Support your overall health through nutrition.
One of the biggest questions we’ve seen concerning MTHFR relates to diet: the best types of foods to consume and the best nutrients for the body. Your diet is very important because most of the nutrients supporting your body come from the foods you eat, and certain foods can impair nutrient absorption. The most important thing to consider when thinking about your diet is that individuals with MTHFR mutations have issues processing folic acid.
Avoid Folic Acid!
Folic acid builds up and blocks folate receptors inhibiting folate from entering the body and supporting methylation. As a result, folic acid should be avoided if you have a MTHFR mutation. Folic acid is found in enriched foods such as cereals, bread, rice, and many processed foods. To summarize: if you have MTHFR you want to eat foods rich in folate, not folic acid.
Folate is found in many foods, one of the biggest sources being leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables should be an essential part of your diet if you have an MTHFR mutation. Folate supports the methylation cycle which supports almost every function in the body from DNA repair to detoxification. Vitamin B12 is another necessary nutrient and is found in animal proteins. The Methylation cycle depends on folate and B12 to reduce homocysteine. B12 is essential for energy production, cardiovascular health, and digestive health. Vegans and vegetarians should consider supplementing with Methyl B12 given that their diet lacks animal protein. Click here for an MTHFR Friendly B Complex.
Choline is another essential nutrient and methyl donor, meaning it supports the methylation system. Choline regulates homocysteine and is needed for adequate neurotransmitter synthesis. Additionally, it protects against cognitive decline and aids in memory and mood. It can be found in animal proteins such as eggs and meat. An important tip: eat organic as much as possible to reduce pesticide intake.
Vitamin C is important for neurotransmitter production as well as immune function. Want to improve your immune system? Vitamin C is your ticket. It’s found in citrus, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, and blueberries. If you have histamine issues and have a hard time with citrus foods, additional Vitamin C supplementation may be required. Click here for an MTHFR Friendly Multivitamin with Vitamin C, in a form that is gentle on the stomach.
Try different fruits and vegetables. Eating a varied diet can better your gut bacteria. Going to a local farmers market and buying the seasonal fruits and vegetables can help you incorporate new foods into your diet and assures your getting organic high-quality products. Glutathione is an antioxidant which helps reduce free radicals and oxidative stress from the body. It can be found in Sulphur-rich foods such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, eggs, onion, and garlic. These foods are needed for detoxification and are beneficial in maintaining good health.
Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics and provide healthy bacteria that protect the gut. Additionally, they increase the immune system and regulate a healthy appetite. Fermented foods can be bought at your local grocery store, at the farmers market, or you can make your own. A few options are Kefir, kombucha, yogurt, and sauerkraut. The benefits are endless: assists with digestion increases energy, fights inflammation, and strengthens bones.
Not everyone eating these foods will retain the adequate amount of nutrients needed for the body, and additional supplementation may be needed. All in all, avoiding folic acid and processed foods and adding in nutrients which support methylation is essential when fighting symptoms associated with MTHFR mutations.
Know your MTHFR gene mutation? Take our survey to find out more about your specific mutation.