Willow: Eating for your blood type

COLUMN – Each of us has a specific blood type with which we were born: A, B, AB or O.  In addition, we are Rh negative or positive.  This refers to markers on our red blood cells which are recognized by our immune system as friendly. 

Most people think that our blood type is important only for getting safe blood transfusions or preventing Rh reactions in newborns.  However, there is another benefit to knowing your type and that is in relation to diet.

The theory is that we evolved from being hunter-gatherers, through cultivating crops up to eating a variety of food sources in modern times.  The different blood types originated from these evolutionary phases: O for the oldest, A for agriculture, B for more modern and then the AB mix.  Each of the types supposedly does best on a certain diet and can react badly to other foods.

Here is a summary of the most important dietary basics commonly suggested for each type:

O Type: does well on lean meat, poultry, fish and vegetables; does especially poorly on wheat

A Type: does well on a vegetarian diet with legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies; does poorly on beef

B Type: certain meats, eggs, low-fat dairy and green vegetables are recommended while avoiding corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds and especially chicken

AB Type: good foods would be tofu (I recommend tempeh instead), seafood, dairy and green vegetables while avoiding caffeine, alcohol and smoked or cured meats.

There are hundreds of other details for each type, right down to the herbs and spices to use.  You can look them up on www.4yourtype.com or email our clinic and we’ll send you the diet sheet for your type for free in the month of July.  If you don’t know your blood type, you can ask your doctor to test you, buy a home kit or get tested with us ($20).

Because the research is mixed on the validity of this popular diet, I usually suggest that people try it as an experiment to see if they notice positive changes.  In one study, about seventy percent of those who tried it had good results, so it’s definitely worth a try.

An interesting detail which I recently learned is that each food group is divided into three sections: optimal, neutral and to avoid.  It is recommended to eat only twenty percent of the optimal foods and eighty percent of the neutral ones with occasional cheats in the avoid section.  This is because eating too much of the optimal category will result in cleansing symptoms!

I suggest that people gradually replace the negative foods they are eating regularly with ones that are friendly for their blood type.  We become addicted to irritating foods as a source of stimulation, so it can take time to make the shift.  The bottom line is that the diet focusses on healthy, unprocessed food, which generally helps everyone. 

Give it a go and let us know what happens.  And hope you’re enjoying the warmth that has finally arrived…     Katherine