It’s no secret that we love the Paleo diet here at Caveman Foods; we believe it’s the most balanced way to achieve longevity, good health, and eat delicious whole foods while we do it. But how exactly can we use the Paleo diet to boost our immunity?
First of all, let’s get a quick refresher on how our immune system works. Your immune system is made up of several different cells that are responsible for defending your body from invaders like bacteria and viruses. Your immune cells, known formally as phagocytes and lymphocytes, are chiefly responsible for disposing of unrecognized biological material and creating antibodies to ensure that they can be neutralized the next time they are seen in the body, respectively. The way that your immune cells recognize whether or not something is foreign is by the protein coating on the outside of the cell in question - “invader” cells won’t be recognized by the immune cells and they will dispose of the invading cell in question.
So how does Paleo dieting play a role in immunity? Well, let’s look at one of the big reasons why people switch to a Paleo diet in the first place: inflammation. Many people switch to Paleo to reduce inflammation, and for good reason too - Because the Paleo diet is very low on processed foods and ingredients like sugar, grains, and legumes, a common side effect of the Paleo diet is reduced inflammation in the body. In fact, many people who suffer from autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s, IBS, and Multiple Sclerosis switch to the Paleo diet to reduce their symptoms - but anyone can benefit from switching to Paleo from a typical diet as a typical western diet, rich in grains and processed foods, can cause a great deal of inflammation in the body.
But why is inflammation so bad? For one, inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. As we mentioned before, your immune system attacks invaders it doesn’t recognize, and when this happens it can cause inflammation. Over short periods of time, inflammation isn’t really problematic - however, chronic inflammation due to diet or otherwise can quickly become quite bad for your health because it will eventually lead to your body attacking its own organs! When this happens, it can lead to nasty side effects like internal scarring, tissue death, and can even create an environment for diseases like cancer to develop in your body. So while it’s important for your body to be able to use inflammation as a means of getting rid of toxins and invading cells, it’s equally important to keep inflammation under control by way of diet and lifestyle.
In the next part of this two-part series, we’ll look into the other immunity benefits Paleo has to offer besides inflammation control. In the meantime, why not treat yourself to some grain-free deliciousness that can help keep your body inflammation free?