Many chiropractors stress the importance of overall wellness in addition to the importance of maintaining musculoskeletal health. Wellness counseling can include advice on nutrition, employing strategies such as detoxification, exercise, weight loss, and diet.
A diet gaining popularity in many wellness circles is called the Paleo Diet because it is based on a premise of whole foods. Specifically, the diet helps individuals minimize or completely eliminate processed foods and refined sugars by using a hunter-gather approach to eating.
The Paleo diet was developed by anthropologist Loren Cordain of Colorado State University, and is modeled after the eating habits of the cavemen who lived and thrived during the Paleolithic era. A primitive time when there was no agriculture, these early hunter-gatherers survived by eating whatever game they could hunt and whatever edible plants they came across in their constant search for food.
Proponents of the diet claim ancient humans had healthier bodies and fewer chronic diseases than are seen today because of the way they ate. While that premise is very much open to debate—most cavemen never lived long enough to develop any chronic condition—the idea that cutting out processed foods can improve health is not new.
The Paleo Diet is considered a good option for people suffering from Celiac Disease (CD). In addition to being low in foods that trigger CD symptoms, the Paleo diet also encourages individuals to consume high-nutrient foods, important to anyone on a restricted diet. Also, the Paleo diet can help patients lose weight, which can help prevent achy joints and back pain.
Chiropractors using the Paleo diet as part of a wellness program say that it helps reduce inflammation, boosts immunity, and naturally fights the aging process. As such, the Paleo diet is touted as the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle approach.
The diet calls for lean proteins; fresh fruits and vegetables; nuts and seeds; and healthful oils. It eliminates grains, legumes, sugar, additives, and dairy products. Coconut-based products, such as coconut oil, fresh coconut, desiccated coconut, coconut flour, coconut butter, coconut cream, and coconut meat are common staples for Paleo eaters.
Some experts suggest the Paleo diet can also be a natural treatment for gout, a painful, often chronic condition characterized by severe pain, tenderness, redness, stiffness and swelling in joints. It commonly manifests in the big toe’s large joint but may also occur in ankles, knees, fingers, and wrists. Gout is considered a form of arthritis so foods that reduce inflammation can help alleviate the condition.
As always, consult your practitioner first before starting a new diet.