I’ve had someone reach out to me in regards to a question about vegan diet and MTHFR. I am going to share with you some information about how this diet may not help to support someone with this mutation live optimally.
I have been through many stages with my diet, vegetarianism, veganism, and raw foodism. although I always felt excellent to begin with, probably due to the detoxification effect, I always started to degrade after about a year. Now, if I don’t have meat weekly, I start to feel the difference in my energy levels and my mood. The strong ethical beliefs around veganism usually involves us all thinking we aren’t doing the diet “strict enough”, or that we are doing something wrong, and these strong beliefs stop us from listening to our intuition in regards to the path we need to take for our optimal health.
Eating more fruits and vegetables while decreasing our meat intake is proven to be a and extremely beneficial way to eat, and can not only help one combat many illnesses and diseases, but can lead to higher mineralisation, energy and vitality. However a complete lack of meat, is not necessarily something all of us will thrive with.
People with the MTHFR mutation may be up against more difficulty when adopting a vegan diet, however by no means am I stating that you should give up your way of eating. What is really needed is your focus, attention, and testing in regards to what works best for you. The most conclusive way is to energy test your own inner guidance through the use of kinesiology to get the most correct answer for yourself.
Here are some of my thoughts in regards to the possible road-blocks one might be up against when adopting a completely vegan diet with the MTHFR MUTATION.
MTHFR AND B VITAMINS
Mutations with the MTHFR gene interrupt our natural folate metabolism and lower levels of B vitamins which is correlated with high homocysteine levels (inflammation), leading to a host of issues. B vitamins are mostly found in meat, and naturally we are going to need a lot more of these. However, one could also argue that we would get enough of the required activated folate through a supplementation protocol that our doctor has created for us.
MTHFR & CHOLINE
Due to our interrupted or sub-standard folate metabolism, those with the MTHFR mutation can end up with a choline deficiency. Choline is important for methylation process and also for liver health and homocysteine reduction. Choline is most abundant in eggs and meat.
MTHFR & HIGH-CARB vs HIGH-FAT
We can suffer with mood issues, depression, lack of serotonin and dopamine, weight gain, and energy problems. Eating a mostly vegan or vegetarian diet usually results in a higher grain or carb intake to allow for adequate energy intake. Eating a high carbohydrate diet with this mutation may not be the most supportive option. Not only will carbs mean higher blood sugar, which will affect our mood, thinking process and liver function (which is already compromised), we can more easily gain weight from this type of diet.
However there are work around to this if you educate yourself on how to supplement and eat correctly, especially making sure you add in as much fat as possible. As MTHFR mutants we want to support our brain as much as possible, or we may end up inflamed and depleted of neurotransmitters. The best way to get the fat required for the brain is to eat fish and meat, drink bone broth, or have fish oil. I’m afraid coconut oil and avocados aren’t going to cut it here. However there are also algae versions of EPA/DHA, so it is possible to supplement this as a vegan/vegetarian.
MTHFR & RAISED HISTAMINE LEVELS (FOOD INTOLERANCES AND ALLERGIES)
As an under-methylator, histamine can build up in the blood due to a incapability to break it down. Elevated levels of histamine cause inflammation in the brain, as well as other unpleasant side affects and can be a direct cause for depression and lack of neurotransmitters in the brain.
The main point of this article is not to scare you away from your diet, or proclaim that you must eat some meat to feel optimal. The aim is to educate you, to empower you to make wise and conscious choices for your health, and the planet. Naturally, the best kind of animal protein to source is that of happy, toxin-free, stress free and natural animals that have lead a good life.
If you are determined to stay vegan, this article should provide you with the information required to make wiser choices. Eat higher fat, avoid too many carbs and grains as well as any foods that could elevate your histamine levels, and supplement where required, mostly with your active form of folate, and b12, EPA/DHA and SAMe.
Please as always reach out to me with your own story. If you are a vegan, please share about your experience for the knowledge of the community, and if you are unsure of what to do, please feel free to ask me any questions.
Optimal living to you,