MTHFR Living Healthy: Can We Eat That? – An infographic by the team at Living Healthy: MTHFR – Can We Eat That?
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9 Toxic Foods, 15 Safe Ones & A Few in the Middle
We’ll dive into the details below, but we’ve also put this info into the foodful infographic above.
Can MTHFR people eat popcorn? Sure!
Popcorn has plenty of benefits. With whole grains, fiber and antioxidants, it’s a great alternative for chips and other less nutritional snacks. There are a lot of great things about popcorn (aside from being the perfect companion for a great movie). Popcorn is a fabulous snack food, as long as it’s not coated in unhealthy oils, additives, sugar and chemicals. It’s best to opt for non-GMO and organic when possible.
Here’s a fantastic article about the health benefits of popcorn: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/healthy-benefits-popcorn-4376.html
Can MTHFR people drink coffee? In moderation.
Let’s face it, coffee is a ritual many of us cherish. For some of us, it’s our ‘pick-me-up’ for every morning. For some of us, it helps us focus at work. It provides a much needed adrenaline rush to keep us going. And we all know the ultimate relaxing experience of a delicious latte with a friend.
So why only in moderation? http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/06/13/ten-reasons-to-quit-your-coffee/#openModal
People with MTHFR struggle with chemical and toxin removal from our bodies, with inflammation and insomnia being classic complaints. Coffee isn’t really helpful for us.
Also, people with MTHFR struggle with B12 and folate consumption, which contributes to elevated homocysteine. Studies have linked elevated homocysteine with coffee consumption. See http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/2/403.full
You also don’t want to go crazy with coffee for the same reason you don’t want to go crazy with any stimulative drinks. While coffee can help us focus and offers a relaxation mentality, sipping green tea can offer the same, while providing antioxidants and anti-inflamatory health benefits.
Can MTHFR people eat donuts? No. Unless the’re gluten free.
You watch the kids eating them in the backseat of the car, smiling, with powdered sugar all over their faces and laps. You cave in and finish the half a donut your five year old left behind. And then for three days you experience tiredness, irritability, back pain or other symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Was it worth it? Probably not. You see, people with MTHFR have to be extra careful to avoid gluten. Most baked goods have a LOT of gluten. It’s in the flour. It’s the secret culprit behind all sorts of symptoms people experience with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. With gluten sensitivities, our bodies react to gluten as if it’s a foreign invader. Our immune system goes into overdrive to eliminate and expel it. No wonder consuming it can tire us out and cause inflammation!
The great news is, nowadays there are many delicious gluten free options available. Most supermarkets and grocery stores carry gluten free donuts, cookies, breads and snacks to enjoy. Here is a delicious recipe we found for donuts you CAN have: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gluten-free-sugar-glazed-doughnuts.html
Can MTHFR people eat broccoli? Sure!
Broccoli is an all-star super food with so many health benefits. It’s low in calories, and rich in essential vitamins and minerals. It’s got vitamins K and C, lots of folate, potassium and fiber. A cup of cooked broccoli offers as much vitamin C as an orange, and is also a good source of beta-carotene. Plus, broccoli contains iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables – it’s related to brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. Broccoli contains sulforophane, a sulfur-containing compound found in cruciferous vegetables. Research indicates that sulforophane may contain anti-cancer properties.
Steaming, roasting, stir-frying, and microwaving is the best way to preserve the nutrients in broccoli. Boiling broccoli can leach up to 90% of valuable nutrients into the water.
Can MTHFR people eat dairy? In moderation.
Research studies show that dairy causes inflammation in the body. People with an actual dairy allergy or lactose intolerance (who experience gastric disturbances and assorted reactions including inflammation) should obviously avoid it completely. Researchers are not sure whether the culprits are lactose, casein, or other elements in dairy. People with MTHFR tend to struggle with gastritis and gut issues. Some of our bodies don’t produce the right enzymes to deal with dairy, so we need to consume it in moderation or avoid it completely. Organic dairy is always a better choice, but can still cause inflammation.
If you’re healthy and having no current issues, then some dairy here and there shouldn’t be a problem. If you have any pain, aches, autoimmune issues, etc, it might be a good idea to eliminate it, at least for a while. Figuring out if you have a negative reaction to dairy is trial and error.
Can MTHFR people consume folic acid? No.
So many doctors who don’t know about MTHFR will recommend that we increase our folic acid intake. They recommend folic acid supplements. Many multivitamins sold on shelves in pharmacies and supermarkets contain folic acid. Food products are enriched with folic acid. Breakfast cereals, breads and snacks have it added. Flour is enriched with folic acid. But did you know that this folic acid is bad for you? People with MTHFR lack the needed enzymes to convert folic acid to folate, which is usable in our body. So the folic acid sits around and builds up in the body. And because we have trouble removing toxins, the buildup can wreak havoc on our health.
The “good folic acid” for MTHFR is actually natural folate. In tablet supplement form, it’s commonly referenced as methylfolate, or metafolin. It’s more expensive than folic acid to purchase for supplementation but is very necessary for optimal health. One of the first things any MTHFR specialist will advise you, is to avoid folic acid and switch to methylfolate. http://mthfrlifestyle.com/index.php/2015/05/18/folic-or-folate-whats-the-difference/
Folate is naturally available in many fruits and vegetables; dark, leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus, beans, peas and lentils, avocado, okra, brussels sprouts, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets, corn, celery, carrots, squash and more.
Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list. We eat a huge variety of food, and we’re social creatures who love to share meals with family and loved ones. With MTHFR, our bodies don’t work the same way as those without the mutation. Some foods can be toxic and wreak havoc in our bodies. There are general MTHFR guidelines we can follow for maximal health and wellbeing. If you’re ever unsure about whether or not a food is MTHFR-safe, consult your health specialist. That said, I know a few of the food items below are totally up for debate, so if you know something I don’t, let me know in the comments!