Stress and the Blood Type Diet
Stress is a normal part of life, and our bodies are designed to cope with it. For our ancient ancestors, stress was intense but intermittent- such as escaping from dangerous predators and searching for food. Modern life often subjects us to constant, lower-level stress that piles up and taxes our nervous systems. Eating the wrong foods can also be hard on the body. Adhering to the blood type diet enables your body to work more efficiently.
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, while the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) relaxes the body after the danger has passed. The two systems work in balanced opposition to each other. The SNS causes your heart to beat faster and harder, while the PNS slows down the heart, and relaxes the artery walls, allowing freer blood flow, and lets more oxygen get to the heart muscle. Most of the healing in the body happens when the PNS is in charge, including healing the subtle damage from normal “wear and tear” of life. Chronic stress often leads to the SNS being active for longer, and the PNS not engaging properly.
Hormones are responsible for our response to stress. The adrenal glands release Adrenaline and Noradrenalin, which are short-acting hormones that speed up heart rate and blood pressure, reduce digestion, and make you more alert. In response to longer-term or more severe stress, the adrenal gland releases cortisol. This hormone enables the body to break down muscle to provide immediate energy. The proper levels of cortisol will reduce inflammation, reduce allergies, and promote healing. Too much or prolonged exposure to cortisol can lead to ulcers, heart disease, muscle loss, insomnia, and other ailments. High cortisol levels can cause “brain fog”. It can also lead to obesity because it encourages the breakdown of muscle rather than fat.
HERE IS A QUICK CHART THAT GIVES YOU THE BENEFICIAL EXERCISES FOR EACH BLOOD TYPE.
Each blood type has a very unique chemical profile, and that affects how our bodies respond to stress. While all of the blood types respond to stress by secreting more cortisol, Type As start out with a higher level in their blood all the time. Type As release more adrenaline in response to stress than other types, however, they also have the greatest ability to break down and eliminate it when the stress is over. They benefit from yoga and meditation to calm the nervous system. Type As need to be careful to avoid over-exercising, as too much vigorous exercise becomes a cause of stress, rather than a way to alleviate it.
Type Os require a lot more to knock them off kilter in the face of stress, but once that happens, it usually takes them longer to recover. Os naturally have the lowest levels of cortisol of all the blood types. They also have lower levels of an enzyme that breaks down adrenaline and noradrenalin. Meditation is less likely to be helpful. Type Os are meant to release the built-up hormonal forces through vigorous and intense physical exercise. For those Os who are not currently healthy enough to undertake a strenuous exercise routine, any amount of movement is beneficial. Even a short walk can relieve stress and improve mental health. Tai Chi is often more helpful than yoga or meditation.
Type Bs are similar to As in stress response. They tend to be very emotionally centered, and very sensitive to stress-related imbalances. They respond well to meditation and other stress-reduction techniques. Type ABs are more like Os in response to stress, but their exercise should not be quite as intense. For Blood Types B and AB, stress regulation and fitness is achieved with a balance of moderate aerobic activity and mentally soothing, stress-reducing exercises such as yoga or tai chi.
Eating the wrong foods for your body is also a potential source of stress. Adhering to the Blood Type Diet helps to strengthen the body to adapt to stress better. Following the diet and exercise recommendations for your blood type can help you to live a healthy and happy life.
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