Is the "Blood Type Diet" a Modern Spin on Ancient Wisdom?
Have you heard of the blood type diet? I recently attended a seminar on this way of eating. I was interested in the topic because it seemed like less of a “fad diet” than most new diets introduced in western culture. In fact, it seems to me like a “western” way of explaining a concept that traditional cultures have understood for thousands of years: bioindividuality.
No two people are exactly alike, and no two people will have exactly the same dietary needs. This concept exists in Ayurveda through the “doshas” and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) with the “constitutions.” For westerners who are used to our own system of medicine and analysis, the blood type diet might be a more accessible and easily understandable way of examining this concept.
Is there any overlap between these ancient systems of medicine and the blood type diet? After five years of holistic health coaching, I have to say: there is!
I often see that a person’s blood type can offer insight into why they’ve established certain health problems based on the foods they’re eating — foods that are considered “poisonous” to their blood type. For example, a person with type O blood is said to do best with a high protein and low carb diet. Let’s say this type has decided to follow a vegan diet that is high in wheat. She may experience symptoms like anemia or, in TCM, “qi (energy/life-force) deficiency.” This person would need to eat foods that build blood and qi. The easiest way to do this, according to TCM, is through animal protein. On a vegan diet, she may also build qi by being more educated about and specific with her food choices, but the process will take longer.
Often I find that the women who come to speak with me and are struggling with veganism, even though they so strongly resonate with the ethics behind it, are blood type O and/or at a stage of life in which their qi requirements are higher (pregnancy, postpartum, and breastfeeding, for example, are stages of life in which a woman loses a tremendous amount of blood and qi, and animal protein might actually be healing.
Is the blood type diet a perfect system for establishing a health and nutrition protocol? Well, how could it be? There is so much more involved in our health than just our blood type. A few example are our age, our emotional and spiritual blockages (which are just as energetic as our physical ones!), our sex, where we live, and what our ancestors ate. This is why I look at health holistically. But I will say that knowing our blood type helps. It is a piece to a larger puzzle.
And why am I writing about this now? I’ve been thinking a lot about the judgements we make on others for their dietary choices, but what if this can help eliminate them? Certain people’s bodies are better adapted to plant-based diets, and for others, I’ve come to see, high quality animal foods, in reasonable doses, can be medicinal. I would be very wary of anyone who tells you that all humans are designed to be vegan, vegetarian or omnivores! We may not be living in the tropics where many believe we have evolved on a plant-based diet, just as we may not be living in cold climates where hunting became necessary for survival. There is so very much that has come together to create you. You are truly a unique and divine miracle, and the foods that will help you thrive reflect that. What do you think? I would love to hear from you in comments.
Curious to learn more about the 4 constitutions in traditional Chinese medicine? Dive deeper in my book.
As always, sending you love, light, and longevity,