Lectins have been linked to aging, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders, blood disorders, heart problems, blood sugar problems, digestive issues, liver challenges, learning disorders, skin problems, and even reproductive issues in women. Chances are you have been challenged in some way with one of these, know someone who has, or at the very least really would like to avoid this previous list. Basically, it would behoove you to read on.
We have learned so much about food and nutrition over the years. Hopefully everyone can agree that grouping all foods into “bad” and “good” isn’t appropriate now. One person’s healing tonic might be another’s poison. An example would be tomatoes. They are so good for you, right? They are high in Vitamins A, C, K, B6, magnesium, fiber…how could it go wrong? Well, if you have Type A or B Blood, there are certain pesky proteins in the tomato called lectins that can act like antibodies and your body will attack them like a foreign invader.
The tomato nutrients are digested by the stomach, but the lectin protein remains intact and is passed into the bloodstream, where it eventually settles somewhere and attracts cells. Once clumped with the lectin, the cells are then also targeted by the Blood A and B antigens as foreign invaders, just like the lectin. These otherwise healthy cells are now part of the attack since the body of the specific blood types can’t eliminate the tomato lectin naturally. The cell destruction, depending on where in the body this occurs, could lead to irritable bowels, liver or kidney failure, or any various disorders relating to different systems in your body(as mentioned before).
Blood Type A has only the A antigen, B has only the B antigen, AB has both, and O has neither A or B antigen. This also affects blood transfusions. Your body will only accept your type, or the universal donor type, which is Type O. Blood Type AB can receive all four types of blood. If you are given the wrong type, your body’s immune system will produce antibodies to attack those foreign antigens and could even cause death. None of this is a coincidence; each of our bodies have the automatic ability to produce antibodies from the moment we are born.
Awareness is key. If you don’t know your blood type, find it out. A good resource for information about specifically what foods work and don’t work for each blood type is Eat Right For Your Blood Type by Peter D’Amo, MD. I personally would say to take his advice in a general sense. The specific parts about proteins, carbohydrates and nightshades seem to really apply to and help most of my clients. For example, people with Blood Type O generally thrive on protein, most veggies, and staying away from heavy carbohydrates. Type A seems to work best with veggies(no nightshades) and carbs, not meat. But my take is that even within the Blood Types, each person is different.
I wouldn’t recommend attempting to avoid each and every lectin associated negatively with your blood type, especially if you do not have a serious disorder or problem. Doing this can cause a huge amount of stress, which could counteract any positive goals that you are trying to accomplish. Pay attention to the foods he says you should avoid, monitor any reaction to them when you do eat them and go from there…chances are that there will be some trigger foods that are much worse that others. JUST DO YOUR BEST. I would definitely recommend adding in as many of the lectins that are complementary to your blood type. You might see a dramatic improvement in your health…isn’t it worth a try? As my friend Libby would say, “What’s the best that could happen?!”