If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know there are four basic body types - adrenal, ovary, liver and thyroid - and that getting healthy and losing weight depends upon eating for your body type rather than a cookie cutter plan.
But how do you know what you should be eating for your body type, and whether or not you’re eating for the right one?
Well, one easy way to find out which body type you are is to take the free quiz I’ve developed, which you can do right here. There’s also a more comprehensive quiz, which you can find in my book, The 7 Principles of Fat Burning. The results are usually pretty straightforward, and you’ll learn more toward one body type than the others.
Once you’ve figured out which body type you are, you can pretty much skip straight to that eating plan, customizing it to fit your preferences. But if you’re a mixed body type, or you feel like you’re all body types, then the best thing to do is start with the adrenal body type (which I’ll outline later on in this article along with the rest of the eating plans).
Why should I start with the adrenal plan?
Well, from working with some 40,000 patients over the past 25 years, I’ve found that around 80% of the people are adrenal, so it’s highly likely you fit into that category. The trick is that whichever eating plan you are on should feel right to you, so you can just start with the adrenal plan, and if it doesn’t feel good, or just doesn’t seem to click with you, you can just move straight on to a different plan.
If the adrenal plan doesn’t feel right to you, or if you don’t feel you’re losing as much weight as you should be, I’d recommend you skip over to the liver plan. The ovary and thyroid types have very specific symptoms, and you’ll usually know if you have that body type. So if you’re not sure, and adrenal doesn’t seem to be working out for you, I’d try the liver plan next and go from there. Chances are, though, you’re going to do very well with the adrenal plan right off the bat. But if you don’t, just keep trying the different ones until you find which plan works best for you.
Now, let’s get into what these different eating plans are!
The Adrenal Body Type
So, with the adrenal body type, these are the three main things you should be focusing on:
When I say high protein, I’m not talking about the typical standards recommended by the Food Pyramid. I think they suggest somewhere around 125
grams of protein a day, which is way too much! I recommend between 3-6 ounces of animal protein per meal for adrenal types, and I usually find that works very well.
Why does the adrenal body type need more protein? Well, the thing with adrenal types is that their bodies are breaking down more protein in their muscles, the collagen and skin, than the other body types. So you need to replace that protein, or you’re going to feel weaker.
Now, eating all that protein isn’t going to guarantee on its own that you’re going to grow back your hair, skin and nails. The whole point of this eating plan is to fix the hormonal imbalances that are causing your body to eat itself up, so that your body starts metabolizing those hormones and that protein you’re eating.
On that note, then, I’ve actually sometimes found that people do a bit better on the liver plan, because they clean out their liver and restore the proper balance of hormones in their body, and then suddenly their skin and hair and nails are healthy again!
But anyway, if you’re an adrenal type, you should be going for 3-6 ounces of animal protein per meal, preferably organic or free-range eggs, fish, chicken, stuff like that.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can do Spirulina, or try to find some other source of protein, some protein powder or something. Just make sure you’re getting those 3-6 ounces per meal, preferably in the early part of the day.
A lot of people have the misconception that high fat means deep-fried twinkies or something. But when I say high fat, I’m talking about nuts, avocados, cheese, plain yogurt, and so on. Healthy fats!
Why does the adrenal type need to eat more fats? Well, first of all, the adrenal stress hormones are made from cholesterol, which you can find only in animal fats. When a person’s stress levels are high, they develop high cholesterol in order to build more hormones.
This means that when they then try to lower their cholesterol with diet or medication, the body is unable to create enough adrenal hormones to keep up with the stress. So adding more animal fats to your diet handles this problem, so your body is able to produce adrenal hormones without developing high cholesterol.
Also, adrenal types typically have blood sugar issues, so if you don’t have enough fat in your diet you tend to crash and burn and don’t feel very satisfied. Therefore, it’s very important for adrenal types to have enough fats in their diet.
I don’t recommend cruciferous vegetables—kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts— because adrenal types usually experience bloating. Kale shakes in the exception and will be fine, but if you’re experiencing bloating, gas or stomach pain, then you should stop eating cruciferous vegetables.
Instead, you should consume other vegetables, like romaine lettuce, spinach, tomato, carrots, celery and so on—there’s a full list at the bottom of this post. You should have at least 7-10 cups of vegetables a day, because most of the vitamins you need are in these vegetables.
High protein, high fat, non-cruciferous vegetables. Pretty straightforward, right?
The Ovary Body Type
Alright, so if you’re an ovary body type, these are the guidelines you should follow:
High Protein and High fat
Like the adrenal type, the ovary body type should be consuming high amounts of protein—again, 3-6 ounces per meal. But unlike the adrenal type, ovary types should consume more dairy—keifer, yogurt, cheese—and it needs to be organic.
If you absolutely can’t afford to get organic, just look at the label and make sure it says no rBST. That means no hormones, and is very important when you’re shopping for dairy products.
The reason I say more dairy is that there are certain factors in dairy that support ovary types—in fact, ovary types crave dairy. But instead of ice cream, cream cheese and cheese cake, you’ll be eating keifer, yogurt, cheese, things like that instead.
This way, by consuming more dairy, you’ll be getting the high protein and high fat that ovary types need.
Now, unlike adrenal types, ovary types actually need cruciferous vegetables in their diet. Why? Because cruciferous vegetables are anti-estrogenic. The ovary type produces too much estrogen, and so eating cruciferous vegetables helps clean up the estrogen and balance out your hormones.
The kale shake is great for ovary types, as well as other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus and so on. These vegetables also happen to be cancer-fighting, so that’s an extra bonus for you!
I don’t recommend consuming soy in general, but if you’re an ovary type you should avoid soy completely. Soy products increase estrogen levels, which are already too high in ovary types. So eating soy will actually reverse what we’re trying to do, which is clean away all that excess estrogen that’s causing all that weight gain in your lower body.
It’s a funny thing, you know, because soy protein is found in all kinds of health bars, protein shakes and pre-packaged diet foods. So if you’ve been on any diets that require you to eat those things and wondering why you’re not losing any weight, that’s why! Plus, these companies usually use very low-quality soy, and eating too much of this stuff can actually cause tumors.
So, high protein, high fat, cruciferous vegetables, and no soy. Got that? Good.
The Liver Body Type
So, the liver body type is pretty different from the last two types we’ve gone over.
For this type, you should be consuming:
The thing about liver types is that the worse off your liver is, the harder it is for your body to digest protein. The liver is responsible for metabolizing protein, so if you’re a liver type and you eat too much, you’re going to end up with digestive issues.
I recommend consuming no more than 3 ounces of protein per meal if you’re a liver body type, and avoiding animal protein as much as possible.
Liver types don’t do very well on fat, so it’s best to cut down on it as much as possible. In fact, the way to destroy your liver is by consuming too many cooked meats and cooked or deep fried fats. One way you can tell if you have an unhealthy liver is if you have a low tolerance for red meat or fat.
The funny thing about the liver type, though, is they actually crave fat. So if you’re a liver type, you can have some, but you’re also going to have to add bile salts to your diet. My Gallbladder Support Formula has bile salts, and makes it so that you can digest more fat. It’s really great if you have issues with bloating, burping or belching.
If you’re a liver type, it’s very important for you to consume lots of cruciferous vegetables. Why? Because cruciferous vegetables have a ton of phytonutrients in them.
What the heck are phytonutrients? Well, “phyto” comes from a Greek word that means “plant”. So phytonutrients are plant nutrients, and they have unique properties that fight against many types of diseases. Some good examples include breast cancer, prostate cancer and macular degeneration.
Anyway, the reason I want you consuming these cruciferous vegetables is because a damaged liver needs these phytonutrients in order to heal. The liver is amazing, because it’s one of the only organs that can regenerate itself completely—BUT, it takes about three years of healthy eating to do it!
So that’s why I recommend eating lots of phytonutrient-dense cruciferous vegetables—7-10 cups a day.
I especially recommend kale, because it has over 600 carotenoids—a type of phytonutrient that gives vegetables their vivid colors and also has a lot of properties to help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
In contrast, iceberg lettuce has no phytonutrients at all! So if you’re a liver type I’d highly recommend switching it out for kale, and seeing what other noncruciferous vegetables you can switch out for cruciferous vegetables.
Headaches, right shoulder pain, or bloating If you’re experiencing headaches, right shoulder pain, or bloating, that means you’re consuming too much fat. Your liver is on the right side of your body, so if it’s having trouble, you’re going to tend to have problems with the right side of
Liver types also don’t do very well on nuts or peanut butter (which are high in fat), and so eating too much of these can cause bloating. And nearly all headache issues come from liver or gallbladder problems.
It’s also interesting to note that if you’re having liver problems, you’re going to have a tougher time digesting fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A or vitamin E. So for example, if you’re eating a lot of kale (which is high in vitamin A), yet you still have dry skin, it’s just because your body is having trouble absorbing the fatsoluble nutrients that would otherwise handle your dry skin.
The solution to all of these is cut down on the fats that are aggravating your condition, and consume bile salts to make it easier for your body to digest fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
So, to summarize, if you’re a liver type, make sure you’re eating low protein, low fat, and lots of cruciferous vegetables, okay? Great.
The Thyroid Body Type
If you’re a thyroid body type, then you’re dealing with weight gain all over and a
very slow metabolism. Here’s what you should be eating to handle those things:
Thyroid types really don’t do very well with protein. So as with the liver type, I’d recommend no more than 3 ounces of protein per meal. Soy protein especially has been found to suppress thyroid function, so definitely stay away from soy too.
Like liver types, thyroid types also have issues with high-fat diets. If you have a weak thyroid, your body isn’t going to be able to digest fats properly. So make sure you stay away from fried foods or foods with high-fat content.
If you have a thyroid body type, I recommend avoiding cruciferous vegetables and eating the same types of vegetables as the adrenal type. This is because cruciferous vegetables tend to deplete iodine, and your thyroid needs iodine in order to function.
It probably wouldn’t be such a big deal if you had a healthy thyroid, but if you’re struggling with thyroid issues it’s best not to stress the thyroid by making sure it’s got enough iodine to work properly. Of course, if you absolutely can’t give up your asparagus, there’s a way around this—just add more iodine into your diet! Sea kelp or sea weed is a great way to do this, or you can also try my Cruciferous Foods Supplement, which I give to patients who don’t like sea weed.
None of this is set in stone
One key thing I’d like to bring up is that each of these eating plans are more like rules of thumb than strict guidelines. Rather than following these eating plans exactly, listen to your body and see how it responds, then adjust accordingly.
For example, let’s say you’re on one of these diets and you start feeling bloated. That could happen because you’ve got a gall bladder problem, or you’re consuming nuts and peanut butter and they aren’t agreeing you. If that happens, and you’ve got burping, belching or bloating, then you need to start adding bile salts to your diet.
On the other hand, the bloating, burping or belching could also be caused by eating too many cruciferous vegetables. Why? Because many people with adrenal or digestive issues can’t digest the heavy fibers from broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, and they experience stomach pain and bloating.
Usually that’s caused by an enzyme deficiency, but if you’re experiencing these symptoms, then you need to cut these things out of your diet. You can build up a tolerance to them as your system starts healing, but for now, it’s best to avoid them completely.
Now, if you’re experiencing fatigue on any one of these programs, you need to up your protein intake. Everyone’s body has different needs, so even if you’re on the liver plan, you should increase your protein until you stop experiencing fatigue.
The point is to do what feels right for YOUR body. If you happen to be craving sweets, then you need to increase your vegetable intake. Sugar cravings come about when your body isn’t getting enough nutrients. You’ll also start craving carbs if you’re low on potassium, so you should be able to handle that by adding more potassium-rich vegetables to your diet (acorn squash is a good one.)
So, as I’ve mentioned earlier, make sure you’re consuming 7-10 cups of vegetables per day. It’s not that hard if you do a kale shake and a couple of salads a day. As long as you’re consuming enough greens, your cravings should go away within a couple of days. Again, if you’re not sure which body type you fall into, you can take my free body type quiz here. And if you still can’t quite pin it down, just start with the adrenal type and go from there. Just make sure you listen to your body, and follow these general guidelines so you’ll know how to adjust according to your symptoms.
And if you have any questions about eating for your body type, or any successes you’d like to share, please let me know! I always love hearing from my readers
Dr. Eric Berg DC
Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
A very prevalent cause of neuropathy or nerve damage. Chemotherapy drugs are toxic chemicals (poisons) that attack fast growing cells (rapidly dividing cells). The theory behind using these toxins is that it will destroy the fast growing cancer cells before it does too much damage to normal cells.
Nerves are very sensitive cells.
Read about the form of Neuropathy
What is needed for Nerve Health
Detoxification & the Liver
The liver weighs about 3 lbs and is about the size of a football. The liver has many functions. It is both an organ and a gland. You can see liver's location in the body in this photo.
The liver has 500 functions, mainly digestion and detoxification.
The liver carries out the manufacture (synthesis) of essential proteins including albumin (to help maintain the volume of blood) and blood clotting factors. The liver synthesizes, stores, and processes (metabolizes) fats including fatty acids (used for energy) and cholesterol.
The liver metabolizes and stores carbohydrates which are used as a source of glucose that the red blood cells and the brain uses.
The liver is the major organ for detoxification.
The liver is the body's filtration system. It filters out microbes, drugs and dead cells from the body as an immune function. Every hormone, chemical, bacteria, virus, fungus and parasite is filtered through the liver. The liver is like an oil filter in your car.
The liver eliminates, by metabolizing and/or secreting, the potentially harmful biochemical products produced by the body, biochemical waste products such as bilirubin from the breakdown of old red blood cells, and ammonia from the breakdown of proteins It detoxifies, by metabolizing and/or secreting, drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins from the body.
A Special Organ
The liver has many special features. For example, in order to carry out its functions. It has ducts (tubes) that closely connect it to the gallbladder and intestines. Thus, bile made by the liver travels through these tubes to the gallbladder. The bile is stored in the gallbladder between meals, and then is discharged into the intestines at mealtime to aid in digestion.
The liver is appropriately situated in the body to directly receive the blood that comes from the intestines. With this arrangement, the liver can readily process (metabolize) nutrients absorbed from food as well as other contents of this blood..
Because of its numerous biochemical functions, the liver is considered the biochemical factory of the body.
The liver has three lobes which are grouped into three zones which are related to the liver's blood supply and drainage. The blood enters one zone and then travels through the second and third before it leaves. Each zone has its own special function to perform.
The liver has a dual blood supply. One comes from the portal vein and the other from the hepatic artery. The hepatic artery brings the liver oxygenated blood that comes from the lungs, heart and branches of the aortic artery. This artery supplies blood to nourish the bile ducts and the liver cells. The blood is removed from the liver by the hepatic veins and then heads back to the heart and lungs.
Gall bladder and Bile
The liver makes bile. Bile acids, which includes bile salts, aid in fat absorption and modulate cholesterol levels. They are produced from cholesterol in the liver and are stored in the gall bladder The liver then secretes bile to aid in the intestinal absorption of fats and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Bile breaks down the fats in your diet. It also is necessary for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins. A, D, E, K. Without the proper bile salts a person won't get the benefits of these vitamins whether from supplements or from food.
If your body cannot absorb Vitamin A, you have trouble seeing at night, have sinus problems and dry skin. You may have yellow skin tag on inside of eye Lack of absobtion of Vitamin D results in calcium not being absorbed. You can have seasonal depression. If it cannot absorb Vitamin E, the libido is down. Not absorbing Vitamin K will result in bruising.
Lack of bile will result in bloating, burping, belching, headaches on the right side. (98% of headaches come from lack of bile). A person will feel very bloated at night.
You will crave the stuff you can't absorb. This means that the body is not absorbing the food. If you are not absorbing, the body will want the stuff it isn't absorbing. A person will crave sweets after eating due to low blood sugar. You are not digesting fats so you crave them. Another symptom is being grouchy in the morning.
When the liver is damaged over the years, toxins that are normally filtered out, can re-circulate through the body re-exposing delicate glands to harmful compounds and can trigger a toxic overload. Synthetic estrogens, medications, aspirin, birth control pills will cause damage. Alcohol will damage and eventually destroy the liver.
Damage to the liver causes a potbelly appearance. Fluid coming from the destruction of the liver will leak into the sac around belly. What is the most obvious sign of liver problems, the pot belly – hard, higher, most of it is fluid. That is why the symptom of a liver not functioning properly is that the stomach will become hard and solid. Fluid is leaking.
There are many things that are hard on the liver, heavy cooked proteins and deep fried foods. The worse the liver, the more you can’t tolerate heavy proteins.
Symptoms of Liver Problems
Symptoms of liver being taxed is right shoulder pain - there is a nerve that goes from the liver to the right shoulder. Livers swell and you can't sleep on the left side as the liver is too heavy.
Red spots on the skin, itchy skin, psoriasis, liver spots, hot feet, white tongue, bad breath, digestive bloating, itchy bottom of feet are all symptoms of liver problems.
A good thing is that the liver can regenerate – three years of eating a certain way will regenerate the liver.
Losing Weight and the Liver
The liver also makes a fat burning hormone, but all the 6 fat burning hormones work through the liver. As fat on the body is burned, it has to travel through the liver to be metabolized.
The liver helps stabilize a person's blood sugars when a person is not eating, thus keeping the fuel source in the blood constant. If it is not working correctly, the liver will have problems digesting fats.
High protein diets are not recommended for someone with a less than stellar liver. The liver needs to be healthy. This is especially true for someone who is older who will have more problems digesting protein. A high protein diet is missing nutrients – not enough nutrients - and it is hard on liver. Fat will be released through liver and plug it up. Fatty liver, block liver from detoxifying, and it will create bad breath. It is not healthiest way. It is not a long term solution.
Your liver needs vegetables – the fiber buffers insulin. Your want to get your metabolism healthy Vegetables have vitamins and minerals to burn more fat. It has the highest nutrition and improves liver function.
Alcohol as a toxin mess with liver and slow down weight loss. If you stop using alcohol for a while as the liver needs to repair. Don’t want to drink alcohol every day.
Thyroid and the Liver
The thyroid's functions can be blocked due to a liver problem.
T4 is thyroxin that the thyroid produces. The 4 stands for 4 iodine molecules. In order for the body to be able to use the thyroxin, bile salts need to convert T4 to T3 (eliminates one of the iodine molecules).
Thus if there is a lack of bile salts, the body will not be able to use the thyroid hormone.
If liver is bad, the thyroid doesn’t work. Anything that messes with Liver, will stop the thyroid.
Besides converting the T4 to T3, bile salts are needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.
If you feel bloated at night, the body is not absorbing the food. It will want the stuff you can’t absorb – will need sweet after you eat for low blood sugar. Not digesting fats so crave. You will be grouchy in the morning.
Liver does well on cruciferous vegetables.
Liver Cleanse - Organic Cruciferous Vegetables
When the body needs bile salts and the liver needs help, a really remarkable supplement is Dr. Berg's Gallbladder Formula
What are some of the symptoms a person would have if they needed this product? Bloating, indigestion, burping, belching and right shoulder tension and pain.
The Gallbladder Formula contains natural ingredients.
This product has a blend of gallbladder targeted nutrients to thin bile, reduce digestive stress, break down stones and improve the digestion of fats. Most digestive drugs work by reducing acid and this natural product enhances the bile, a commonly omitted factor.
For information about this formula including a video by Dr. Berg go to Dr. Berg's Gallbladder Formula
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