EAT FOR YOUR GENES-5 FOODS TO EAT EVERYDAY IF YOU HAVE MTHFR (& FOODS TO AVOID)

The most life changing quote I have ever heard is, “you eat to live, you don’t live to eat” and that has really changed the way I look at food since I found out I have MTHFR. 

My hubby & I are a self-proclaimed “foodie”. We have no problem spending money on GOOD food & totally indulge ourselves. But we did it a little more often than I would like to admit & found our eating habits were causing major issues in our health. 

The food we eat directly impacts our health. I CRINGE when I see people promoting weight-loss plans with soda or white bread or whatever else processed/fortified food. You might not gain weight from it but it’s disrupting your entire body-ESPECIALLY if you have MTHFR.

I learned early on that I was super allergic to beer. Like I would have ONE beer and would throw up for two days straight, seriously. On top of that I wouldn’t want to eat regularly because I felt SO NAUSEOUS after every single meal. My husband got so annoyed that after every time we ate I would feel so sick after, he thought I was making it up for a while. 

Then we found out we have MTHFR and it all CLICKED!!! All the foods we were eating were fortified with folic acid and my body couldn’t handle it. It was a toxin overload from processed food, gluten, and folic acid. Especially because I was eating meat at the time so my body was absorbing all the toxins, fat,  and antibiotics from the meat as well. 

**Before we get started, my husband and I have adopted a plant-based lifestyle with the exception of eggs here and there. I have done SO much research on the health benefits of eating plant-based and encourage you to do the same. One thing I will note is I won’t do “fake”. If you have to choose between a meatless burger or real beef, it is actually healthier for you to eat the beef. I won’t do fake cheese or meat that is highly processed and full of chemicals. If you would like to learn more about the science and health benefits of a plant based diet I highly recommend these books and documentaries: Forks Over Knives (Netflix), What The Health (Netflix), Cowspiracy (Netflix), The Magic Pill (Netflix), Food Choices (Hulu), Meat Is For Pussies (Book)


5 FOODS TO EAT EVERY DAY IF YOU HAVE MTHFR

    • Riboflavin Dense Foods

      • Riboflavin is crucial to the function of your MTHFR gene because without adequate amounts of riboflavin, your body is not able to methylate. It is a B vitamin that is involved in many processes in the body and is necessary for normal cell growth and function.Riboflavin also helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body.
      • FOODS: Spinach, Avocado, Almonds, Mushrooms, and Asparagus
      • TIP: I try to eat avocados every single day & we make our own almond milk (store bought is fine too!) and on top of that I add Greens Balance into our smoothie. You can read more about Greens Balance here

 

  • Folate Rich Foods

    • There is a huge difference from synthetic folic acid which our body can’t process, and NATURAL folate found in leafy greens. It is so frustrating that labels will use the two as the same when they are TOTALLY different. You want to stay far, far, far away from folic acid and instead up your FOLATE intake from food. 
      • FOODS: Legumes, Asparagus, Spinach, Kale, Arugula, Beets, Oranges, Lemon, Grapefruit, Broccoli, Nuts, and Limes
      • TIP: If you are taking a multivitamin make sure it doesn’t say ‘folic acid’ or ‘folate’. For it to be safe for MTHFR it should say ‘L-methylfolate’. I took Smarty Pants Prenatal when I was pregnant and was very happy with it. I’ve also heard great things about Ritual Vitamins but I haven’t looked into it myself

 

  • Magnesium Dense Foods + Supplements

    • I posted about why magnesium is so important when you have MTHFR here.With MTHFR your body can’t produce magnesium naturally and usually doesn’t absorb enough from food alone. So eating a diet high in magnesium + SAFELY supplementing is crucial for MTHFR
      • FOODS: Dark Chocolate (although not vegan, in small doses it’s really great for your body and even helps cramps!) Avocados, Nuts, Legumes, Seeds, Whole Grains, Bananas, Leafy Greens, Spinach, Tofu, and Edamame.
      • SUPPLEMENTS: What I love about Seeking Health Supplements, is that they were created by Ben Lynch the author of Dirty Genes. He is a naturopath who has heavily studied our genes INCLUDING MTHFR and the effect they have on our health. They have a great line of MTHFR approved magnesium supplements. You can read all about the different magnesium supplements here to choose what one works best for YOUR body & specific needs.

 

  • Protein

    • This is the biggest argument for people who aren’t plant-based, “Where would I get my protein from?” Well…where do cows get protein from? LEAFY GREENS (if your beef or chicken is even exposed to leafy greens where most aren’t and instead fed a high diet of corn and hay so the meat you’re eating doesn’t have as much protein as you think and definitely not clean protein). With MTHFR your body can’t methylate properly which with proper methylation your body creates amino acids that are the building blocks for protein. So if you are eating for your genetics, you want to adequately up your protein intake but NOT overdo it. There are a TON of foods that contain high amounts of protein mixed with one protein shake a day is a great way to support your body. Do not think you need to go on a high protein diet because that will be EXTREMELY hard on your kidneys and your body won’t be able to detox out the rest of the protein, will hold onto it and cause a huge variety of other issues.
      • FOODS: Lentil, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds, Chickpea, Oats, Almonds, Spinach, Kale, Chard, Chia Seed, Peas, Peanut Butter, Artichoke, Quinoa, Hemp, Asparagus, White Bean, and Black Beans
      • SUPPLEMENTS: Orgain Vegan Protein Drinks or Powder (with MTHFR your body can’t process milk at all so I highly suggest the vegan option even if you do eat meat which is more compatible with your body and doesn’t contain soy or dairy).
  • Vitamin B12

    • With MTHFR your body can’t absorb B12 properly so you usually excrete it through your urine instead of holding onto it and utilizing it. However, when you start eating for your genetics and taking in more folate, protein, and magnesium your body will start to work properly and not only start methylating but start absorbing vitamin B12 which is crucial for mental health. That’s why it’s very common for those who have MTHFR to struggle with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, bi-polar, and mental illness. However, you can’t get B12 from food. There are some people who suggest B12 is found in meats but when you research studies on the true nutrients of readily available meat, the B12 content is next to none (but if you buy directly from an organic, free-range farm who feeds their animals a GREEN not corn or hay diet, there is adequate amounts of B12 in the meat)
    • SUPPLEMENTS: Arbonne Fizz is actually amazing for those with MTHFR. It contains 231% of your daily Riboflavin, 118% of your daily Vitamin B6, and 250% of your daily B12!! So it is extremely beneficial to drink everyday when you have MTHFR! And of course Seeking Health has B12 pills you can take. There are many different forms and if you have not had your levels tested, I would recommend first starting out with the lowest dose of Active B12. Then go from there!


As you can see, there are a lot of the same foods that are rich in the nutrients we need to thrive with MTHFR. It is not hard to incorporate everyday. My favorite way to start my day is with my Revive Smoothie & supplements. I HIGHLY recommend Revive smoothies because they are just freaking AMAZING. Revive uses organic superfoods and it actually costs less with a wider variety of options every day plus it takes 2 minutes to make! (PS- use Almond or Cashew milk as a base & even better if you make your own at home!)

(NOT AN AD!!! USE CODE: PICKING60 FOR 60% OFF)

ALSO-A huge misconception is that you can’t get B vitamins or protein while being vegan. But where do you think our meat gets their B vitamins and protein from? Plants. And unless you are buying local meat from an organic, free range farm- you’re not getting any of these nutrients from meat because supermarket meat is raised on a corn diet with zero sunlight causing them to lack key nutrients. Do your research on where your meat is coming from and what nutrients it actually contains.

So now let’s talk about foods to avoid when you have MTHFR. It’s seriously shocking to discover how much food is fortified with folic acid so we can avoid vitamins with folic acid but if we are not removing it from our diet, then it makes ZERO difference and nothing will change. 

MTHFR-eat for your genes

FOODS TO AVOID

  • Enriched Flour

    • Ugh, I was SO mad how many things contained enriched flour. In the 1990’s folic acid was added to enriched flour in order to prevent the risk of coronary heart disease and birth defects such as spina bifida.This was passed as a “good” thing because very few people knew about MTHFR and virtually no one knew about the health effects of MTHFR. So they add folic acid to almost EVERYTHING thinking they are cutting down the risks of spina bifida but not realizing the more folic acid someone has when they are pregnant, the HIGHER risk the fetus has of birth defects and spina bifida
      • FOODS: Enriched flour is literally in everything. That’s why when you have MTHFR eating fresh, whole foods is CRUCIAL. You can find it mostly in white bread, pastas (even some whole wheat pasta so check labels), baked goods, cookies, pretzels, chips, muffins, crackers, cereal, pizza, and pie crust.
  • Sugar

    • Sugar comes in many forms including fructose (fruit sugar and high fructose corn syrup), glucose, sucrose (white table sugar), maltose, dextrose, and more. Sugar, in small amounts, is not a bad thing. Our bodies can use sugar (from fruit, dextrose, and maltose) to make energy. However, studies show that excess sugar consumption increases inflammation which inhibits methylation.The more sugar you consume the more it feeds the bacteria in your gut which leads to a build up of toxins & inflammation.Sugar is absorbed from our intestines into our blood stream, where it increases our blood sugar levels. Insulin is the hormone that signals for sugar to enter cells. When insulin is overwhelmed, blood sugar levels stay high, and the excess sugar sticks to the outside of cells and proteins in the body causing oxidative stress. 
  • Dairy

    • THIS IS HUGE!!! Almost everyone (MTHFR or not) has a dairy intolerance that causes issues like: eczema, rosacea, acne, leaky gut, rashes, IBS, arthritis, and other inflammation caused illnesses. When you have MTHFR and consume dairy, it produces antibodies that clog your folate receptors. So dairy mixed with enriched flour is overloading your body in folic acid in dangerous amounts that build up in your blood and get stored in your fat cells, liver, and brain. 
  • Alcohol (Especially Beer)

    • I mentioned in the intro how I used to throw up for days when I would drink beer. There are many reasons why beer and certain alcohols make me extremely sick. For one, beer contains gluten which those with MTHFR find very hard to tolerate and often lead to inflammation and leaky gut. When you drink alcohol, especially beer, your glutathione (which is an antioxidant/ cell protector) gets used up by alcohol. Therefore, the more alcohol you consume (especially in one sitting), the less glutathione you’ll have, and the more oxidative stress. And because alcohol blocks the pathways to methylate and create more, your glutathione supply is not replenished. Not only that, but it’s common knowledge that alcohol directly impacts our liver. Since your liver is already overburdened when you have MTHFR and don’t detox regularly, adding alcohol regularly can lead to life threatening diseases such as Cirrhosis that’s not caused by alcoholism but a lifetime of occasional drinks + poor detoxing + poor liver support. 
  • Arbonne Supplements NOT MTHFR Approved

  • I have posted some Arbonne products I personally use and love. However, I do want to caution that not all Arbonne products are MTHFR approved and some do contain folic acid. If you are shopping with Arbonne I suggest avoiding these products:
    • Chocolate Protein Shake 10 Pack 2073 US
    • Vanilla Protein Shake 10 Pack 2074 US
    • Prepare & Endure #6260
    • Vanilla Protein Shake Mix (Powder) US #2070
    • Chocolate Protein Shake Mix (Powder) US #2069
    • Arbonne Essentials Marble Cake Protein Shake MIx
    • Whole Food Blend Multivitamin & Mineral Boost

 

 

MTHFR- eat for your genes

I hope this was helpful and not overwhelming! It seems like it’s a lot of changes to make but over time it gets easier and easier. Having MTHFR is the main reason we have adopted a plant based lifestyle and have seen tremendous results! To create lifelong habits, continue to feed your brain with research and evidence. And eliminate or change something once a month so it is not so overwhelming. You can live a very long and healthy life with MTHFR as long as you eat for your genes.

I’m always here if you want to chat! You can DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email at pickingdaisies.info@gmail.com

XOXO,

Mariah 


SOURCE:

https://www.proteinatlas.org/ENSG00000177000-MTHFR

https://bakerpedia.com/processes/flour-enrichment/

https://www.mthfrdoctors.com/what-to-eat-if-mthfr-mutation/

https://myprecisionmedicalcare.com/mthfr-the-basics/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-folate-folic-acid#5.-Beets 

https://ritual.com/articles/ingredient-bios-folate?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=08_DSA_prospecting_efw_tcpa&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7qn1BRDqARIsAKMbHDbup5hXwvwx3LOK4iLt68344nmWO6JFp5rjLb2uFJpbwwBNTst7LVcaAlrjEALw_wcB

https://yourmigrainedoctor.com/2016/09/mthfr-the-migraine-gene/ 

http://mthfr.net/histamine-intolerance-mthfr-and-methylation/2015/06/11/

https://cbdafterlife.com/cbd-for-mthfr/ 

https://mthfrliving.com/uncategorized/can-cbd-help-with-mthfr-related-conditions-25-off/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-high-in-magnesium 

https://www.joshgitalis.com/dark-side-white-sugar-flour/

https://doctordoni.com/2017/11/liver-function-and-mthfr/ 

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