I've been following a Paleo/ Primal diet for about a year and a half now. Apart from occasional 'blips' on holiday, I stick to it most of the time. Last winter, no issues with cold hands and feet (I live in England). However, this year my hands and feet seem permanently cold and white. Any suggestions as to why, and solutions that would fit within the diet/ exercise regimen outlined in 'The Primal Blueprint'?
Get your thyroid checked. There is a problem for some people living on Paleo, that they get insufficient iodine from food. You might need to supplement with kelp, use iodized salt, or just eat more seafood.
Here is a link on this at Free the animal.
The hidden benefit of the SAD iodine
Possibly it could be unrelated to your paleo diet-- I have something called Raynaud's Phenomonon, where I loose circulation to my hands and feet, usually because of the cold. Do your hands and feet also get numb and sometimes painful?
This disorder is most common in women, mine started when I was in high school but often it doesn't show up till later in life. some links:
I always get cold if I've not eaten enough (easy to do if not getting many carbs). Is it possible that you're spontaneously eating much less? I assume you're getting adequate omega 3 for your circulation? Both protein and coconut are very thermogenic so either would help keep you warm.
While not a result of the paleo life, I have been having cold hands and feet in the winter, but not that much. Although, as a physical therapist my patients notice! I never thought of it as a problem really.
But indeed, after reading the Free The Animal post (mentioned above), I ate some more seafood (also tinned sardines and mackerel), which seems to work. Still experimenting. Before going paleo (some 2 years ago), we ate rather low in salt. We still do...
My wife, who really has cold hands and feet, will be the next in our little n=2 experiment. If only she would like the tinned fish...
I can also vouch for getting cold hands/feet whilst on Paleo. My overweight brother has no such issues and loves sitting in a t-shirt whilst I shiver. I naturally fast a lot of the day and guess the lack of digestion perhaps stops me producing lots of heat. I heard Iodine can resolve this, but i'll be damned if I'm going to add yet another supplement.
I'm not sure from an evolutionary standpoint if low body temperature is a good thing. Guess it depends if you're on the African savannah or in an unheated flat in England. Roll on summer I say.
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