I'm not sure exactly what's changed, but my ability to bruise seems gone...
I was playing Ultimate Frisbee, leaped up at 45deg full sprint, collided with another guy doing the same opposite direction... I was a little higher up and my lower thigh crashed his hip... HARD. We both went down.
Now a day later, it's so sore that it hurts to walk and I can't squat, but 0 swelling, 0 bruising.
Looking for why and other anecdotes of similar situations pre or post paleo.
I think a lot of what we had for our whole lives considered to be "normal" was actually the human body in a degraded state. I've noticed that cuts heal quicker, muscles recover faster from workouts, what once was tiring is hardly noticeable etc. I used to marvel at the idea of a hunter-gatherer being able to survive in "the wild" because I couldn't imagine my compromised body taking the beating. I now see that they weren't similarly compromised. Humans actually aren't, by their nature, made of such flimsy materials.
Another aspect of the paleo eating lifestyle is that the blood vessels, veins, capillaries slowly become more pliable and elastic. Thus when the body is abused, the veins and capillaries have some give and do not break as easily to leak blood under the skin.
Also the vascular system is not as rigid due to some microscopic removal of plaque that had been layed down before elimination of non paleo foods such as wheat and sugar. Also the vascular system has opened up a tiny, tiny bit thus allowing more blood to flow with less effort by the heart muscle.
The resulting increased flow of blood, the pliability and less rigid vascular system due to changing to a paleo eating lifestyle are aspects of why people are able to correct their high blood pressure with diet alone.
The strict Paleo diet is rich in Vitamin K if proper animal sources are used which increases platelet counts and as a result bruising is decreased. Therefore, it is the increased vitamin K intake that made the change for most of you.
I was actually wondering about this very thing this week. I'm training for my black belt in karate and all of my training partners are covered with bruises. Even after a session with a lot of contact the most I have is one or two very faint bruises on my arms. My partners show me their arms the next day and they're covered in black and blue!
I was wondering why I bruise so much less, so it's interesting to think it's because of eating paleo.
I still bruise, but I've always been bruising very easily, and I am a terrible klutz, bumping into stuff all the time ;-) I think I do bruise less, though. I think in addition to strengthening the blood vessels, there is also the role of vit.K. My mother bruises extremely easily, just from slight squeeze she gets big purple spots. I remember that she was told it's partially b/c of deficiency in vit.K. Maybe improvement in that field also helps?
Good point. I hadn't thought of it but I used to have bruises on me all the time from hiking and carrying things. Now I don't have any and haven't for quite some time. Hmm.
Supposedly bruising is called by damaged or weak capillaries leaking blood into the surrounding tissues. The weaker the capillary walls, the more likely you are to bruise. Certain blood problems also increase tendency to bruise. Increased tendency to bruise is also considered a normal part of aging.
It would actually make sense that if we improve our overall health, decrease toxin load, decrease N6 intake, etc, which are all known or suspected of improving overall health and cardiovascular health, this could also manifest in lessened tendency towards capillary bleeding.
Increased skin thickness and toughness will also lesson tendency to scratch, bruise or bleed. The greater thickness of the skin gives better protection to the capillaries. It is said that thinning skin is a normal part of aging, but I know that Mark Sisson has talked in the past about him seeming to have better skin thickness than others his age, thus tending to badly throw off the skin pinch test they like to use for determining body fat percentage. Apparently, the same thickness of pinch in an older person compared to a younger person is calculated differently because they assume that older people have thinner skin and therefore they calculate more fat in the older person, even if the same amount of skin is pinched.
I've been wondering about this myself over the last week or so.
I used to bruise like a peach. I'd always have bruises up and down my legs. I could never remember specifically getting them, they'd always just be there. It was even a joke amongst me and my friends; they'd poke me gently and then I'd chastise them because "that's going to leave a bruise!!"
Now - hardly a bruise in sight. I'd wondered if maybe Paleo had anything to do with it. Good to know others have experienced the same thing.
I've always bruised extremely easily, I'm not exactly clumsy, but I am always in a hurry! ;) I have a tendency to bounce off walls and run into things. I hadn't really thought about the fact that I don't really bruise anymore, but I used to be covered in them and on a thorough check of my body, I don't have any anymore!
I also bruise easily and often run into things (walls, my other foot). I still have bruises, but they seem to skip the "new bruise" phase and go directly to "faded yellow-ish bruise." I also have a couple spots where I expect to see a bruise because it is tender, but nothing at all is there.
I was just noticing this over this past weekend, so it hasn't been nearly long enough to attribute it to Paleo, but I will keep an eye on this. 8)
I have noticed the same thing about myself. I used to get bruises on my arms just from carrying things. Now, I simply don't bruise anymore. I chalk it up to higher protein intake having strengthened my capilaries.