems by fighting off any and all bad bacteria, while also helping to increase the number of nutrients our bodies are able to absorb.
Top tip: Natural yogurt, pickled vegetables, and kimchi are great options to start off with, particularly for those who do not like the sound of eating fermented foods.
Paleo Food Staple #4: Healthy Oils and Fats
Making sure that you’re getting enough oils and fats are essential to your paleo diet. Besides contributing to the healthy balance and regulation of hormones, oils and fats are also needed to make sure that your nervous system and brain are able to function correctly. In addition to this, they also help to keep skin soft, lower inflammation, and contribute to a youthful and radiant complexion.
Top tip: Only consume healthy oils and fats such as coconut, olive, and grapeseed oils. You could also opt for bacon fat, avocado meat, and organic butter if you’d like something a little more filling or satisfying.
Paleo Food Staple #5: Fish
Next up? You’re going to need to make sure that you’re getting enough fatty acids, and this is where fish comes into the mix. Besides being enriched with fats such as omega-3 fatty acids that are able to improve mental agility and balance cholesterol levels, these fats are vital to supporting the overall functioning of your skin, eye, and bone health.
Top tip: For the best results, make sure that you are sticking to fish that have low levels of mercury, as high levels of mercury have been linked to brain, kidney, and nervous system damage.
Paleo Food Staple #6: Meat
Alongside fish, meat is essential for a successful and healthy paleo diet. Meats such as chicken, turkey, beef, and more are all excellent sources of protein and are enriched with vital fat-soluble vitamins, nutrients, and fats that will support your immune system, brain functioning, and muscle mass.
However, you should make sure that you are only ever consuming meat that has been raised without hormones, and have not been given any genetically modified food.
Top tip; Alongside meat, you should also incorporate eggs into your diet, which are a great source of lean protein.
Paleo Food Staple #7: Raw Nuts and Seeds
Just because you’re embarking on the journey of a paleo lifestyle doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to get hungry and snack! For those times when you need a little extra food, raw nuts and seeds are excellent foods to reach for that are filling, nutritious, and have been shown to balance blood sugar and even lower cholesterol.
Top tip: Opt for raw nuts and seeds, rather than ones that have been sugared or roasted.