For years I bought into the advice of the established medical community when it came to treating my multiple sclerosis symptoms. Every couple of years a new drug would come to market with more benefits and supposedly fewer side effects. Some worked well and others didn’t. Each time though there was a shock to my system as my body adjusted.
I knew there had to be a better way to live. That’s when I started doing research into alternative methods of treating MS symptoms. One thing that immediately popped up was an alternative diet called the Paleo Diet.
Paleo Diet Basics
So what exactly is the Paleo Diet? Popularly known as the Caveman diet, it is very simple in principle. It involves eliminating all grains such as wheat, oats, and rice from your diet. Legumes and dairy are also no no’s. Finally, processed sugars should be minimized as well. The logic behind not eating these particular foods is that our bodies are not capable of digesting them properly.
Humans didn’t start eating grains as a significant percentage of their daily caloric intake until roughly 12,000 years ago. And this was only a small number of people that were inhabitants of modern day Iraq and Iran. This is where agricultural civilization began. For some peoples, grains have been a much more recent addition to their diet.
And while 12,000 years might seem like a long time, our bodies have been evolving for millions of years. Before grains we ate meats, fish, roots, vegetables, berries, nuts and whatever else we could scavenge for. Over the course of millions of years our bodies became very good at surviving and thriving on these foods.
Then in a very brief time period this changed. Because of the fact that they can be harvested and stored for long periods of time, grains became a staple in our diets. This led to a number of diseases and conditions the human race had never experienced before.
So why are grains bad? First and foremost they attack the stomach lining and digestive tract which is where 40% of our immune system is located. A grain is a seed. A seed is designed to protect itself so that it can become a plant or tree. To help protect itself it contains enzymes that allow it to survive any number of conditions such as being eaten.
When we eat grains these enzymes go to work in our stomachs and intestines. This can cause a condition known as ‘leaky gut’ Essentially this condition allows undigested food particles to enter directly into the blood stream. This can lead to anything from inflammation to various allergic reactions. It is also being linked to more serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
By going back to a diet that is more in line with what our bodies are designed to eat we can actually repair a significant amount of the damage that has been caused.
Changes I’ve Noticed Since Starting
Having started on the Paleo diet myself, I have noticed a significant increase in strength and stamina. While simply walking down the hall used to be somewhat taxing, I am now able to do considerably more. I feel better than I have in years. This is allowing me to return to activities I had long since given up on such as walking the dog, grocery shopping, and even going to the mall.