Eat Right

TYPE "A": THE CULTIVATOR

The average North American with Type A blood who has the appropriate history and/or poor diet and lifestyle is at high risk of developing and dying from heart disease, cancer or diabetes. That=s why Type As are wise to steer away from the typical meat-and-potato diet to one rich in soy protein (tofu); whole grains (less emphasis on wheat); and plenty of raw or steamed vegetables. It=s lucky in one way that Type As have these predispositions because it can really motivate them to follow the Agood life@.

TYPE A DIETARY CATEGORIES

MEAT AND POULTRY

There are no highly beneficial meats listed in the Type A diet. Rather, these individuals flourish on vegetarian diets which supercharge the immune system and potentially short-circuit the development of life-threatening diseases. In many ways, the type A is the exact opposite of the meat eater Type O when it comes to how their metabollic system functions. Eating animal foods speeds up the Type O metabolic rate whereas the Type A tends to feel sluggish and less energized when eating meat. That=s why Type As lose weight once they give up red meat because of its tendency to be stored on the body. Type Os, however, burn red meat as fuel thanks to the high stomach acid they have which allows for easy digestion. Type As tend towards low stomach acid owing to how their ancestors= digestive system had to adapt to the agrarian diet.

Dr. D=Adamo admits that it=s not easy for Type As who are used to eating red meat to eliminate all meat from their diet since the Western diet is so protein-driven. He advises that one achieve this gradually, beginning with substituting fish for meat several times a week. When you do eat poultry (never red meat!), choose lean organic cuts and prepare them by broiling or baking. Since Type As have low levels of stomach acid, stay far away from processed meat which contains stomach cancer promoting nitrites.

SEAFOOD

Type As can eat seafood in modest quantities 3-4x a week but they should be baked, broiled, or poached to achieve full nutritional value. Avoid white fish such as sole and flounder due to the irritating lectins they contain. Snail, however, contains a powerful lectin to combat two types of breast cancer. It promotes a positive kind of agglutination whereby the lectins get rid of Type A mutated cells by tagging and accompanying them out of the body.

DAIRY AND EGGS

Most dairy products are not easily digestible for Type As because Type A blood creates antibodies to the primary sugar in whole milk BD-galactosamine which is the same essential sugar that along with fucose, forms the Type B antigen. Since the Type A immune system is designed to reject anything B-like, the antibodies it creates to ward off B antigens will also reject whole-milk products. The other factor with dairy products is that Type As normally produce more mucus than the other blood types, possibly because they need the extra protection it provides their somewhat too friendly immune systems. Mucus in the lymphatic system acts like a sponge to cleanse impurities from the blood; however, too much mucus can be harmful since various bacteria live off it. The best Type A choices should be yogurt, kefir, nonfat sour cream and cultured dairy products. Soy milk and soy cheese and raw goat=s milk are all good choices.

OILS

Cold pressed olive oil is recommended for cooking at normal temperatures. At higher temperatures, try grapeseed oil. The lectins in safflower and corn oil cause problems with digestion. Canola oil (organic source) can be used in cold salad dressing but not heated up.

NUTS AND SEEDS

Because Type As need to find protein alternatives to meat, nuts and seeds are a wonderful alternative. Organic peanuts including the skin are the best choice because they contain a cancer-fighting lectin. Pumpkin seeds are also highly beneficial especially for prostrate problems. Soak nuts for 24 hours before eating them and choose organic varieties as well. Be sure that your nuts don=t become mouldy because they could become very toxic if they do. It=s very important to chew your nuts thoroughly and anyone with gallbladder problems (insufficient bile to break down the fats in nuts) should switch to eating nut butters. Whole nuts should be eaten in small quantities

CEREALS

Type As do best when their tissues are slightly alkaline which is in direct contrast to Type Os. It=s best therefore, to eat more alkalizing foods like fruits and vegetables (see list of acid vs. alkaline foods). When it comes to cereals, Type As should eat less wheat which is acid-forming and more whole oats, soy products, millet and cornmeal. The interesting thing about wheat is that the inner grain becomes either alkalinic or acidic depending upon one=s blood type. Whereas Type Os would want wheat to be an acidic food, for them it is alkalinic. The opposite is true for Type As who benefit from an alkalinic effect when the wheat for them is acidic.

BREADS AND MUFFINS

When it comes to breads and muffins, sprouted wheat bread is highly beneficial but beware of commercial brands which don=t actually contain very much sprouted wheat. The Essene and Ezekiel breads found in health food stores are sprouted wheat breads in which the gluten lectin has been destroyed during the sprouting process. This is good. It=s best to avoid whole wheat bread and wheat bran muffins but wheat bagels are okay. Type As can enjoy pizza bagels with goat=s feta and mozzarella cheese as long as a substitution for the tomato sauce is found.

GRAINS AND PASTA

A lot of vegetable proteins in the form of grains and pastas make up for lost protein in animals. It=s very important, however, to eat whole grains, not frozen meals or prepared noodles with sauces or packaged rice and vegetable combinations. Remember that Type As require unprocessed, whole natural, organic foods. Whereas white and whole wheat flour are to be avoided, a wide variety of other flours are acceptable such as with oats and rye. In the neutral category, barley, bulgur, graham, spelt, and durum wheat can be enjoyed. All rices are neutral foods and as far as pastas are concerned, the only ones to avoid are semolina and spinach.

VEGETABLES

Vegetables provide vital minerals, enzymes and antioxidants to the Type A diet. Most vegetables can be tolerated, however, there are a few that should be avoided. Unfortunately, everyone=s favourite Bthe spudB is among them. Type As are very sensitive to the lectin in domestic potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. Also to be avoided are tomatoes and peppers and cabbage. Foods which are especially good include broccoli, carrots, collard greens, kale, pumpkin, spinach and garlic. Tofu is the staple of the Type A diet but take care to select best quality sources which are not filled with additives. Try stir-frying tofu cubes with garlic, ginger and soy sauce.

FRUITS

Type As should eat fruit 3x a day. The more alkalizing ones such as berries and plums are best to help balance the grains that are acid forming in your muscle tissues. Melons are to be avoided despite being alkaline because they have high mould counts making them hard to digest. Tropical foods are to be avoided with the exception of pineapple which is an excellent digestive aid. Oranges interfere with the absorption of important minerals. Unlike what people would expect, oranges don=t provide more acid for the low-acid stomach rather the acid in the oranges act as an irritant. Grapefruit, on the other hand, seems to exhibit alkaline tendencies after digestion. Eat grapefruit, lemons and kiwi to obtain the needed vitamin C which is an important antioxidant noted for being especially helpful for preventing stomach cancer.

The banana lectin interferes with Type A digestion so eat apricots, figs and melons (other than honeydew and cantaloupe) instead. When it comes to juices, it=s best to drink alkalinic fruit juices instead of acid forming juices due to high sugar content. Choose black cherry concentrate, prune, grapefruit, carrot and pineapple juice over apple and grape juice. Avoid orange, papaya and tomato juices altogether.

BEANS AND LEGUMES

Type As thrive on the vegetable proteins found in beans and legumes like pinto beans, green and black beans and lentils. Others, like kidney, lima, navy, and garbanzo contain a lectin that cause a decrease in insulin production. This is often a factor in both obesity and diabetes.

SPICES

Spices should be taken very seriously as the right combination powerfully enhance or boost the immune system. Soy-based spices such as tamari, miso, and soy sauce are highly beneficial. The mineral most lacking in Type A diets is iron found in blackstrap molasses. Sugar and chocolate can be taken in very small amounts but vinegar should be avoided altogether.

HERBAL TEAS

Type As can take Saint-John=s Wort for depression; hawthorn for heart disease; aloe and slippery elm for softening stools and cleansing the colon; valerian for relaxation before bed; milk thistle to nourish the liver; and echinacea* to boost the immune system. This is the opposite of what Type Os are permitted -- with the exception of valerian root and slippery elm. These teas boost the Type A immune system. Conversely, the Type O immune system prefers soothing herbs like peppermint, parsley, rose hips, and sarsaparilla. *Note: a little known fact is that echinacea should not be used by people with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, lupus or MS.

MISCELLANEOUS BEVERAGES

Many Type As are usually thrilled to discover that red wine and coffee are on their highly beneficial list. You=ve probably heard reports at one time or another about drinking a glass of red wine every day to lower the risk of heart disease B they were obviously talking about Type As. Dr. D=Adamo=s theory about coffee is that it has the same enzymes as those found in soy and that it helps to increase stomach acid. He suggests alternating coffee and green tea for the best combination of benefits.

Type a Supplements

Supplements for the Type A should do the following: a) supercharge the immune system b) supply cancer-fighting antioxidants c) prevent infections d) strengthen the heart

SUPPLEMENTS WHICH ARE ENCOURAGED

Vitamin B: Vitamin B-12 deficiency can occur because animal protein is lacking in the Type A diet plus this nutrient is not easily absorbed. Seniors should be especially cautious as this deficiency can cause senile dementia and other neurologic impairments. Folic acid can be supplemented if you suffer from anemia. For those suffering from heart disease, low-dose niacin supplements can be taken owing to their cholesterol-lowering properties. Foods which are rich in Vitamin B include: fish; eggs; whole grains (niacin); miso (B-12); and tempeh (B-12).

Vitamin C: Due to low-stomach acid, Type As who ingest nitrites (a compound which results from the smoking and curing of meat) should be careful of its cancer-causing potential. This is where Vit. C with its antioxidant properties would be good because it blocks this reaction (although you should still avoid smoked and cured foods). It=s best to take two to four capsules of a 250 mg. supplement, preferably derived from rose hips. Foods that are rich in C include: berries; grapefruit; pineapple; cherries; lemon; and broccoli.

Vitamin E: The average Type A individual would benefit from taking 400 iu of Vitamin E which serves as a protectant against both cancer and heart disease. The best E-rich foods include: vegetable oil; whole grains; peanuts; and leafy green vegetables.

Calcium: Calcium lactate is the best form of calcium for Type As who according to Dr. D=Adamo, should be supplementing with 300 to 600 mg. per day. The poorest form is calcium carbonate which requires the highest amount of stomach acid for absorption. Calcium citrate and calcium gluconate are also tolerated by Type As. Calcium rich foods include: yogurt; soy milk; eggs; goat milk; canned salmon with bones; sardines with bones; broccoli; and spinach.

Iron: Due to the lack of red meat in the Type A diet; low iron is a concern especially for Type A women who suffer from heavy menstrual periods. Milder forms of iron are best to avoid upsetting the stomach. These include iron citrate or even blackstrap molasses. The liquid iron form called Floradix is highly assimilable by Type As. Best iron-rich foods include: blackstrap molasses; whole grains; beans; and figs.

Quercetin: The bioflavonoid quercetin is found abundantly in vegetables, particularly yellow onions or you can take it in capsules of 100 to 500 mg. It is much more powerful than Vitamin E as an antioxidant.

Milk Thistle: Like quercetin, milk thistle is an antioxidant which owing to special properties reaches very high concentrations in the liver and gallbladder. Cancer patients using chemotherapy should use a milk thistle supplement to help protect their livers from damage.

Bromelain: Taking a bromelain supplement or eating fresh pineapple will help Type As who suffer from poor protein absorption (eg. bloating) as it helps to break down dietary protein.

Pro-biotics: Also known as acidophilus and bifidus, probiotics can counter the ill effects of bloating and excessive gas production by supplying Agood@ bacteria in the colon. Type As especially benefit from supplements which have lots of bifidus which helps the large colon.

SUPPLEMENTS TO BE TAKEN WITH CAUTION

Zinc: Small, periodic doses enhance immunity but long-term, higher doses depress it and interfere with the absorption of other minerals. Children who take 3 mg/day are often protected against infections, especially ear infections. Zinc-rich foods include eggs and legumes.

Calcium: Cancer-prone Type As benefit from taking calcium. Dr. D=Adamo cautions against taking excessive supplements.

Chromium: Chromium enhances the effectiveness of the body=s glucose-tolerance factor which increases the efficiency of insulin. Dr. D=Adamo doesn=t advise taking chromium because he says that the long-term effects of chromium supplementation are not known and that following the blood type diet is the best protection for Type As with a family history of diabetes.

Vitamin A: Beta carotene in high doses may act as a pro-oxidant, speeding up the damage to the tissues rather than stopping it. Dr. D=Adamo recommends consuming more foods with high levels of carotenoids in them rather than beta carotene supplements. Since Vitamin A helps counteract the effects of aging upon the immune system, elderly type As would benefit from taking about 10,000 iu of Vitamin A daily. Type A carotene-rich foods: eggs; yellow squash; spinach; broccoli; and carrots.