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Are you deficient in zinc signs symptoms paleo diet-min

12 Signs You May Be Deficient in Zinc

Zinc is a crucial mineral that is found in every cell in the body. It’s involved with growth, cell division, the immune system, bones and teeth, skin, the brain, the nervous system not to mention hormones – and yet over a third of people appear to be deficient in the Western world!

12 signs you may be deficient in zinc

  1. White spots or lines on your fingernails
  2. Pale skin
  3. Stretch marks
  4. Acne
  5. Dry hair
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Poor immune system
  8. Diarrhoea
  9. Low sex drive
  10. Weight loss
  11. Loss of taste and sense of smell
  12. Insomnia

So if you’re suffering from sleep issues, frequent infections, eczema, psoriasis, frequent diarrhoea, hair loss, low sex drive or infertility – perhaps it’s worth checking your zinc levels? Those deficient in zinc may also find their sense of taste and smell affected, which isn’t great when you want to explore lots of new foods on your Paleo diet!

How to get more zinc in your diet

There are lots of great natural, Paleo food sources of zinc. Oysters are one of the best sources, but red meat and seafood (especially crab) will also keep your zinc levels topped up. Of course, supplementing is always an option, but always try to get sufficient levels from natural food sources first. Also, don’t forget about vitamin D, as being deficient in vitamin D makes zinc less effective. It’s all about balance, as so many vitamins and minerals work together.

Several things can inhibit your bodies ability to absorb zinc, particularly phytates found in grains and legumes – yet another reason to stick to a Paleo diet and avoid processed neolithic foods!
Paleo Primal Zinc Supplement
Have you had your zinc levels checked? How did they fair? Do you eat lots of natural food sources of zinc, or do you supplement?

Are you deficient in zinc signs symptoms paleo diet-min

CLA paleo diet Conjugated Linoleic Acid-min

CLA & The Paleo Diet

Concluding my focus on common deficiencies, this week turns to CLA.

CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid and is the good trans-fat that occurs naturally in dairy and meat products – especially when animals have been grass-fed, another plus for the Paleo diet. In the stomach of animals such as the goat, sheep or cows millions and millions of tiny pieces of bacteria help the animal to digest its food. They also help to covert dietary linoleic fatty acids into saturated fatty acids. While this conversion takes time and several steps, one of those steps is to create CLA, some of this never actually gets fully saturated and will show up instead in the animals milk fat and body.

CLA paleo diet Conjugated Linoleic Acid-min

28 different CLA isomers – or structural arrangements of the molecules show in CLA rich animal fat.  This is very complex and different from the trans-fats created by partially hydrogenating vegetable oils. It is those lab created trans-fats that have a negative metabolic and health effect, while the CLA isomers you get from grass fed dairy and meat is more beneficial.

CLA has been touted as the “belly busting” trans fat with research in 2007 showing that in rats, supplementing their diets with CLA did not cause them to lose whole body fat, but it was found they became more insulin sensitive. When it came to supplementing CLA in mice diets it did cause rapid weight loss, but the increase in hepatic fat accumulation left the mice insulin resistant.

Many people have taken CLA as a supplement and it did seem to work for weight loss, but while the weight loss was good, at the moment we are not really sure what else it does to the body. Research into this further on different animals may help us better understand if there are any additional effects on humans. Are we more like mice or rats?
Primal Diet Supplement Vitamin Mineral Deficiency
The one thing that these studies did show was that hepatic fat accumulation or loss and body fat accumulation or loss is not always in the same direction. We are seeing hepatic fat loss but no weight loss and hepatic fat gain with rapid weight loss. Those who follow low carb diets insisting that this metabolic advantage allows them to eat thousands of calories and lose weight will love the little mouse’s result! While the study on the mouse is quite well known amongst those in the carb circle with the mouse eating as much as it wants without losing or gaining weight, this metabolism does come at a price – profound liver damage.

Tests were carried out to see what effect dietary supplements of CLA would have on the body mass index, and body fat distribution. 40 volunteers participated in a 12 week double blind study some received a CLA while other received olive oil. Body fat and abdominal and hepatic fat content was assessed with an overall finding that showed CLA supplements did not show any significant change in the volunteers BMI index or in their total body fat.

Have you considered supplementing with CLA? If you have, did it have good results for you? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments, below.

Almost free health products paleo-min

Almost free health products…

I just found out about a new feature on iherb called “Trial Pricing” today that I thought I should share with you. On their trial page they offer a handful of things (there are 57 at the time of writing this) at a hugely discounted rate, limited to one per customer. Some of the trial products are only available if you haven’t ordered it before (I guess they’re hoping you’ll love the product and go back and order more!)

The cheapest thing I found was a $0.12 (yep, 12 cents!) packet of Omega 3 supplements! They seem to have lots of vitamins, supplements, minerals, lip balms, tea infusers – and all sorts. The trial products change regularly, so it’s definitely work checking it out regularly.  Of course, it isn’t all Paleo, but I do manage to find most of my paleo staples online at iherb.

My discount code still applies to these products, so make sure you enter the code duv741 when you check out to get a $5 (if you spend under $40) or $10 discount (on purchases over $40). Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

Shipping is free within America on orders over $20 and shipping to other countries is very cheap indeed (I regularly have things sent from iherb to both Australia and the UK and have found it far cheaper than buying locally)

Other specials currently available:

Other specials you might be interested in (but they do appear to be limited – so don’t blame me if they’re sold out!):

Iherb are offering you the chance to try Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for just $1 (but only to people who haven’t ordered it before)

Try Vitamin D3 capsules for $0.50 (for 110 capsules!)

Healthy Origins Extra Virgin Coconut Oil reduced to $23.95 (47% discount) huge 54 oz (1,530 g) container

$1.95 (85% discount) on a travel coffee mug

Pink Himalayan sea salt for $2.64

Iherb Paleo diet health products discount promo code
The specials change every day, so if you find any particularly good/ paleo bargains, please share in the comments below so we can all benefit!

Paleo Diet Primal Gut Health Flora Healthy Probiotics-min

How Is Your Gut Health?

After the stress and perhaps over indulgences of the festive season – how is your gut health?

Our ancestors were surrounded by dirt – and certainly won’t have washed their hands in antibacterial soap before touching everything! Today, everyone is terrified of germs and dirt. Children aren’t allowed to get dirty – people can’t even make food without wearing those horrible blue plastic gloves – yuck!

Paleo Diet Primal Gut Health Flora Healthy Probiotics-min

So many factors in our modern lifestyle are stacked against maintaining good gut flora. The antibiotics given out by so many doctors kill off most bacteria (good as well as bad). Stress hormones also do a good job of killing of gut flora. It’s probably therefore little wonder that so many of us don’t have good gut health.

Having good gut health promotes a good immune system, which is why some people never seem to catch the germs going around the office. Healthy gut bacteria is also essential in proper, good digestion. Healthy gut flora enable you to properly absorb the nutrients in the food you’re eating (after all, we are what we absorb, rather than what we eat)

Whilst yoghurts with live cultures have become extremely popular as a method of improving gut health, they don’t appear to be the best solution, given that many people don’t tolerate dairy – and of course the pasteurisation has an significant impact on the amount of live culture left in the finished product. A lot of these yoghurts also have a lot of sugar added.

One of the better options to improve your gut health is taking probiotic supplements. When you compare the ingredients, you’ll notice huge variations between the different brands. For this reason, I like Primal Flora, as it’s been created with an ancestral diet in mind.
Primal Flora
What do you do to improve your gut health? Do you take probiotics? Please share, in the comments below!

Are Protein Powders Paleo primal whey casein pea rice hemp-min

Are Protein Powders Paleo?

I’ve had a few emails recently asking whether protein powders are Paleo – and which ones I would recommend.

Of course, real food is always the best option, but I understand that there are times when a liquid protein “meal” is called for – particularly for people who are crossfitting or lifting weights, perhaps. A post workout meal seems to be the main time people use protein supplements, as they try to replenish the protein and glycogen that they used during their workout.

Are Protein Powders Paleo primal whey casein pea rice hemp-min

Real Food Post Workout Protein Options:

Fortunately, there are some quick ways to get a protein hit post workout. Try preparing in advance and taking along with you:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Tins of (good quality) fish
  • Leftover chicken or turkey
  • Jerky

Whey Protein Powder

A popular form of protein supplement is whey protein. Whey is a by product of cheese making (as in curds and whey), so it is a naturally occurring protein, which contains the proteins beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and serum albumin. As whey is clearly dairy, is isn’t Paleo, and as it is processed, isn’t really Primal either. Whey protein is anti-atherogenic, quick to absorb and is supposed to help with increasing lean muscle mass.

Casein Protein

Casein protein is another milk based protein, but is not as quick to absorb as whey protein.

Egg White Protein

Is another good choice and represents all amino acids

Pea Protein

This is a common vegan protein powder, but is not absorbed as well as animal based protein powders.

Rice Protein

Made from brown rice, this is another vegan protein. Could be a good option is allergic to dairy proteins.

Hemp Protein

This is becoming very popular as another vegetarian/ vegan option, but is also not as well absorbed at the dairy based powders.

Unfortunately, the dairy based protein powders can come from the milk of cows treated with hormones. If you’ve looked at the ingredients of many powders, you may have noticed artificial sweeteners soy products, and ingredients you can’t even pronounce – not remotely Paleo. For that reason the only protein powder I would recommend (if you feel the need to take one) would be Primal Fuel, from the Primal Blueprint. This is a whey protein, which contains by far the best natural ingredients of any powder I’ve looked at – and no soy, artificial flavourings or sweeteners.

Paleo Primal Fuel Potein Powder Supplement Whey Order

Do you take protein supplements? I’d love to hear under what circumstances – and which ones you use.

Paleo Vegetarian vegan recipe ebook cookbook

The Paleo Vegetarian and Vegan Recipe Book

I’m thrilled to announce my new Vegetarian and Vegan Paleo Recipe ebook has just been launched!

Paleo Primal Vegetarian Vegan Recipe Ebook Cookbook

With almost 40% of those following a Paleo diet having at one stage been either Vegan or Vegetarian, there seems to be a real lack of information in this area – something I want to change.

Many Paleo sources seem very definitive in saying that you cannot be both Paleo and Vegan or Vegetarian – but I think there is middle ground. Whilst eating animal products seems to be optimal, I think by cutting out grains and legumes you can make significant health improvements.

Vegetarians and Vegans tend to rely heavily on grains for calories and legumes for protein, so one of the key aims in the recipe book has been putting together recipes with a good, Paleo, protein source. Eggs are obviously a great protein source, but not on the menu for Vegans, so I’ve not lent too heavily on eggs in this book.

I’ve also noticed how difficult it is for people who decide to start eating meat, having been a Vegetarian or Vegan for some time. I devote a chapter in this book to transitioning to eating meat – as this is not an easy step to take. When starting to eat a Paleo diet, having relied heavily on grains and legumes, it can be difficult. I’ve therefore added in a chapter on properly preparing grains and legumes. Whilst not Paleo, traditionally prepared grains are far safer, and can make the move away from grains far easier than going cold turkey.

The book features a balance between quick and simple recipes and more substantial Paleo Vegan recipes. With soups, salads, bakes gratins, side dishes, main courses and snacks – I’ve tried to make sure there is something for everyone.

Currently only available in ebook format (watch this space for the print version, later in the year), this book has over 100 pages of beautifully photographed recipes. Recipes are Paleo and Vegetarian – with over three quarters being Vegan and Paleo (i.e. no animal products such as eggs and dairy, as well as no meat).

I’d love to hear your feedback on this book and if you’ve followed a Vegan or Vegetarian diet, how your journey has been.

You can buy the Vegetarian and Vegan Paleo Recipe ebook here for $17.

Buy Two or more Paleo Recipe Ebooks and Save

The book is $17, but I offer big discounts if you buy more than one of my recipe books in one transaction – you can find the bulk prices here.

Probiotics and the paleo diet-min

Should You Take Probiotics?

Probiotics are constantly being advertised, but what are they, exactly? And if you follow a good, healthy Paleo diet, should you consider taking them?

Probiotics are, for the most part, live organisms such as bacteria that people consume in order to gain several health benefits. But how is this possible? After all, people often take antibiotics to deal with bacteria inside their bodies that are causing problems. Well, the thing is that there is a distinction to be made between good bacteria and bad bacteria. In normal circumstances, the body has a pretty good balance between the two so the bad bacteria cannot do any damage. However, there are situations such as being ill where this balance is lost. Therefore, taking probiotic supplements allows you to regain the balance and prevent a lot of further medical complications.

Probiotics and the paleo diet-min

There are many different kinds of bacteria found in probiotics supplements and they all come with various health benefits. One of the most common genera is lactobacillus, which contains over 50 species of bacteria used in probiotics. These species can also be found in yoghurt and are usually effective at preventing certain infections as well as diarrhoea and skin disorders.

The genus of bacteria that makes up for almost 90% of all good bacteria found in the human body is bifidobacteria, which contains around 30 different species. They are immediately present in our bodies since birth and can help with various problems such as dental cavities, abdominal pains, bloating and bowel problems.

There are four other major bacteria genera found in the body: saccharomyces boulardii, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus faecium and leuconostoc. Each of them contains various species that have a positive effect on the human body, in one way or another.

For the most part, the healthy benefits that come from taking probiotic supplements impact two major areas: our digestive tract and our immune system. They affect our digestive tract because, as mentioned previously, they restore the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria which can shift due to stress, bad diet, lack of sleep, drug usage etc. Their goal is to not let the bad bacteria grow in large amounts as this can lead to problems, but they also do not eliminate it completely since our bodies do have certain uses for it. Probiotics also help by eliminating toxins, chemicals and other harmful substances from our digestive tract while also helping absorb nutrients and delivering them to the cells that require them.

Probiotic supplements also have an impact on our immune system. They do not necessarily make it stronger, but by keeping the balance they ensure that the immune system is operating at maximum efficiency. Whenever this does not happen we are prone to being attacked by germs and this can lead to bad medical complications in some people. Allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders and infections are common results of this problem.

Therefore, taking probiotic supplements can have quite a positive effect on our bodies. However, they require the same care and attention as normal supplements, making sure that the brand is reputable (i.e. Paleo compliant) and that you take the recommended dosage.

Do you take any type of Probiotic alongside following the Paleo diet? And if so, which brand do you use?

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet?

If you’ve told anyone you follow a Paleo diet, one of the typical responses you’ve probably got back, is bound to be “but how can you get enough Calcium?”

As part of any healthy lifestyle it is essential to have a decent amount of calcium in the diet, as it is involved in so many crucial functions. Calcium is known to strengthen the bones and teeth and can help to reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones and can be very detrimental in the quality of life for sufferers. It is also thought the mineral can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and other illnesses which can cause a lot of problems in later life.

In order to really get the benefits from calcium, it is important to incorporate it with other nutrients and vitamins, as they work in conjunction with each other to produce the most effective results. Vitamins such as C and D3 help the body to absorb calcium so that the benefits are maximised. If these vitamins are not present in the diet, it won’t be absorbed sufficiently, which means the calcium won’t offer the benefits you would expect from it.

We don’t all require the same intake of calcium; there are factors which affect the level of calcium we should consume in our diet. Children require a lower level than adults and women are usually required to take in more calcium than men. Pregnant women should also try to take in a higher level of calcium as it will be beneficial for both mother and baby.

We know that calcium is essential for the body, but we have been led to believe that we need a lot more in our diet than what we actually need. It is also a misconception that the only way we can get the calcium we need is through the consumption of dairy products and in particular milk, which is not the case. There are many other foods which provide a good quantity of calcium and more than enough to ensure we have an adequate amount in our bodies. It can also be detrimental if we consume too much calcium, as it inhibits the absorption of magnesium. Magnesium is important for a healthy body and a lack of this can have an adverse effect on the body.

As a strict Paleo diet excludes dairy, many people wrongly assume eating this way will result in a Calcium deficiency. However, this simply is not the case. Not only are there some far better sources than milk – when the processed foods are removed from your diet your calcium requirements are actually lower. In fact, it is not calcium intake that is important, rather calcium balance. Processed things such as soft drinks actually use calcium in their digestion – effectively leeching calcium from your body. If you eat a lot of these types of foods, your calcium requirements are clearly going to be a lot higher. When you eat a natural Paleo diet – real food – your requirements are going to be a lot less.

Can You Get Enough Calcium On A Paleo Diet-min

Good Paleo Calcium Sources

There are lots of foods other than dairy products which many people just don’t associate with calcium. These foods act as a good source of calcium and provide us with other health benefits, including providing an adequate amounts of essential vitamins and other minerals.

Leafy green vegetables are a great calcium sources, as are high quantity of fish, such as salmon and mackerel. These can also offer a substantial amount of the mineral, as well as providing us with vitamins and antioxidants which are the perfect way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Walnuts and hazelnuts are other foods which act as a good source of calcium. It is important not to eat too many of these though due to the Omega 3/6 ratio, so sticking to a low quantity will achieve the desired result. Eggs are also a way of ensuring calcium is present in the body and in particular egg yolks are a good source. It is a good idea to take note of the calcium levels of the foods you are eating, so you know whether you are taking in too much or too little.

Do you eat dairy? Where do you get most of your calcium from? Share in the comments below!

CoQ10 & The Paleo Diet-min

CoQ10 & The Paleo Diet

Yet another possible deficiency is Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), even on a strict Paleo diet.

What is CoQ10?

It actually assists with mitochondrial electron transfer and stress reactions that happen biochemically within the body. You cannot have too much Co Enzyme Q10, as it is great for providing better nutrient density to the mitochondria to help us make and burn more energy. It also helps increase our exercise ability and stamina.

Exercising helps increase the oxidation that occurs from our stress hormones with most exercise hermetic when things are in balance and running smoothly. If we are suffering from a co Enzyme Q10 deficiency caused by statins, Neolithic diseases or from just generally being unfit and out of shape there is a need to increase the dietary intake of Co Enzyme Q10 to optimise health.

CoQ10 comes in two forms, Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol, with one being an oxidised form and the other a reduced form – you can tell which is which by the price! Ubiquinol is three times more expensive because it is much harder to make the reduced optimal form. Ubiquinol contains two hydroxyl groups rather than just one; this allows it to bond much better with water molecules making it more readily absorbable by the mitochondria in our cells to help with energy production.

Primal Diet Supplement Vitamin Mineral Deficiency

Ubiquinol is also the biologically superior form of Co Enzyme Q10 because it is an electron donor; this makes it a very effective neutraliser of free radicals. It is the only form of Co Enzyme Q10 that looks for lipid peroxyl radicals that can cause damage to the polyunsaturated fatty acids present in your cell membranes.  When you are eating a Paleo diet this is a wonderful benefit as depletion of cellular Co Enzyme Q10 can’t support basic cellular functions. A Paleo diet together with a higher activity level requires optimal cellular and mitochondrial functions.

At the 5th Annual International CoQ10 symposium that was held in Kobe, Japan findings were released that showed the superiority of ubiquinal when given to a group of seriously ill patients with advanced stage cardiac disorders. If this can help those who are close to death with severe heart failure it is a critical component for any person looking to change their life by adopting a new healthy living plan or diet.

The study revealed that those clinically ill patients who had already suffered from heart failure easily absorbed ubiquinol CoE10 into their blood stream showing excellent improvements in all heath parameters. Another key factor that was announced was those with Hasimoto’s or other autoimmune diseases really need to only use the ubiquinol as they are unable to covert ubiquinone into ubiquinol due to their low B12 and B6 levels. They also need higher doses of ubiquinol more often.

Do you supplement with CoQ10? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

CoQ10 & The Paleo Diet-min

Manganese Paleo Diet Primal Supplements Mineral Vitamin Deficiencies-min

Manganese & The Paleo Diet

How are your Manganese levels? Does following a Paleo diet guarantee optimal micro nutrient levels? This week I’m focusing on manganese – and most importantly, how to make sure your levels are sufficient.

What actually is Manganese?

Did you see the word and thought I had spelt magnesium incorrectly? It is actually a trace mineral that regulates dozens of enzymatic reactions within the body. It is a crucial mineral.

If you are lacking in manganese some of the symptoms of deficiency include low thyroxine – or Thyroid Hormone T4 – as manganese is important for the production of T4.

Asthma is another area with links to deficiency of this trace mineral. There are links between low manganese levels in children and childhood asthma. Similarly there is a link between low dietary manganese intake and the incidents of asthma in adults.

Low HDL also has links to deficiency of manganese. Women who eat a low manganese diet will find their HDL drops dramatically.

Primal Diet Supplements Mineral Vitamin Deficiencies

Joint pain and osteoporosis can also be impacted. Bone density doesn’t come down to just magnesium and calcium alone, with manganese also playing a significant part in overall bone health.

What causes low manganese levels?

Having too much iron in your system can result in low levels. While this isn’t the cause of a deficiency for those who suffer from iron retention, or who absorb too much iron, manganese can reduce the absorption of dietary iron. Those who are on a Paleo diet (or following the Primal Blueprint) eating iron rich meat on a regular basis may be getting less manganese in their system than they need – especially if they are not eating most of the richest source of the minerals. Obviously if you do not eat enough manganese rich foods you’re not going to have enough manganese. If your diet consists mostly of beef and you don’t eat many nuts, shell-fish or berries, you may find you are not getting enough manganese in your diet.

As with all minerals, if they aren’t in the soil, they don’t get into the food chain. This means it is crucial to ensure your meat comes from animals who have been reared with a proper diet – and fed on grass, from soil with good mineral levels. Grain fed animals won’t have had access to the same levels of minerals as their grass-fed equivalents. It’s really important to know and understand where your food comes from.

Where can you get more manganese into your body?

Nuts are a great source of manganese with hazelnuts being the richest source and almonds having the lowest manganese source. Other nuts including macadamia’s pine nuts, walnuts and pecans are also good sources of manganese. Shell-fish such as mussels, clams and oysters are good sources, with mussels having the highest content of manganese. As always, it comes down to having a very varied diet, sourcing food from the highest quality sources wherever possible.

Ever thought about your manganese levels? Do you eat enough natural food sources? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Manganese Paleo Diet Primal Supplements Mineral Vitamin Deficiencies-min