5 Foods to Eat If You Have MTHFR (& what foods to avoid with MTHFR)


The most life-changing quote I have ever heard is, “You eat to live, you don’t live to eat.” This perspective has revolutionized my approach to food since discovering I have the MTHFR mutation.

My husband and I are self-proclaimed foodies who love indulging in delicious, high-quality food. However, our frequent indulgences began to take a toll on our health. The food we consume directly impacts our well-being, and I cringe when I see weight-loss plans promoting soda, white bread, or other processed foods. While these might not cause immediate weight gain, they disrupt the body—especially if you have MTHFR.

Early on, I discovered I was extremely allergic to beer. Just one beer would make me violently ill for days. Additionally, I felt nauseous after every meal, which frustrated my husband as he initially thought I was exaggerating.

Then, we found out we both have the MTHFR gene mutation, and everything clicked! The fortified foods we were eating, full of folic acid, were toxic to my system. Processed foods, gluten, and folic acid were causing a toxic overload.

In this blog, I share the best foods to eat if you have the MTHFR gene mutation. My journey and experiences aim to help others navigate their diets and improve their health.


#1 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

#2 Folate Rich Foods

There is a huge difference between 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.’

#3 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.

#4 Protein

It’s essential for proper methylation to get high-quality protein. Protein is necessary for methylation, which in turn helps create amino acids—the building blocks for protein. It’s important to find a balance and not overdo it. Excessive protein can be hard on your kidneys and may cause other health issues if not properly managed.

FOODS: Organic, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, eggs, and lamb. Also, incorporate plant-based proteins such as lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa.

#5 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, bipolar disorder, and mental illness.

FOODS: Organic, free-range meat and wild-caught fish are excellent sources of B12.

Eat For Your Genes: 5 Foods to Eat If You Have MTHFR (& what foods to avoid)

One Day Sample Meal Plan for MTHFR Gene Mutation

To help you get started, here’s a one-day sample meal plan that incorporates foods beneficial for those with MTHFR:


  • Spinach and Avocado Omelet: Made with organic eggs, fresh spinach, avocado slices, and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
  • Side: Fresh orange slices.
  • Drink: Green tea or a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon.

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • Handful of Almonds and a Banana


  • Grilled Chicken Salad: Organic, free-range grilled chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens (spinach, kale, arugula), topped with sliced mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a handful of walnuts. Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Drink: Water with a slice of lime.

Afternoon Snack:

  • Greek Yogurt with Fresh Berries: Choose a high-quality Greek yogurt and add blueberries, strawberries, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.


  • Baked Salmon with Asparagus and Quinoa: Season the salmon with herbs and lemon, and bake it alongside asparagus. Serve with a side of quinoa cooked in vegetable broth.
  • Side: Steamed broccoli.
  • Drink: Water with a slice of grapefruit.

Evening Snack:

  • Dark Chocolate: A small piece of dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) with a handful of pumpkin seeds.

 5 Foods to Eat If You Have MTHFR (& what foods to avoid with MTHFR) 5 Foods to Eat If You Have MTHFR (& what foods to avoid with MTHFR)


It’s seriously shocking to discover how much food is fortified with folic acid. 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.

#1 Enriched Flour

Ugh, I was SO mad when I discovered how many things contained enriched flour. In the 1990s, folic acid was added to enriched flour 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.

#2 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, leading to a buildup of toxins and inflammation. Sugar is absorbed from our intestines into our bloodstream, 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.

#3 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 with folic acid in dangerous amounts that build up in your blood and get stored in your fat cells, liver, and brain.

#4 Alcohol (Especially Beer)

I mentioned how I used to throw up for days when I would drink ONE beer. There are many reasons why beer and certain alcohols make me extremely sick. When you drink alcohol your glutathione (which is an antioxidant and 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.

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. 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!

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