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Feeding the Caveman Part 1 – Eat Your Vegetables!

This is the first of a series of posts about the types of foods that a “caveman” ought to eat. And in this post I’ll cover vegetables…

But before I get started, I’d like to open the discussion on the topic of eating grains vs. the Caveman Diet.

The First Rule of the Caveman Diet: Cut Out Grains!

There are no benefits in eating grains…

And they contain anti-nutrients that are toxic to our body, such as: lectins and gluten (to name a couple).

For instance, you may have heard of “Celiac disease”? 1% of the population are affected by it and its caused by a complete intolerance to Gluten. And studies have shown that 29% of people have some form of “Gluten Sensitivity”.

If you’re interested in the effects of Gluten on your body, you may want to check out this article by Stephan Guyenet.

Lectins are present in all foods… but the highest concentration is found in grains and legumes (especially in soy). Interestingly lectins are linked with autoimmune disorders like: Crohn’s disease, thyroid problems, arthritis and fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrom chronic fatigue and colitis… and probably a host of other things. So it’s advisable to limit the foods that contain the most lectins.

Foods with high amounts of lectins have been consumed for a long time (and is a staple in some cultures). These cultures have developed some unique ways to reduce the amount of lectins in foods by soaking or fermenting them. (it still doesn’t mean they’re good for you… and I personally avoid them as much as possible).

Alright…

So, here’s a list of my favorite vegetables that are “Caveman Approved”:

  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bell Peppers (I grow these in my garden)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower (I often use this in place of rice)
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Kohlrabi (I often eat this instead of potatoes)
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms (particularly shiitake)
  • Peppers (all kinds – my favorites are pepperchinis, red and green chile peppers and jalapeno)
  • Olives
  • Onions (especially white and sweet onions)
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Rutabaga (I often eat this instead of potatoes)
  • Spinach (in salads or sauteed)
  • Tomatoes (I grow my own in my garden)

I also eat Sweet Potatoes (Yams) on occasion (perhaps once a week). Tubers in any form are generally not “Paleo approved” but I eat this in moderation.

Other veggies that you may want to consider:

  • Arugula
  • Beets/Beet Greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Celery
  • Celery Root
  • Collards
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Fiddlehead Ferns
  • Green Beans
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Parsnips
  • Pumpkin
  • Purslane
  • Radishes
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Squash
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip Greens
  • Watercress

There you have it. A very complete list of veggies that you can indulge in every day.

Remember, you can eat just about as much vegetables you can handle in any given day and your carb count will still be very low.

PS – In the next “Feeding the Caveman” post I’ll cover FRUIT.

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Steven