It's that time of year.
The barbeques have started. The AC is on. The beach days are so tantalizingly close you can almost smell the briny breeze.
If you're a student, there's just one problem: finals.
Study groups! Scantrons! #2 Pencils! The last obstacles between you and pure dog-day, suntanned, watermelon-by-the-poolside freedom. As someone about to graduate high school, I know the routine — and all of the stress, fatigue and other health issues that arise during exam season.
But, thankfully, there's good news. Using the Blood Type Diet to change the way you eat and exercise may ease the side effects of academic pressures. The BTD, a highly personalized nutrition and exercise plan, has garnered millions of followers worldwide, including household names like Fox News anchor Bret Baier and Australian supermodel Elyse Taylor, recently featured in our newsletter.
By following simple lifestyle guidelines tailored to your blood type, you can take control of your health before your exams do.
Still not convinced? Check out these 5 reasons why the BTD is perfect for students.
1. It Decreases Stress
Think back to the last time you experienced a stressful situation. How did you react? What about those around you?
Science, and the general power of observation, tell us individuals act differently under pressure. But what many don't recognize is the key role blood type plays in the physiology of the stress response.
Research has shown those with Type A blood tend to have higher levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for pressure-driven physical changes, like the thumping heart and dry mouth you might feel before a job interview or important presentation. (Sound familiar? As a Type A myself, I know this feeling all too well.)
Type Os, on the other hand, sit at the opposite side of the worry spectrum, producing less cortisol and more adrenaline due to an especially heavy "fight or flight" response. Although Type Os may not become stressed as easily as Type As, once Type Os begin feeling tense, it may take them longer to recover.
The remaining two blood types, B and AB, experience more moderate production of stress hormones, with the former exhibiting a physiological reaction that most closely mirrors Type A and the latter displaying a response more akin to Type O.
What Does This Have to Do With My Finals Again?
Blood type — and corresponding stress needs — determine the optimal exercise plan to promote relaxation.
There's nothing better than a quiet walk after a long day, right? Well, yes — if you're Type A or B.
Type O individuals would actually fare better with a high intensity workout, like running or weight training, to work off their excess adrenaline.
For more tips on reaping the full benefit of your workout, check out this newsletter.
2. It Increases Energy
The sad truth of exam season is that caffeine only gets you so far.
So, after the next all-night study session, try skipping the Starbucks run and adjusting your diet instead. Not only is a food-sourced energy boost natural, but it may actually wake you up more than that extra cup of joe.
I'll put it like this: Your ABO profile affects which disease-fighting antibodies you carry. This means blood type is intimately related to immune strength. Immune strength is compromised by nutrient deficiencies. And a compromised immune system leads to fatigue.
So, by eating the proper nutrients for your blood type — and keeping your immune system healthy — you may lower your chance of chronic exhaustion.
What Should I Eat To Increase My Energy?
For more information on the fatigue-fighting foods right for your blood type, see this newsletter or the infographics below.
3. It Improves Skin Health
Acne: Thief of confidence. Glutton for cover-ups and creams. The frustratingly mercurial roommate, agitated at the slightest stressor.
If you don't get what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky. If you do (and you're steeling yourself for all the stress-induced skin issues that come with exams), stay positive. After all, the BTD may help you cope with this most dastardly of beauty offenders.
You can use the BTD to deal with acne in two ways. Firstly, try some of the type-specific exercise methods (listed earlier in this post) to help deal with stress. Secondly, you can help your skin by following meal guidelines right for your type.
Dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, from Mt. Sinai Hospital, estimates food is about 25% responsible for acne. While no one "superfood" will cure your skin issues, eating a personalized, healthy diet can mitigate breakouts.
In general, Type As should aim for largely vegetarian meals, while Type Os should shoot for high-protein diets. Type ABs and Bs should try to achieve a balance of the two.
4. It Helps With Weight Goals
The primary objective of the BTD isn't weight loss, but if you're looking to drop a few pounds — or avoid the notorious "freshman 15" — following the type-specific meal guidelines can certainly help.
The numerous books on the diet, written by founder Dr. Peter D'Adamo, are papered with user testimonials about the quite literally weighty benefits of following recommended nutritional regimens.
In the updated edition of Eat Right 4 Your Type, a young, female Type O reports:
" I have lost 55 lbs and feel great. I don't have the stomachaches any longer… I have lost inches and have gone down 2 dress sizes. I have made ER4YT a way of life."
For help using ER4YT as a weight loss tool, check out the calorie tracker feature of Dr. D'Adamo's new program, DietBuddy, a tool for measuring compliance to the BTD and other personalized nutrition plans.
5. It Boosts Your Immune System
Taking a final while sick can be miserable.
Preserving physical wellness during exam season is one of the most important gifts you could give your body — and your grades.
Luckily, the BTD may just be the health-saver you need. As Dr. D'Adamo wrote in Eat Right 4 Your Type, "Your blood type is the key to your body's entire immune system." Your ABO identity controls the influence of viruses, bacterial infections, chemicals, stress and "the entire assortment of invaders and conditions that might compromise" your health defenses.
Immune strengths vary by blood type. Type O individuals, for example, may be able to fend off viral invaders best, because they carry antibodies for both Type A and B antigens. Basically, if a virus mimicking another blood type, as viruses often do, enters the body, Type O immune defenses will quickly recognize the pathogen.
But regardless of your type, exercising and eating along BTD guidelines keeps these immune system warriors strong.
With so many reasons to adjust your lifestyle to your blood type, why not give the BTD a try.
Good luck with your BTD journey!