Back to our Roots: How to Supplement on a Paleo Diet
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors battled the elements every day for survival. Their next meal was not guaranteed, and food was a scarcity found straight from nature. It’s only over the past 100 years that modern science and technology have allowed us to mass produce and preserve food on a much larger scale than ever before, and we no longer have to fight for survival. However, many studies argue that our bodies were never built to withstand the onslaught of processed food. Perhaps we were meant to go back to our roots and eat straight from the root?
Like most diets, paleo demands the elimination of important food groups, so here are some great supplements to take while pursuing paleo:
1. Omega-3: EFAs are vital in regular cellular function. However, the modern diet has turned what should be a 6:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids into a 20:1 ratio. This imbalance causes inflammation, leading to heart disease and diabetes. Keep the balance up with fish oil either in capsules or in liquid form. Look for high-quality supplements that do not compromise on concentration.
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule a day or 1-2 teaspoons of oil with a meal. You could also eat natural sources like salmon or mackerel.
2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 is essential for immunity and physiological function of the body. Though ⅓ of America’s population is deficient in vitamin D, this nutrient is valuable nonetheless. Taking a D3 supplement can fill the gaps paleo does not.
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule a day with a meal. Natural sources include organs, meats, egg yolks, and milk.
3. Probiotics: Consuming foods like high-fiber fruits and vegetables can cause strain on the stomach. Probiotics increase the number of good bacteria in the gut, promoting healthy digestion and preventing digestive tract infections. They also decrease inflammation and create a stable environment for nutrients like vitamin B complex and minerals.
Suggested Use: Make sure to include 10 million CFUs (colony forming units) per day, and increase the dose every 2-3 weeks until it reaches 50 million CFUs. Probiotics are available in pill form.
4. Magnesium: Magnesium is seldom found in the foods we eat today. The mineral helps with blood-clotting, new cell formation, and even proper sleep, along with several other salient body functions. Magnesium can be taken to increase your appetite and help fill a vital space in your paleo diet.
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule a day with a meal. It is available in pill form.
5. Iodine: Many who take up the paleo diet run the risk of an iodine deficiency. This is due to the lack of consumption of fortified processed foods containing nutrients like magnesium or iodine. Practitioners may benefit from taking an oral iodine supplement to help make up for the lack of fortified salt and food items.
Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule a day with a meal. In tincture form, take about 3 drops in water.
Paleo sounds like a fairly extreme shift, but does it produce results? Though there is research to show paleo’s positive effects, most do not compare paleo to other diet plans, eliminating the idea that paleo is superior to all other diets. It is also worthy to note that most of these studies do not monitor the long-term effects of maintaining such a diet. However, it does improve other aspects of health like heart health, reducing lifestyle disease risk, and dropping belly fat. In other words, it’s definitely worth a shot, but not without proper supplementation. HerbsDaily offers a wide range of supplements which can aid in your paleo journey.