FOOD and Physical Health

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I am not a nutritionist, but have always had a great interest in health and ‘we are what we eat’ as the saying goes.  The issue of gut health is now very much to the fore, and I agree with it and have done for years.  It is disappointing that the conventional medical world often takes so long to catch up with views that have been understood in the complementary world for years.  Then medicine suddenly changes its mind and claims the ‘new’ understanding for themselves.  A pattern I’ve noticed over and over. 

Ah well, back to food and physical health …

The digestive system is the only part of the body, apart from the lungs, that allows the ‘outside world’ - here in the form of food and drink - inside us.  I don’t – ever – tell clients what to do, but I do occasionally ask gently about diet, particularly if they mention a problem that could be diet-related, and occasionally suggest a book if they seem open to it.  My own experience showed me how very important our eating patterns are to our health -   

IBS and a better dietary approach – The Blood type Diet

Years ago I developed very uncomfortable abdominal symptoms – bloating and pain - diagnosed by the GP as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  I was offered Fybogel and no dietary advice at all.  Fybogel is one of the many conventional medicines that only suppress symptoms, but do nothing to address the actual CAUSE of a problem.  And if your bowel is ‘irritated’ – something is irritating it! 

My immediate thought was, “I’m not taking that until I’ve explored a bit.”   I discussed the problem with my homeopath and she suggested I look at the Blood Type Diet, developed by Peter D’Adamo.  I discovered that my Blood Type, ‘O’, needs meat and fish in order to be truly healthy and should absolutely NOT have gluten (wheat, oats, barley, rye) or dairy.  Already a meat and fish eater I gently began to change my diet to drop gluten, and certain fruits and vegetables that don’t suit Type O.  Within 4 days of giving up gluten all my IBS symptoms had disappeared.   As long as I stay off gluten they stay away.

That was a long time ago, and it took me longer to give up dairy, another ‘Avoid’ food group for blood Type ‘O’, but when I did other symptoms eased – asthma, aches in my joints which I had (foolishly!)  put down to advancing years, and my skin improved.  I should have known.  For years I hadn’t been able to eat cream or yoghurt without feeling sick and had already tried goat’s milk instead of cow’s.  Now I use almond and rice milk, mayonnaise instead of butter, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  It’s easy once you give it a try. 

I like the approach of the Blood Type Diet.  It’s based on a sound premise and a lot of research about the four main blood types – O, A, B and AB.  Each blood type carries different chemical markers and these markers react not just to other blood types – which is why we need to be ‘cross-matched’ to our own blood type for surgery – but to different foods as well.   In a nutshell, some foods react well with our Blood Type, helping us to improve our health, and some don’t, causing inflammation in the body. 

The other reason I took to the Blood Type Diet was because it rang true for me from a practical point of view.  For instance, I love apples, especially crunchy bright green Granny Smiths.  Mmm, just the thought brings back the smell and taste.  But since I was a teenager I’ve avoided them because although I like the taste, a few minutes after eating apple I get stomach cramps.  According to the Blood Type Diet, Type ‘O’ shouldn’t eat apples!  Similarly, cucumber ‘repeats’ on me in a very uncomfortable way.  Cucumber is an ‘Avoid’ food for Type ‘O’. 

You might be thinking this way of eating is restrictive, but not at all.  There’s a huge range of foods that are Beneficial or Neutral for each blood group and its just a matter of substituting, leaving out the Avoid foods.  The Blood Type Diet sensibly encourages a wide variety of foods – another reason I feel it’s a healthy approach.  So, I eat courgette rather than cucumber, bananas, mangoes, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries and other fruits instead of apples.  If I want that lovely ‘crunch’ I eat red or yellow pepper, which are ‘Beneficial’ for Type ‘O’. 

When the Atkins Diet – eating mainly animal protein – became popular, I realised why it worked  - and why it ‘failed’.   Type O is the most prevalent blood type.  About 45% of people worldwide are Type O.  Blood Type A follows with about 40%.  B and AB make up the remaining 15%.  (The Rhesus factor of blood – whether you are Positive or Negative is not necessary for the Blood Type Diet).  

Type O needs animal protein – meat, fish, eggs - and absolutely should not eat gluten or dairy.  As the most prevalent Blood Type, many who followed the Atkins Diet would have been Type O.  This is why it ‘worked’.  Why it didn’t work was because some people following it would have been other blood types - for whom animal protein is not so important – or they were eating the wrong kind of animal protein for their blood group – and the Atkins Diet largely excluded fruit, salad and vegetables, which are important in the Blood Type Diet, and indeed for everyone. 

One of the criticisms raised by some conventional doctors about the Blood Type Diet is that the research behind it is “old” and therefore “out of date”.  This seems a weak and spurious argument to me.  There can be an unfortunate arrogance in medicine where effective treatments and ideas put forward by people outside of conventional medicine are immediately dismissed.  When I read this criticism of the Blood Type Diet, I thought of gravity, which is as old as the hills.  The theory of gravity was first suggested by Isaac Newton, hundreds of years ago.  The last time I checked, gravity still exists and is still relevant.

Then I came across modern proof that the Blood Type Diet is NOT out of date.  A few years ago I was tested for possible coeliac disease and came out definitely gluten-intolerant. That was one point. 

Coming right up to date I recently had a genetic profile done via a very up-to-date 21st Century saliva test.  Not the kind of ancestry DNA tests that are common now, but a health-based genetic profile (Fitness Genes).  It has been fascinating to read the results that have come through.  What I was most interested in were the results related to gluten-sensitivity and dairy.  And there it was.  According to my genetic profile I am sensitive to gluten and dairy and should avoid both!  And, of course, our Blood Type is part of our DNA.  I couldn’t have asked for clearer or more modern, scientific proof that the Blood Type Diet is accurate. 

The Blood Type Diet works and has definitely improved and maintained my health over the years, but it’s a way of eating that might not suit everyone.  It is important to find a lasting, healthy way of eating that suits you and supports your physical health.   

WEBSITE for the Blood Type Diet -

BOOK ‘Eat Right 4 Your Type’ -


DISCLAIMER (The Small Print)       

These are just my current thoughts. 

Thoughts can change as we learn and grow.

I can always be wrong, but am nevertheless entitled to my thoughts.

You don’t have to like my blog or take any notice of anything I say.

It is important you always make up your own mind - about everything.

I am not you, and don’t know you or the details of your life. 

Therefore, you are responsible for any decisions or changes you make as a result of reading my thoughts. 

Finally, nothing in any of my blogs is intended nor should be taken as medical or health advice.  Always research for yourself and talk to doctors or therapists you trust (conventional or complementary).