I have lately been plagued by allergies resulting in facial swelling and irritation, which have left doctors puzzled. Sharing this with friends in the hope of finding a solution, I have since discovered a whole bunch of people who suffer from various food allergies, the most common being to MSG (monosodium glutamate), chana, milk, nuts and wheat. Allopathic medicine has no explanation and the cure is anti-histamines and, eventually, steroids. Frankly, when you are in the middle of the attack (the swelling can last a week or more if you don’t treat it, leaving scars and redness), you just want instant relief, no matter what your stance on allopathic versus alternative medicine is.
Eat right: Fish?is good if you’re O-positive.
A few years ago, I came across Peter D’Adamo’s research on the connection between blood type and diet. What he says in a nutshell is that your blood type is the key to your body’s immune system, and as such is the essential defining factor of your health profile. There are foods that each blood type should avoid. Eating these foods results in a breakdown of the immune system and causes diseases. According to the doctor, a chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat. This reaction is part of your genetic inheritance.
By sticking to his diet for each blood type, you will reset your metabolic clock, restore the natural protective functions of your immune system and clear your blood of “dangerous agglutinating lectins”. I am O-positive. According to him, we thrive on animal protein since we were originally hunters. We should be eating lean meats, poultry and seafood and avoid processed pork products. We can eat most vegetables except corn, avocado, potatoes and cauliflower. Dairy is like poison to our body except for a little goat cheese (feta) and mozzarella. Wheat and multigrain is again a no-no. Most fruits are fine except melon, orange and kiwi. Coconut milk is forbidden and we should definitely avoid pickles, anything with vinegar, ketchup and — here’s the worst part — all liquor except red wine. We can drink plain soda, but no fizzy drinks.
Although I practised the other American diet bible of the 1980s, Fit for Life, with a huge amount of success, I was dubious about this one until, by chance, I came across a doctor recently at a restaurant called My Blood Type, in the heart of Singapore’s central business district. It was chance, since the restaurant we had booked nearby was closed and we thought this might be interesting. She is an advocate of Dr D’Adamo and when I told her about my allergies, she asked if I had eaten either milk, corn, high fat nuts or potatoes — which I had — prior to each attack. This sort of threw me. Dr D’Adamo has documented everything thoroughly on his website and in his books, Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type being his most famous one. He also has a book on food allergies and how to fight them with the right diet. I am going to try it for sure.
At the restaurant in Singapore, we were each given a menu according to our blood type. On mine for example, I had Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil, Citrus marinated Yellow Fin Tuna with Confit of Citrus, Black Sea Bass with Mushroom Risotto and Basil Hollandaise Sauce and a divine Jasmine Tea Jelly with Pomelo and Lime Sorbet. All the pasta was made from rice or a grain called spelt and milk was soya or extracted from oats. It just proved that you can have gourmet food and still be healthy and follow this diet.
Steamed Fish with Spring Onions and Ginger (ideal for an O-positive blood type)
This is one of my favourite recipes. It uses ginger in its purest form and is a dish where you can taste flavours and appreciate textures.
4 firm white fish fillets, such as rawas or a whole fish such as pomfret
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
For the garnish
2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
If using whole fish, gills should be removed. Pat the fish or fish fillets dry with a kitchen towel. Rub the salt on both sides of the fish and then set aside for 30 minutes. This helps the fish to firm up and draws out any excess moisture. Set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok or over a deep pan. Fill it with about 2 inches of water. Put the fish on a plate and scatter the ginger evenly on top. Put the plate of fish into the steamer or on to the rack. Cover the steamer with a lid and gently steam the fish until it is just cooked. Flat fish will take about 5 minutes to cook. Thicker fish or fillets will take 15 minutes.
Remove the plate of cooked fish and sprinkle the spring onions and light soy sauce on it. Heat the two oils together in a small saucepan. When they are hot, add the garlic slices and brown them. Pour the garlic-oil mixture over the top of the fish and serve at once. It’s great with steamed rice.
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