Putting the YOU in Immunity
One of the most common questions we are asked at NAP is “How can I boost my immune system?” Our answer is simple – we tell them, “Follow the diet. Eat your beneficial foods and be extra careful to stay away from your avoids.” Remember, your blood type is the key to your body’s entire immune system. It controls the influences of viruses, bacteria, infections, chemicals, stress and the entire assortment of invaders and conditions that might compromise your immune system.
Most of us don’t consider that when we take a bite of food, we are impacting our immune system and its capacity to function. As Dr. D’Adamo writes in Eat Right 4 Your Type, “The immune system works to define ‘self’ and destroy ‘non-self.’ This is a critical function, for without it your immune system could attack your own tissues by mistake or allow a dangerous organism access to vital areas of your body. In spite of all it’s complexity, the immune system boils down to two basic functions: recognizing ‘US’ and killing ‘THEM.’” Since over 40% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, our diet can be the number one defense against a poorly functioning immune system. Following the diet that is right for your type acts to improve immunity and protect you from disease.
In addition to following the diet recommended for your blood type or GenoType, follow some common sense approaches like, frequent hand washing, use “cough and sneeze etiquette” and avoid people who are already sick. Getting adequate rest and exercise will also help support your immune system. Dr. D’Adamo also suggests that you include some, “Immunogenic polysaccharide containing foods, such as parsnips, and immune boosting foods such as garlic and onions into your diet. Green tea also appears to interfere with attachment in many strains of influenza. Studies also show that elderberry extract is beneficial in preventing the spread of viral influenza, as it blocks neuraminidase, the enzyme made by the flu virus which allows it to attach to the tissues of the nose and throat. It’s likely that antioxidants called flavinoids – which are contained in the extract – stimulate the immune system and other properties in elderberry extract have an anti-inflammatory effect.”
Strep Throat is another common wintertime ailment – and your blood type might determine who is more vulnerable to it! One study looked at the saliva of 310 people which was examined for its ability to agglutinate 33 streptococcal strains. It was found that the saliva of persons with blood group O agglutinated significantly more of the streptococci than the saliva of persons with blood group A. The results demonstrated that persons of the blood group O secrete more anti-Strep immunoglobulin than those with blood group A. This may be worse for type A non-secretors since the elaboration of free blood type antigen in saliva and mucous is thought to inhibit the growth of Strep. So if you are blood type A, and especially if you are an A non-secretor, start taking extra ARA 6 now to prevent that nasty strep virus from settling in your system!
Another study out of the University of Cardiff in the UK, found that people who regularly eat breakfast may be less likely to get colds or the flu. In a 10 week study of 100 healthy students – nearly half of the participants developed an upper respiratory infection during the study period, those with multiple illnesses, reported that they did not eat breakfast. Those prone to anxiety and stress were even more likely to experience cold and flu symptoms. Bottom line, starting the day with food is crucial to health – and starting the day with a blood type friendly breakfast is an even better way to start the day!
Exercise is also a critical component in wellness. According to a study reported in the journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, people who exercise regularly appear to be less likely than couch potatoes to catch colds. Researchers found that in survey results from 547 healthy adults, people who reported being the most active had 25% fewer colds over the course of a year than those on the less active end of the spectrum. So Type A’s get out those yoga mats and Type O’s get your running shoes ready! As the chill sets in, it’s a good time to get your self back on track. If you have been falling off the blood type diet wagon, it’s a good time to get back on! Start now for a happier,healthier you this winter!