Exploring the Blood-Type Diet: Part Two
Last month I introduced concepts of the blood type diet and delved into the Type O Blood-type. Here is a refresh and of a breakdown of the evolutionary anthropology relating to blood types:
Type O: our hunter-gatherers, based on survival. Our oldest blood type, most robust and currently comprises approximately 45% of our population. Type O (Rh negative) is the “universal donor” blood type, since it has no markers on it for bodies to reject. Type O blood types were susceptible to the Bubonic plague, and led to a drastic drop-off in this blood type proportion during the Middle Ages
Type A: the first adaptors to an agrarian and domesticated society; a blood type that disappeared and then reappeared 300k years ago. Represents approximately 34% of the population. Resistant to infection in urban regions.
Type B: migrated north in cold/harsh environments, which was a mutation of Type O. In total, Type B comprises about 11% of the population.
Type AB: modern adaptation 1-2000 years ago. Type A and B adaptations are codominant. Type AB (Rh positive) is the “universal acceptor” blood type since it has both markers present and therefore no blood would be rejected. The least susceptible to allergies and autoimmune diseases; however, increased predisposition to certain cancers. Type AB is the rarest blood type, totaling 4% of the population.
For this post, I will delve into Blood-types A, B and AB.
Type A: The Cultivator
People with these blood types have a more sensitive digestive tract, tolerant immune system adapting to environmental conditions. According to Dr. Lam, those with Type A are predisposed to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. They respond best to stress with calming actions. An agrarian diet is best to stay lean.
Type A thrives on plant-based diets – it is important that these foods are fresh, organic, and pure. They do not thrive on a Paleo diet and should eliminate all meat as they lack digestive enzymes for animal protein. In making this sort of transition, Dr. D’Adamo recommends substituting meats with fish and lean chemical free poultry. Type A individuals with a family history of heart disease should be very careful. Processed meats should be completely avoided, as nitrites promote stomach cancer. Seafood can be enjoyed 3-4 times a week, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They highly recommend carp, cod, mackerel, monkfish, snapper, salmon, sardine, trout. Snails can be protective against cancers as well. One should avoid bass, bluefish and eel, shellfishes.
Type A manages fermented dairy, such as yogurt, kefir, and raw goat’s milk. Eggs should be limited. Best cheeses are pecorino and urda. Monounsaturated fats are best in terms of oils, including black currant seed oil, camelina, flaxseed, olive and walnut oils. Dr. D’Adamo recommends to avoid corn and peanut oils; however, peanuts themselves are beneficial. Nuts and seeds are important supplements in Type A diets since they eat very little animal protein. Type A types also thrive on vegetable proteins in the form of beans and legumes; black beans, lentils, soybeans are best. Tofu is your friend!
Type A blood types do well with grains and cereals; however, make sure these goods are not packaged or processed. Wheat (unless 100% sprouted) should be limited, especially if one has asthma or infections as wheat increases mucus production.
Vegetables are elemental and should be eaten in a raw or steamed state to maintain the most nutrients. The authors recommend avoiding peppers and tomatoes as they can upset the stomach, and Type A’s may be sensitive to fermented olives, potatoes, yams and cabbage. Broccoli is highly recommended, as well as carrots, collard greens, pumpkin and spinach. Garlic will support the immune system and benefits all blood types, but will benefit Type A the most. Fruits should also be eaten frequently, and in particular those that are digested as alkaline (versus acidic). The best fruits comprise apricots, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, pineapple, lemons and lime. Vitamin-C rich foods are very important to assist with stomach cancer prevention. Meanwhile bananas, honeydew, oranges should be avoided. The authors recommend starting the day with warm water with lemon squeezed each morning to help reduce mucus that accumulates overnight.
Sugars should be kept at a minimum, as they will shut down the immune system. Meanwhile spices and herbs can boost, especially parsley, ginger, garlic and turmeric.
In terms of supplements, Vitamin B12 is important especially since the Type A diet is low on animal proteins. As mentioned before, Vitamin C as well as E is important in protecting against stomach cancer and heart disease. Calcium, iron and small amount of zinc are helpful supplements.
Type A blood types have elevated levels of cortisol. Quieting techniques such as yoga and meditation are helpful in nullifying negative stressors that may aggravate heart disease or cancers. Tai chi, hiking, swimming and biking (mental-focusing physical activities) are favorable moderate exercises.
Blood Type B: The Nomad
Type B’s are balanced with strong immune systems, and exhibit the most flexible dietary repertoire. They have a tolerant digestive tract and can eat dairy. They need to balance physical and mental activity. Type B blood type’s diet may be considered a refined/adapted version of Type O’s diet. These people are the most resistant to modern-day diseases such as cancer and heart disease. However, they are more prone to neuro-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Type B’s diet is the “balance” between type O and A. When feeling fatigued, read meats such as lamb or rabbit will best. Chicken is not digested well in these blood types, and turkey is a poultry alternative. Fish such as cod, salmon and whitefish are best. All shellfish should be avoided as they are poorly digested.
Type B’s can enjoy dairy because the Type B antigen is made up of galactose (aka the same sugar in milk). The best cheeses are cottage cheese, kefir, pecorino and urda. Olive oil is best for healthy digestion; avoid sesame, sunflower and corn oils. While most nuts are neutral, the authors recommend avoiding peanuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, which can produce inflammation. Walnuts are neuro-protective. Beans can also cause inflammation, and kidney, lima and navy beans are the best if eaten. Type B’s are more susceptible to slow-moving viral disease and rare neurological ailments, including MS. Foods such as chicken and corn can exacerbate these conditions.
Similarly, wheat is not well-tolerated in general. Rye, corn and buckwheat should be avoided, as they will cause Type B’s to be sluggish and aggravate the cardiovascular system. Spelt, rice and oats are best options.
In terms of vegetables, almost all are recommended, including potatoes and cabbage. Tomatoes and corn should be eliminated from Type B’s diets. Similarly, most fruits are recommended. Pineapple helps with digestion and bloating; bananas, cranberries and grapes are highly beneficial as well. The authors advise to avoid persimmon, pomegranate and loquats.
Type B type’s best beverages include herbal/green teas, water and juice. Warming spices such as ginger, curry and cayenne pepper are best (note- avoid black pepper). Condiments should generally be avoided for all blood types, although Type B can handle them best, with the exception of those that are corn-based.
Supplements may be utilized to boost immunity, improve metabolism, and improve mental clarity/focus. The best supplements include magnesium, licorice, and modified citrus pectin (MCP). Digestive enzymes may be helpful if one is reintroducing themselves to meat or dairy. Gingseng and ginkgo biloba help with concentration and memory.
The best exercises for Type B are moderate activities such as hiking, biking, non-aggressive martial arts, tennis, and aerobics. Again, Type B is about balance – between intense physical activity and relaxation exercises throughout the week. Relaxation techniques, as earlier mentioned, may include tai chi, yoga, and meditation/breath-work.
Type AB: “The Enigma”
Type AB is considered the merging of Types A and B blood-types, as both antigens are co-dominant. The authors call this blood-type the “chameleon’s response” to changing environmental and dietary conditions, as it is the most modern of all blood types. AP blood types have sensitive digestive tracts and tolerant immune systems. They respond best to stress with spirituality and creativity.
People with Type AB can tolerate certain lectins called “panhemagglutinins.” I know this is a bit complicated to explain, but an example of what this means is that Type AB can tolerate the lectins present in tomatoes, while Type A and B cannot digest tomatoes. Type AB’s are stronger than Type A’s.
In terms of meats, Type AB have a small amount of stomach acids and therefore are recommended to eat meats in small quantities. Similar to B, the best meats are lamb, rabbit and turkey instead of beef. Chicken and cured meats (similar to Type A) should also be avoided. Fish is highly beneficial, especially cod, mackerel, snapper, salmon and sardines. Like Type A, shellfish and whitefish such as sole or flounder should be avoided as they are difficult to digest. Snails can be protective in some cancers.
AB Types can benefit from dairy, similar to Type B – especially those that are cultured like yogurt and kefir. However Type AB, similar to Type A, is prone to mucus production. If one develops respiratory problems or ear infections, then they should cut back on dairy products. Saturated fats should also be minimized.
Regarding oils, Type AB should use olive oil over animal fats or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Walnut oil is also cleansing for the brain and nervous system. Corn products/oils should be avoided. Nuts and seeds should be eaten in small quantities; chestnuts, peanuts and walnuts are most beneficial. Meanwhile sesame and sunflower products should be avoided. Legumes are also to be monitored carefully; tofu and pinto beans are the most beneficial.
Grains are tolerated, and wheat should be limited, especially if one is trying to lose weight or keep mucus production at bay. Sprouted breads are most nutritious, and oat, rice and spelt are healthy options.
Vegetables are a focal point in Type AB diets and should be eaten throughout the day. The best veggies include broccoli, cucumber, mushrooms, mustard greens, kale, sea vegetables and eggplant. Corn, artichoke, avocado and peppers should be avoided. Type AB follows Type A’s preferences for fruits. Alkaline fruits are best: grapes, plums, berries. Tropical fruits should generally be avoided (such as mango/guava) with the exception of pineapple which helps in digestion for Type AP blood types. Oranges and bananas should be avoided, as they interfere with digestion and can be substituted with grapefruit, apricots and figs. Similar to Type A, Type AB’s should start their days with warm water and lemon to cleanse any mucus produced overnight. Red wine has positive cardiovascular effects. Green tea is especially beneficial for Type AB, and should replace coffee.
In terms of spices and herbs, all pepper/pepper flakes and vinegars should be avoided as they unbalance the digestive tract. Lemon juice may be used as an alternative. Garlic is your best friend! Oregano and parsley also fare well. Condiments should generally be avoided, especially corn-based products.
Supplements should target immunity, cancer-fighting antioxidants, blunting stress and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Type AB has higher rates of stomach cancer and should take additional supplements of Vitamin C. However, be careful to not overdue it as high amounts are not well-tolerated. Small amounts of Zinc and Echinacea are protective against infections. Hawthorn and Quercetin (found also in yellow onions) are powerful antioxidants. Calming herbs such as chamomile and valerian root help improve mood and performance. Bromelain (pineapple enzymes) help if Type AB’s suffer from bloating or poor absorption.
Type AB has a mixed stress response between Types A and B blood types. Quieting techniques relying of focus/relaxation such as yoga and meditation are key to nullifying increased levels of cortisol. In addition, Tai Chi, hiking, swimming and biking are mentally-engaging physical activities that don’t overdo it. Practicing abdominal breathing exercises and allowing for deep relaxation is fundamental.
To conclude this sequence, we will summarize how each blood type group best responds to different conditions or diseases.