Anthropological research has consistently shown that our distant ancestors lived healthier, cleaner lives than we do today. Much of that has to do with industrialization; 2.6 million years ago, the world was free of cars, factories, and other environmental pollutants. Another big difference was daily diet.

Our ancestors lived primarily on fresh meats, fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and other healthy legumes. Agriculture was not a primary means of food production, and these hunter-gatherer ancestors never came into contact with processed foods and refined sugars.

Health Benefits of the Paleo Diet

By mimicking the diet of our ancient ancestors, Paleo Diet creator Dr. Loren Cordain believes this new approach to nutrition can deliver the following health benefits (i):

  1. Lower rate of obesity
  2. Improved cardiovascular health, including lower chance of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
  3. Reduced chance of developing Type 2 diabetes
  4. Lower incidence of cancer
  5. Protection against the development of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, among others
  6. Lower chance of developing osteoporosis
  7. Clearer skin (fewer acne breakouts)
  8. Better eyesight (lower chance of nearsightedness, macular degeneration, or glaucoma)
  9. Improved gastrointestinal (GI) health, leading to better vitamin and mineral absorption

How Paleo Diet Improves Oral Health

The Paleo Diet can be very good for the teeth and gums, too. Following this type of nutrition plan has been shown improve oral health in the following ways:

Increased potassium consumption. Fresh and unprocessed foods are naturally rich in potassium, which is an essential mineral for healthy teeth and gums. Increasing daily potassium intake ensures that oral tissues receive nourishment necessary to stay strong and healthy for life.

Balanced alkaline levels. The Paleo Diet recommends eating a balance of fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods that leave the body with a balanced alkaline level after digestion. This differs drastically from our contemporary diet, which often increases acidity of our bodies after digestion, which can ultimately destroy tooth enamel and lead to decay.

More nutrients, better health. Perhaps the biggest reason health experts recommend the Paleo Diet is that it substitutes whole grains for more natural, grass-produced food items (free range meats, fruits, vegetables, etc.) This provides high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals that are needed to promote holistic health and strong teeth and gums for life.

The Paleo Diet Thanksgiving

The following Paleo Diet Thanksgiving recipes are courtesy of Primalpalate.com. For additional recipe ideas, visit this Paleo-friendly page of mouth-watering Thanksgiving recipes.

The Starter: Crisp Pear and Walnut Salad

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup Cherries, dried
  • 2 Pear, Bosc, very ripe
  • 3/4 cup Walnuts, Organic
  • 5 cup Lettuce, Spring Mix Salad Greens, mixed spring greens

 

How to make it:

  1. Cut pears into chunks, chop walnuts, and slice cherries in half.
  2. Toss with spring greens.
  3. Serve with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Main Course: Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp Duck Fat
  • 15 lb Turkey, whole
  • 1 Tbsp Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cup Pork Stuffing

 

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Place turkey in a roasting pan.
  3. Season turkey with salt and pepper, including the body cavity.
  4. Stuff turkey with pork stuffing.
  5. Place any remaining stuffing into a baking dish, cover and place in the fridge.
  6. Rub turkey with duck fat.
  7. Tuck wings under the breast, and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  8. Tent turkey with aluminum foil, and place in the oven.
  9. Roast turkey 20 minutes per pound at 325 degrees, this will be about 5 hours for a 16 lb turkey.
  10. 10. Place outside stuffing in the oven, uncovered for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking, or until the stuffing is crispy on the tops, and the pork is cooked through.

Dessert: Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Almond Flour Pie Crust
  • 1 Tbsp Gelatin, Unflavored, Knox brand
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream, Organic, optional
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Root
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 16 oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 2/3 cup Maple Syrup, Grade B
  • 3 Eggs, Pastured, separated
  • 3/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground

 

How to make it:

  1. Make an almond flour pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan.
  2. In a saucepan combine gelatin, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin, egg yolks, and almond milk.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
  5. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
  6. Once the pan is cool enough, put the filling in the fridge to chill until set.
  7. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  8. Once pumpkin filling has cooled and set in the fridge, remove from fridge and fold pumpkin filling into the whipped egg whites.
  9. Pour filling into pie crust.
  10. 10. Cover pie with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge until set.
  11. 11. An optional topping is to whip heavy cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Happy Thanksgiving from Assure A Smile!

From everyone at Assure A Smile, we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and wonderful winter holiday!

Sources:

(i) “Getting started with the Paleo Diet.” The Paleo Diet Online. Accessed 19 November 2013.

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