So, I’m sitting down and spreading some apple butter on a slice of gluten free Ezekiel bread and then some almond butter on another? Sounds pretty tasty right? It has been a little over two hours since my last meal…yep, I’m a bit hungry and time to eat! I’m eating just enough and of just the right things and it feels good….I’m eating for my O positive blood type! Oh, allow me to explain.
Nutrition can be such a maze of information that we navigate through on our journey to discovering how we can best fuel our bodies to perform, to be healthy, strong, and feel good! It is astounding sometimes to think about how little we actually know about what the foods we eat are doing to us and how each person’s own metabolism, blood type, and genetics will inherently process and respond to foods differently. As a professional in the health field, I like to think I know some bare bones facts about nutrition, but really I feel like I only am just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg. We each have our own knowledge base and experiences with food that vary from person to person or culture to culture. Part of eating for your blood type really is recognizing that there is no one diet fits all plan because we each are made differently.
The idea of eating for your blood type goes back to tracing our genetics to our ancestors and their blood lines from the hunters, to agrarian farmers, and nomads. The blood line that we each are rooted to comes from a culture that thrived eating a certain way and sustaining off particular foods. Now years of evolution occur and our bodies change but by going back to eating based on blood type, we are going back to eating the way our bodies naturally were built to consume food like our ancestors did. Still with me?
So for example, my “O” type accorinding to Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo, ND, the author of Eat Right for Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving YourIdeal Weight, stands for the oldest blood line and my whole digestive system then retains a memory of the foods of ancient times such as lean meats, poultry, and fish. Dr. D’Adamo advises each blood type to specifically eat in the way their ancestors did and avoid the “dangerous” foods that will not bode well for that particular blood type’s metabolism, immune system, and digestive tract. So I’m advised to restrict wheat, legumes, and cheese. Okay, so what does this mean? It means that my body processes wheat, beans, cheeses/dairy products in a way that is unlike other blood types and that eating these “avoidance” foods is like putting the wrong type of gas in my car as fuel. Oh! “O”- so much to learn! I better keep researching!
Now, I’m not trying to cut any major food groups from my diet or totally restrict one food forever, but I am now becoming much more conscious of the way my body feels after eating certain types of food and how I respond. I recognize that my blood type also is part of my immune system and that the idea is to eat those foods that will not inflame or illicit a negative response. The blood type theory then thrives from the belief that the compatible foods for your blood type leave your digestive track and your whole body in a healthier state, less risk of disease, and better weight management. So I am saying that certain foods will cause me to gain weight easier than others will…hmmm, the plot thickens!
Now I’m not trying to shaft the other blood types so for those of you reading who know your blood type and are getting a little curious, here is a little on what Dr. Adamo’s advises about “A”: You’re foods are derived from the “agrarian” farmer and thrive from vegetarian based diet and can benefit from soy as well as grains. Type B, well , you represent the nomads who have an extremely tolerant digestive tract so for the most part, you have a lot more foods that are fair game and good for your metabolism with the exception of wheat. And, not to leave out the AB type, this follows the most recent line of ancestry and come with the most sensitive stomachs, thus all of you in this blood type are recommended to avoid chicken, beef, and pork but enjoy seafood, tofu, dairy, and most produce.
The foods we eat affect us all in different ways as we strive for optimal health, weight, performance, and feeling good! And just like any wellness plan, the idea of eating by blood type is also affected by our exercise and stress management approaches. So the blood type guidelines don’t just stop at nutrition; each blood type benefits best from a different modality or intensity of exercise. This really gets me revved to continue to try and feel out how my body responds to the type of training I’m pursuing with the types of food I have to fuel me.
Every bite changes our bodies’ biochemistry. I feel that so much of our nutritional habits and knowledge are influenced too by how we well we know ourselves and are in touch with how each time we eat or drink we are affected in a specific way. Let me close with one more personal example, I’ve been trying to wane myself from caffeine as coffee and tea are not highly beneficial foods for me. In addition, by eating lean meats and fruit and veggies, I’m really cutting back on those processed sugar foods and the combination of cutting back the sugar and caffeine together have had a profound impact on my ability to focus, feel better, and at times help me sleep. I have ADHD issues that present challenges in various parts of my life. I believe that trying to aim towards a diet that fits my body as well as my personality; I’ll really reap the most benefits! Taking out the sugar& caffeine allows me to feel more in sync and I am starting to feel better and that has made a world or should I say “O” world of difference!
So I will continue to dig and research and ask questions- why almond butter for me and not peanut butter? Why is it that I feel better without the gluten? How much science is out there to continue to support this blood type diet? Is this a fad? How much exercise and what kind would best suit my blood type and personality? The list of questions could go on, but the purpose here of my written entry is to intrigue, educate, and allow you to see what blood type diets are about and why they are taking off and making a difference.
As Hippocrates states best, “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”