Proper food combining

The Blood Type Diet: Is It Right for You?

Followers often say it is the only thing that worked for them, but is there any real evidence that the Blood Type diet is any better than other fad diets out there?

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Here is the theory: each blood type has a different set of characteristics. Different foods, even different exercise regimens are appropriate based on your blood type. Even your personality is thought to be affected by blood type.

According to Peter D’Adamo, the author of Eat Right For Your Type, lectins in foods react differently to each blood type. Your specific blood type antigens may be incompatible with certain foods. His theory is based largely on the evolutionary theory of blood types by William Boyd, an immuno-chemist and anthropologist.

D’Adamo believes blood type O is the earliest blood group originating 30,000 years ago. He suggests type O’s are “the hunter” and do well on a high protein diet with more meat. They are prone to thyroid issues, benefit from adding bladderwrack (an easily gathered shoreline seaweed) in the diet, and supplementing with DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) to counteract excess body acid production. According to the diet, “hunters” should avoid wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol.

Blood type A is considered “the cultivator” dating back 20,000 years ago. D’Adamo recommends a plant based diet with whole grains and vegetables comprising the majority of the diet. They do best with organic foods, a low stress lifestyle, plenty of rest and moderate exercise like tai chi.  It is suggested they avoid excess protein from meat and fat in the diet, and limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Note: the coauthor for this book followed the blood type diet for A’s and found it helpful.  For people who want to try it, transition into your correct blood type diet slowly over a period of weeks so as to not shock your system.

Blood type B is thought to be “the nomadic” blood type arriving 10,000 years ago with a more flexible digestive system and better immune system. They adapt well to different environments and altitude changes. They perform best with mentally challenging exercise like martial arts, hiking or golf. According to this diet, type B’s should avoid chicken because it contains an aggravating lectin that could lead to higher risk for stroke and autoimmune disease. Further, B’s are the only type that does well with dairy products.

Blood type AB, found in less than 5% of the population, is the most recently evolved type, arriving less than 1,000 years ago. It is the only blood type created by the intermingling of different blood types rather than by the environment. Type AB’s do well with a diet comprising the best elements of both diets for A and B. They should avoid smoked or cured meats, caffeine, alcohol and high stress. Instead, they should focus on fermented soy foods, seafood, and green vegetables.

What Do The Experts Say?

There is little scientific evidence that any of the Eat Right For Your Type dietary recommendations work for disease prevention. In fact, some studies suggest that lectins, which are specific for a particular ABO blood type aren’t even found in foods, other than a few exceptions like lima beans. Lectins which react differently to blood types are found more often in non-food plants or animals. Still, D’Adamo suggests that his diet is more about the foods you do eat versus what you avoid.

There are a few disease risks linked to blood type. Gastritis is somewhat more prevalent in type A’s and O’s (which incidentally make up about 80% of the world’s population). Anemia and diabetes are more prevalent in type A’s or B’s. A 2009 study suggests pancreatic cancer may be more common in type A and B’s. Research shows disease-carrying insects seem to prefer Type O blood.

I believe in a plant based diet for everyone, not just type A’s for overall health. See the diets on this website and in my book Diets for Healthy Healing.

What Do The Followers Say?

The Blood Type diet has a strong community of support. An internet survey with over 6500 respondents (conducted by D’Adamo’s website) reports that people following the Blood Type Diet for a month or more in a variety of health concerns, had improvement in 71-78% of cases. Most commonly, respondents reported weight loss. Note: Since each blood type diet eliminates specific problem groups of foods, like grains, dairy, meat and fish, the weight loss result is not surprising.

D’Adamo’s newest work is titled The Genotype Diet and expands upon his blood type diet theory to include more information on identifying your personal genotype and how it reacts with your environment to either create health or disease.

Learn a lot more about the blood type diet on www.4yourtype.com.

Step-by-Step Diet for Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

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You can customize a diet like this with the vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein foods that you prefer. Important: Drink 8-10 glasses of pure water daily to help keep the body free flowing. Take your prenatal vitamins with meals or as directed. Have 1-2 tsp. of ginger syrup added to drinks daily if you suffer from morning sickness (good reports for nausea reduction from our testers). On rising: Do yoga stretches and have a glass of herbal tea or room temperature water to encourage regularity.  

Breakfast: have oatmeal or whole grain pancakes with yogurt and fresh fruit (sliced cantaloupe or blueberries are especially good); or poached or baked eggs on whole grain toast with a little clarified butter (ghee) and a glass of tangerine juice. If you prefer a light breakfast, try a whole grain cereal in apple or cranberry juice, a protein drink, or a fruit smoothie with added yogurt.

Mid-morning: have a few handfuls of organic, unsulphured dried fruit for extra iron; or have a green drink like Energy Green; or have a glass of carrot juice (a high calcium source) or watermelon juice (a high silica source).

Lunch: Have a chef’s salad with turkey and avocado, and a baked potato with a little ghee or kefir cheese; or tuna or chicken salad sandwich with light mayo with a mixed baby greens salad with extra carrots and watercress; or a lightly seasoned red beans and rice dish with steamed or sauteed vegetables (use olive oil).

Mid-afternoon: Have an apple or pear and handful of of nuts and seeds; or have fresh, crunchy vegetables with natural peanut butter or hummus. Have a pregnancy tea: like red raspberry, nettles and yellow dock  blend or Earth Mama Angel Baby Heartburn Tea for pregnancy-related indigestion. Or, try our friend Leah’s favorite mid-afternoon pregnancy snack: NutraBella Belly Bars (highly recommended).

Dinner: Have a vegetable lasagna (use whole grain or spinach noodles) and a steamed artichoke; or have Asian stir fry with seafood, brown rice and vegetables; or have a hearty vegetable and lentil soup with steamed greens (dandelion and spinach are especially good) for extra folic acid.

Before bed: Have a cup of miso soup or a nutritional yeast broth. Add a few pinches of kelp granules for extra minerals.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

Diet to Soothe Irritable Bowel

Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects as many as one in five U.S. adults! A chronically inflamed, painful colon is a result of food allergies in 65% of cases. It’s usually a reaction to gluten, wheat, dairy, corn, eggs, or other food item. Fast foods, fried foods, processed foods and sugars all aggravate irritable bowel. Most people with IBS are women between 20 and 40 with stressful  lifestyles. New research shows that 78% of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have overgrowth of abnormal bacteria in the small intestine, often the result of too many antibiotics. Colon membranes become irritated, and the body forms pouchy pockets in reaction. In severe cases (ulcerative colitis), ulcerous lesions line the sides of the colon.

10-Day Diet to relieve irritable bowel

During acute stage of irritable bowel pain:

Go on a mono diet for 2 days with just apples and apple juice to gently cleanse the colon.

For the next 8 days:

Have 2 – 3 glasses of mixed vegetable juices throughout the day. (Wheatgrass juice is a specific for colitis.) Have steamed brown and mixed vegetables for an early dinner each evening. Drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of pure water throughout the day.

On rising: take 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 tbsp. maple syrup in 8 oz. of water; or have a glass of aloe vera juice (add 1 – 2 tbsp. to 8 oz. of pure water); or apple juice.

Breakfast: have a fruit fiber mix of prunes, raisins and apples. Top with a little yogurt, vanilla kefir or apple juice; or have a fiber drink.

Mid-morning: make an IBS healing juice: juice 4 handfuls greens: 1 spinach, 1 parsley, 1 kale, and 1 arugula; 2 large tomatoes; ¼ head green cabbage; 4 carrots with tops, and 2 stalks celery with  leaves; a 4 oz. tub alfalfa sprouts;  and a few sprigs of fresh mint. If you're low on time, as an alternative, have a green superfood drink.

Lunch: Have a simple green salad with a special Ginger-Flaxseed Dressing. For 2 cups: blend 1 cucumber chopped, 1 tbsp. flax seeds, 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger, 1 tsp. sesame oil, and 1½ cups water; have a mixed veggie juice of your choice.

Mid-afternoon: have a carrot juice; or green tea, or apple/alfalfa sprout juice.

Dinner: have steamed brown rice and mixed steamed vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped dry seaweeds (like dulse or kelp). Add 1 tbsp. flax or olive oil, and 1 tbsp. Liquid Aminos. Or, make a high fiber veggie broth: In 2½ cups water, cook 2 cups chopped fresh mixed vegetables, add 1 tsp. miso and 2 tbsp. chopped dried seaweeds

Before Bed: have another aloe juice drink; or papaya juice; or nutritional yeast broth for B vitamins.

It’s never easy to change daily habits. But since life isn’t going to slow down, a conscious effort must be made to break the vicious digestive circle.  Keep remembering how much better you will feel.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page

5 Easy Steps To Less Indigestion, Heartburn And Gas

5 Secrets to Better Digestion 1. Take ENZYMES. We are born with a limited supply of enzymes which become depleted with age. But enzymes can be easily brought into your body through fresh foods. If all your food is cooked, microwaved, or processed above 118º Fahrenheit, all of its enzymes are destroyed. Enzymes are especially critical for digestion. If the foods you eat do not contain enough enzymes for digestion, the body has to pull from its reserves in your liver or pancreas, weakening enzyme dependent processes in these areas like detoxification or hormone secretion.

When you lack enzymes for digestion, bacteria feed off the undigested food in the GI tract, producing symptoms like gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation. I have worked with thousands of people over the years with digestive problems. In every case, when an otherwise healthy person added more plant enzymes to their diet (either through fresh foods or enzyme supplements), digestive problems were drastically reduced. People carrying extra weight from body congestion often drop 10 lbs. Enzymes even overcome food allergies.

Supplementing with amylase, the plant enzyme which digests starches, renders gluten-rich grains like wheat and rye harmless to people with gluten enteropathy, a severe intestinal malabsorption syndrome caused by a gluten allergy to gluten-rich grains. Enzyme-rich foods smooth out both digestion and elimination. Have a green salad every day! Consider supplemental enzymes, too. A broad spectrum digestive enzyme is an excellent choice for digestive problems. To support immune response, Dr. Enzyme with Protease and Bromelain is highly recommended.

2. Take PROBIOTICS. Literally meaning “for life”, probiotics are “friendly bacteria,” like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum, that inhabit your digestive tract and maintain the inner ecology critical to digestion and health. They keep out pathogens like viruses, yeast and harmful microorganisms by competing with them for space in the gastrointestinal tract. Research from the University of Delaware finds that bifidobacteria actually have the ability to remove cancer cells or the enzymes which lead to their formation! Probiotics are a powerful preventive against digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation and even more serious problems like inflammatory bowel disease, even colon cancer.

Chemicals in your food or environment (like chlorine in drinking water), fast food, a stressful lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and certain prescription drugs all deplete your body’s supply of probiotics.  Antibiotics, by far, are the biggest offender in probiotic depletion. (In France, Japan and India, doctors routinely recommend acidophilus when they prescribe antibiotics.)

Probiotics are constantly at work to keep you healthy and energized and your digestion smooth. I recommend eating more cultured foods rich in these organisms, like yogurt, kefir or raw sauerkraut. High quality probiotic supplements are widely available for optimum digestion.

3. Practice good FOOD COMBINING. Sometimes, it’s not what you eat that’s making you sick, it’s how you combine the foods you eat. Proper food combining can still make all the difference for your digestion. Different foods need different enzymes to digest well. Your intelligent body activates the proper enzyme when the food reaches your mouth. Eating foods that are not compatible can cause fermentation in the stomach, leading to gas, constipation or diarrhea- clear signs that food is not being assimilated well.

Most experts think human enzyme assimilation was developed very early, when our species ate almost all fresh or dried foods. Foods we might have eaten together were naturally compatible because of harvest times and seasons. We traditionally ate certain foods at the same time, and we developed the capacity to digest them at the same time. Today we can eat any type of food we want when our taste-buds want it…… and that gets us into trouble. Enzymes which digest one type of food but are incompatible with another type in the same meal are either blocked or get confused, and we get the non-compatible food signs of gas and bloating.

Our digestive systems have adapted somewhat over the millenia.  Unless your digestion is seriously compromised, you may not need to follow all the food combining rules all the time. Sometimes we let these things control our lives and lose the pleasure of eating. For myself, I try to follow just two principles: I eat fruits alone and on an empty stomach in the morning. I don’t eat fruits and vegetables together. To learn more, please refer to a good “Correct Food Combining Chart” available online or in health food stores.

4. Eat more FIBER. By now, most of you know that fiber is good for you. Boosting fiber intake from grains like oats can lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels linked to heart disease. It speeds weight loss by suppressing the appetite and reducing colon congestion. It also improves glucose tolerance for people with diabetes and provides protection against breast and colon cancer development. And, of course, fiber is vital for your digestion. Fiber keeps the entire digestive system running smoothly by decreasing the transit time of food in the intestines. (Food is more likely to ferment and putrefy, causing indigestion the longer it remains in your gut!)  Fiber is a system regulator, not a laxative. It relieves both constipation and diarrhea by increasing the weight and frequency of stools. Increasing fiber intake is a primary treatment for even serious digestive problems like diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

But, most people don’t get enough fiber from their diets. In fact, today’s statistics tell us that most Americans need to double their fiber intake to get the 30 to 35 grams a day recommended by health professionals. Six half-cup servings of whole grains, cereal or legumes and 4 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day can give you the fiber you need to stay regular and healthy. Fiber supplements are also a good choice as an addition to a balanced diet.

5. Eat more ALKALINE FOODS. The typical American diet relies on too many acid-forming foods. The body, by design, is slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.4. When the body becomes too acidic, it pulls alkaline minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium from its reserves to restore an alkaline state. Over the long-term, this becomes dangerous. Mineral are the building blocks of life. Even small deficiencies are linked to depression, osteoporosis and premature aging.

An acidic body condition is the primary cause of GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder) the most common cause of heartburn for 40 million Americans. GERD is also implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, cancer, allergies and fungal infections. Bringing more alkaline foods into your diet not only eases your indigestion and heartburn, it may prevent the onset of serious disease later!

• ACID-FORMING FOODS to limit: refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, soft drinks, coffee and caffeine containing foods, red meat, and fried, fatty foods. • ALKALINE FORMING FOODS to increase: mineral water, land/sea vegetables, sea salt, herbal teas, miso, brown rice, honey, fruits and fruit juices.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page