If you have heard of the blood type diet, you know that it is the surgical approach to dieting. When it comes to starting a diet, most people tend to go with the most popular fad of that year.
But in reality, that general approach does not work for most people. If you want better results, you need to choose a specific benefit such as boosting your immune system. Over the past five years, I tried to find a diet that would do just that, boost my immune system.
Catching a cold and the flu every season was getting exhausting. I had to do something, so I experimented with becoming a vegetarian, a vegan, and even a pescatarian. Each time I would go back to eating meat & dairy products before going back to being a vegan again. The back and forth was to test if I noticed any differences when these foods were excluded from my diet.
Each year it seemed as though my immune system was deteriorating along with my energy levels. My doctor nor I could pinpoint exactly where these body changes were coming from. Well, not until I discovered the blood type diet.
What is the Blood Type Diet?
The blood type diet is based on the findings of a naturopathic physician, Dr. Peter D’Adamo. In 1996 he wrote a best-selling book about it called “Eat Right for Your Type”. The book claims it improves the immune system and decreases the risk of chronic diseases. Eating according to one’s ABO blood group is the basis behind the blood type diet.
Here is the break down of the ABO blood groups based on the ‘Blood-Type’ diet theory:
- Group A should thrive on a vegetarian diet. Since this blood group evolved when humans settled down into agrarian societies.
- Group B should benefit from the consumption of dairy products. Because this group originated in nomadic tribes according to the theory.
- Group O is considered the ancestral blood group in humans. So their optimal diet should resemble the high animal protein diets. That was typical of the hunter-gatherer era.
- Group AB is the rarest and newest since it evolved after the fall of ancient civilizations. This group is encouraged to eat tofu, green vegetables, and fish, but avoid caffeine.
There has been some debate in the medical field about the scientific evidence of the blood type diet. Two different studies have concluded that the diet had favorable results. But, they did not find conclusive evidence linking one’s blood type with the benefits.
Look, a scientist I am not, but I am a subject matter expert on my own health. After 5 years of experimenting and doctor visits, I now have my own conclusive evidence. The blood type diet works!
It is always advised to contact your doctor before beginning any new diet or fitness program. Then follow these 10 steps to successfully implement the blood type diet and boost your immune system.
How to Boost your Immune System in 10 Steps
Step 1: Know your Blood Type
You can request this from your doctor or take a blood type test at a clinic. If your insurance does not cover it, the test is actually an affordable out of the pocket expense. I paid $20 at a local clinic in Los Angeles. There is also the option to do a blood type test at home by purchasing a home kit online. You can find a few options here.
My blood type results came in as B+. Who knew that knowing my blood type had importance outside of having a blood transfusion. I’ve always known that diet affects your immune system. But it turns out that it plays a factor in your blood type as well.
Step 2: Visit a Specialist or Research Blood Type Specific Diets
Once you know your exact blood type, you will need to see a specialist. Another option is to research diets that cater specifically to your blood type. Finding resources that provide accurate information is key to doing it right. The internet is known for having information that contradicts each other. So I’ll provide the resources I found useful.
Also, try not to get confused about negative and positive blood type results for the blood type diet. For example; if you are B+ or B- the diet regimen is still the same. But when it comes to a blood transfusion, different rules apply. After much research online I have found www.dadamo.com and www.4yourtype.com to be the best resources.
Both are full of information that is very specific to your blood type. Information on diet, immune system, weaknesses, strengths, personalities, and exercises are all available. Dr. D’Adamo is considered the world expert in glycobiology, which is the ABO blood type groups.
He provides a food chart that is very specific for each blood type. Including what foods and ingredients are beneficial, neutral, and harmful to your group. Anything that is harmful to your blood type can lower your immune system.
- For example; Beef is considered beneficial to people who have O blood type. It is neutral if you have B blood type, but it is harmful if you have an A or AB blood type. The list breaks down foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet. I started noticing the difference in my immune system when I would eat foods listed as harmful to my blood type.
- Another example; Cashews seem healthy but since my blood type is B+ it is actually harmful. Since cutting them out, I can actually feel my immune system breaking down if I eat too many cashews.
Step 3: 21 Day Blood Type Diet Challenge (keep a food journal)
Now you have done your research, you can start to experiment with some diet options. Finding out my blood type was B+ was now my weapon against sickness. I decided to experiment and see if eating according to my blood would boost my immune system. Make sure you keep a journal of these experiments.
Some of the other different diet fads, like the vegan diet, made me feel like I was not getting the proper nutrients. My energy levels were low, it seemed like my immune system was getting weaker and weaker with that diet. Usually, I’m energized after a good workout. But not when I was a vegan. Instead most days I felt very fatigued which was odd.
So I took action and downloaded Dr. D’Adamo’s app on my iPhone called “Eat Right For Your Blood type”. It has all the information you need to know about your blood type. This app helped me tremendously during my 21-day challenge.
I kept a food journal on my day-to-day diet. 70% of the time I ate foods that were beneficial to my blood type and 30% of the time I ate foods that were neutral to my blood. The neutral foods are not harmful, but it is important to eat what is beneficial more than what is neutral. I stayed away from the foods the chart says to avoid.
Within the first week, I was already noticing a difference. And by the 21st day, my immune system felt stronger and I even noticed a boost to my energy levels.
Step 4: Experiment – Try Foods both Good & Bad for your Blood Type
After the 21-day challenge, if you are up to it you can gradually try to eat some bad foods. See if you notice any immediate negative effects but do so in moderation. I say this because all of our immune systems work differently. Especially since conditions like allergies can be variable. Make sure you keep a journal of these experiments.
Does your body feel good when you have the good blood type diet foods? Do you notice a difference when you add the bad foods for your blood type?
- For example, my old diet would consist of eating anything made with these items: cashews, peanuts, grits, certain beans, avocado, coconut milk, coconut oil, canola oil, soy, tofu, corn, certain kinds of wheat, gluten, tomatoes, olives, and black pepper.
It turns out all the items I named are harmful to my blood type. This explains why I would feel fatigued after my workouts. To add salt to injury I would also make a banana smoothie made with peanut butter, cashews, and coconut milk. This also explains why there were so many days that I had low energy and a weak immune system.
If you look at most of the vegan ingredients they’re made with the food items and ingredients I just named. It is very difficult for a B blood type to eat a vegan diet. Studies have shown that a vegan diet fits the A blood type and their immune system better.
But I will clarify that this is a case by case situation as some may not have the same effects as I did when I ate vegan. I tried to go back and eat some of these items and I noticed it was affecting my immune system.
- Another example is Shellfish, the food chart states shellfish is harmful to B blood type. My experiments eating shrimp had the left side of my throat flaring up but when I eat squid there were no flare-ups. I also noticed that rice flour has a better effect on me than regular flour. You will need to experiment for yourself if you can handle it.
Step 5: Change to Blood Type Diet Workouts
Exercising is just as important as eating right. You need to keep your blood system flowing (circulation) to have a strong immune system. There are specific types of workouts and brain exercises for each blood type. This can also be one of those case-by-case situations.
Technically, B blood types should focus on medium-level workouts; tennis, swimming, and meditation. O blood type should focus on more intense workouts. And yoga is recommended for blood types A and AB.
But I have known some that can perform very intense workouts. Seems like the athletes and ex-athletes are the exceptions to this rule in my experience. As for me, the B blood type exercises actually work well. It keeps my immune system up and my energy levels as well.
Step 6: Give up Foods that Harm your Blood Type Permanently
Now that you have experimented with foods both good and bad for your blood type, you need to make a firm decision. What foods will you give up completely or at least try?
For instance, I have learned that regular bread is harmful to my blood type. But I love, I mean love regular bread, so I choose to eat it only twice a month. But other foods like chicken, avocado, and cashews are harmful as well, so I choose to give them up completely. Immediately after eating them, I felt a negative impact on my health, so I gave them up permanently.
Distilled liquor is another very harmful item. So, it is no longer a part of my diet. The effect it had on my body was terrible and just not worth it. Luckily, I love wine much more than distilled liquor. Wine is listed as neutral and doesn’t harm the B blood type. You will need to go through your blood type chart and compare what is impacting how you feel most.
Step 7: Get Creative in the Kitchen
When you look at your blood type chart, it may seem like there are a lot of items you can’t eat at first. Maybe you are concerned that food won’t taste as good anymore because you have to change the ingredients. I was a bit concerned about that as well.
But during my 21-day challenge, I discovered something awesome. There are so many things I can cook at home that caters to my blood type and my immune system. I actually started to save money cooking at home. Most restaurants do not serve food that caters to the blood type diet, so home it was. This was achieved by taking the ingredients that are good for my blood type. Then actually making some of the same meals I ate with the bad ingredients.
- For example; Red Tomato Sauce, giving it up was a struggle even though it is harmful to my blood type. But after some experiments with substitutions such as beets in a sauce, I found that they taste just as good. I have managed to find pastas that are gluten-free and wheat-free that also taste just as good. I even found a way to make pancakes with ingredients that are good or neutral to my blood type.
Simply replace the harmful ingredients and you still have your favorite dish. If the items you eat on a regular basis are on your blood type avoid list, at least try to replace the ingredients. Find foods you can eat that won’t harm your blood type.
Yes, it can be difficult to make these adjustments in your life, but trust me, its worth it. If you continue eating food that makes you feel weak and tired, your immune system will pay the price. On the upside, I found experimenting with ingredients I’ve never tried very fun and so can you!
Step 8: Read more Books that Elevate you
When you have a healthy blood system and a strong immune system you will have more energy and optimism. This allows you to be more productive. Before starting this diet, I didn’t want to read anything elevating or productive. My favorite activity was sleeping and I did it well.
But once I changed to the B blood type diet I noticed a significant boost to my concentration. My memory has become keener, I feel more ambitious, and overall healthier. This is the time to take advantage of this boost in mental energy.
Now you can actually start and finish books that would have been overwhelming before. So find a book that will elevate you mentally, physically, and spiritually. Keep your brain stimulated with new knowledge and will be on your way to a better life.
Step 9: Get Physical Check-Up with your Doctor Annually
Even though the blood type diet has boosted my immune system I still get my physical check-ups yearly. Fortunately, I am healthy per the plan. But even if you feel healthy inside and out due to your new diet lifestyle, you should always get a physical. Do it every year to keep track of your health.
Measurement is super important when it comes to getting good results. So if you want to actually achieve your goals, you must test for confirmation. Studies have shown that the majority of diseases come from people with high levels of stress. So even a healthy diet won’t protect you if you stay stressed out.
This is why it is important to take time out of your busy schedule to exercise, blog, meditate, relax, and go to the doctor!
Step 10: Do what works for you!
At the end of the day, there is no 100% guarantee that a blood type diet is for you. It is always wise to experiment with what diet works for your body. Some doctors say the diet can increase your energy levels and fight against diseases.
But some of you may have allergies and aren’t able to eat some items on the list. Some of you may be vegan and your blood type suggests meat, fish, and dairy products. Obviously this diet will not work for you in those cases.
Should you try the blood type diet if you have not been experiencing any major health issues and feel great? The answer is no, if you feel fine then stick with the diet regimen that is working for you. But in my late 30s, I have learned that my immune system is changing. Everything seems to impact my health much more than when I was in my 20s.
When I changed my diet, the objective was to get more energy, a stronger immune system, and be more productive. The blood type diet did just that for me. But no matter what diet you choose, I always recommend doing these 3:
- consume more fruits and vegetables daily
- take your vitamins every day
- drink lots of water
That is what it takes to help your immune system fight against viruses and stay healthy!
I never thought a specific blood type diet could make such a big difference in my immune system but it really has. Now it is time for you to find a diet regimen that works for you. Why not start with knowing your blood type and go from there?