Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Do you think knowing your blood type is only important in the event of a transfusion?
Research indicates that your blood type is a key genetic factor that influences many areas of health and well-being.
Throughout your life, you’ve probably observed that some people tend to lose weight more easily, while for others, their weight is an ongoing battle. Or wondered why some people are plagued by chronic illness while others stay healthy and vital well into their advanced years. Very simply, the answer is in your blood type.
Knowing your blood type is an important tool for understanding how your body reacts to food, your susceptibility to disease, your natural reaction to stress, and so much more. A single drop of blood contains a biochemical makeup as unique to you as your fingerprint.
Below are five facts about your blood type that could change your life:
1. Your blood type may predict your susceptibility for certain diseases.
Research has found that individuals of certain blood types may be at a higher risk for certain diseases; studies have found that people with blood type O have a lower risk for heart disease, but a higher risk for developing stomach ulcers. People who are blood type A have higher risks of microbial infections, but Type A women experience a higher rate of fertility. Other research has found that people with type AB and B blood have a much higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
2. People of different blood types react differently to stress.
Type A people naturally have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies and produce more in response to stressful situations. On the other hand, people with type O blood, have a “fight or flight” reaction to stress which results in the overproduction of adrenaline. It takes type O’s longer to recover from stress because it is more difficult for them to clear the adrenaline from their bodies.
3. Your blood type antigens are not just in your blood!
They are everywhere in your body, particularly in the surfaces that interact with the environment. These include your digestive tract, from your mouth to your large intestine, as well as your nasal passages and lungs. Because these blood type antigens are everywhere, they influence how your body reacts to the food you eat through several factors. For example: the lectins in certain foods bind to your blood type antigen and cause your blood to agglutinate (stick together), resulting in feelings of fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, skin problems and a host of other health issues.
4. Gut bacteria is related to blood type.
People of different blood types have different gut bacteria, in fact, certain bacteria are 50,000 more likely to turn up in people with one blood type or the other. This originated from our ancestors whose digestive tracts developed to accommodate one type of diet over another. For example, the microbiome of certain people developed to break down carbohydrates much more efficiently (blood type A). People lacking this ability (blood type O) tend to store carbs as fat.
5. A one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition does not work.
Food fads come and go, but the facts are clear: everyone does not have the same basic nutritional needs. We all know someone who is a strict vegetarian and thrives on that diet, while others swear by Atkins or similar low-carb plans. I've found that your nutritional needs can be determined by your blood type. Take a look at the food lists in Eat Right 4 Your Type; they are a guide for choosing the foods that will allow you to lose weight, reduce inflammation, increase energy and lead a longer, healthier life.
As you’ve learned, your blood type affects more than just the type of blood you'd need in the event of a transfusion – your blood type is a genetic factor that plays many roles in the human body. Choosing low-lectin, non-agglutinating foods that create a hospitable environment for your “good” intestinal flora and selecting foods that combat your disease risks are two good first steps in creating an individualized nutritional program just for you.