Dr. Alex Jimenez Discusses What to Eat to Improve DNA Methylation
Methylation is an essential process which happens in every single cell of the human body. It is used to trigger a variety of bodily processes, such as creating and managing hormones and neurotransmitters, producing immune cells, and regulating the detoxification of exogenous chemicals, as well as developing histamine, among other fundamental processes. Methylation is important for cellular renewal to modify genetic expression.
By altering your nutrition and lifestyle habits you can improve your DNA methylation to promote your overall health and wellness. If people are diagnosed with a methylation deficit, such as an abnormal MTHFR gene or elevated homocysteine levels, you can safely and effectively increase your DNA methylation by eating a variety of healthy foods and drinks.
As previously mentioned, methylation support can be beneficial for a variety of health issues, including; aging, pregnancy preparation, pregnancy lactation, prolonged strenuous physical activity, ADD/ADHD, addiction, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, asthma, atherosclerosis, autism, behavioral changes, bipolar disorder, cancer, chemical sensitivities, chronic fatigue, cleft palate, diabetes, dementia, depression, Down syndrome, hypertension, fertility problems, fibromyalgia, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, neural tube defects, neuropathy, ocular disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and thyroid disease, among others.
What to Eat for Methylation Support
The following article will continue to focus on what you can eat and drink to promote methylation support. The use of supplements, as well as drugs and/or medications to improve DNA methylation, can cause many undesirable side-effects if these are not taken care of by doctors, functional medicine practitioners, and patients alike. In part 2, we demonstrate what you can eat to improve DNA methylation from the category of oils and fats, animal protein, dairy, condiments and sweeteners, as well as beverages. Our ultimate goal is to help you achieve optimal methylation support.
Oils and Fats
Consuming oils and fats is an essential part of improving DNA methylation. Oils and fats are fundamental for overall health and wellness because they provide essential cell membrane functions and they generate numerous signaling molecules which can control inflammation in the human body. As a matter of fact, the human brain is almost 60 percent fat, which demonstrated how important oils and fats are for DNA methylation.
It is also essential to choose the right types of oils and fats to support overall health and wellness. Several oils and fats should also be completely avoided, due to their pro-inflammatory effects, such as trans fats and refined vegetable oils like soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil.
The following oils and fats are recommended to improve DNA methylation. The goal is to balance how much you consume across these categories, choosing minimally processed alternatives and organic options, as much as possible. Oils and fats in the Omega-3 polyunsaturated category, as well as oils and fats containing medium-chain triglycerides, are highlighted in bold because they’re considerably important to promote methylation support.
Saturated fats: MCT oil, coconut oil, red palm oil, lard, tallow, and duck fat
Animal protein is fundamental because it offers us all the essential amino acids the human body requires, many of which are directly involved in DNA methylation. Eggs considerably help promote methylation support due to their increased levels of sulfur and choline. Liver is also considered to be the densest source of a wide array of methylation nutrients, such as folate, other B vitamins, choline, and trace minerals. That’s why liver is ultimately referred to as a “superfood”. Salmon and other oily fish are also excellent sources of DHA, which can improve MTHFR and methylation activity. Try to eat approximately 6 to 9 oz of animal protein every day. This amount may vary according to your size, age, current health issues, and total calorie requirements: protein needs range from 0.8 to 1.2 g/kg per body mass.
The following animal protein choices can help improve DNA methylation. Foods in bold are considered methylation superfoods because they are particularly rich in one or more methylation-related nutrient, including; anchovies, bee, bison/buffalo, chicken, duck, eggs, fish roe, liver, other fish and seafood, other organ meat, oysters, pork, quail, salmon, sardines, turkey, and whitefish.
Eating dairy from cows, sheep, and goats can be excellent sources of methylation nutrients to promote methylation support. Cheese contains considerable amounts of methionine and B vitamins. However, dairy products are not necessarily considered an essential part of a diet to improve DNA methylation. Many people are sensitive to the casein proteins found in dairy. For those people with dairy sensitivities, ghee is a form of butter that has removed the dairy proteins. This renders it very hypoallergenic and is most often well-tolerated even by people who are sensitive to dairy. It is also a good source of butyrate, which nourishes cells in our gastrointestinal, or GI, tract and directly regulates genetic methylation to positively affect gene expression. If you tolerate dairy, small amounts of high-quality dairy products can be consumed.
From the following list of dairy products which can help promote DNA methylation, foods in bold are better choices, including; butter, cottage cheese, cream, ghee, goat cheese, gruyere cheese, kefir, milk, parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, and yogurt (unsweetened).
If you are avoiding dairy from cows, sheep or goats, you may instead choose from the following non-dairy options to improve DNA methylation. Also, always make sure to choose unsweetened alternatives, including; almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, flaxseed milk, hemp milk, and macadamia nut milk.
Condiments and Sweeteners
Condiments and sweeteners aren’t an official food category which can help improve DNA methylation, however, they’re also important to mention because many of us may inevitable have to include them in our cooking. Making your own condiments and sweeteners are recommended because they will be minimally processed and will contain the fewest additives.
In general, consuming increased amounts of sugars is not a good idea because it can increase oxidative stress and inflammation as well as weight gain and a variety of other health issues. When choosing one of the following condiments and/or sweeteners, always remember to keep your serving size to a maximum of 1 teaspoon, no more than 2 times per day.
The following condiments and sweeteners can promote methylation support, including; baker’s yeast, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, cane sugar (unrefined), cocoa (70% dark, not Dutch processed), coconut aminos, erythritol (a few drops), honey, maple syrup, mustard, salsa (sugar-free), Stevia (a few drops), tamari/soy sauce (traditional, fermented), vinegars, and xylitol (a few drops).
Finally, your choice of beverages can also help improve DNA methylation. When choosing water, ideally filtered with a carbon- block filter, to keep out a majority of toxins and keeping most essential minerals. The goal is to drink half your body weight, as measured in lbs, in fluid ounces. By way of instance, if you weigh 150 lbs, the goal is to drink for 75 oz of water, seltzer or herbal tea per day. Proper hydration is essential for reducing inflammation which can affect overall methylation status and activity.
Several herbal teas are also considered methylation adaptogens. You can also drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day, at most. If you frequently drink a lot of coffee, reduce your consumption gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Switch to lower caffeine options, such as green tea or oolong tea.
The following list of beverages can help improve DNA methylation, with methylation super-drinks highlighted in bold, including; chamomile tea, coconut water (fresh), green tea, hibiscus tea, oolong tea, rooibos tea, seltzer water (limit to 2 per day), water.
DNA methylation is a fundamental process which carries out a variety of important bodily functions. Many people, however, can develop methylation activity deficits which can greatly affect their overall health and wellness. Supplements and medicines can be used to help improve DNA methylation, however, these may generally cause various undesirable side-effects, A balanced nutrition can help safely and effectively manage these deficits and promote methylation support. The purpose of the following articles is to easily demonstrate what you can eat to improve DNA methylation from a variety of different food groups. Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Smoothies and Juices for Methylation Support
While many healthcare professionals can recommend nutritional guidelines and lifestyle modifications to improve methylation support, there are several options you can try yourself at home. As described above, methylation support supplementation should be determined by a healthcare professional. Smoothies and juices are a fast and easy way to include all the necessary nutrients you need for methylation support without any side-effects. The smoothies and juices below are part of the Methylation Diet Food Plan.Sea Green Smoothie Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed • 1/2 banana • 1 handful of kale or spinach • 1 handful of Swiss chard • 1/4 avocado • 2 teaspoons spirulina powder • 1 cup water • 3 or more ice cubes Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and enjoy!
Berry Bliss Smoothie Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, preferably wild) • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seed • 1 tablespoons almonds • Water (to desired consistency) • Ice cubes (optional, may omit if using frozen blueberries) Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Best served immediately!
Sweet and Spicy Juice Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1 cup honeydew melons • 3 cups spinach, rinsed • 3 cups Swiss chard, rinsed • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), rinsed • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped • 2-3 knobs whole turmeric root (optional), rinsed, peeled and chopped Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!
Ginger Greens Juice Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1 cup pineapple cubes • 1 apple, sliced • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped • 3 cups kale, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped • 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!
Zesty Beet Juice Servings: 1 Cook time: 5-10 minutes • 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced • 1 apple, washed and sliced • 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately!
Protein Power Smoothie Serving: 1 Cook time: 5 minutes • 1 scoop protein powder • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed • 1/2 banana • 1 kiwi, peeled • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • Pinch of cardamom • Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!
ProLon® Fasting Mimicking Diet
Balanced methylation support can be achieved through proper nutrition. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet offers a 5-day meal program which has been individually packed and labeled to serve the foods you need for the FMD in precise quantities and combinations. The meal program is made up of ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare, plant-based foods, including bars, soups, snacks, supplements, a drink concentrate, and teas. The products are scientifically formulated and great tasting. Before starting the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program, please make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to find out if the FMD is right for you. The ProLon® fasting mimicking diet can help promote methylation support, among a variety of other healthy benefits.
Many doctors and functional medicine practitioners can recommend nutritional advice and/or guidelines to help improve DNA methylation. Proper nutrition and lifestyle habits can ultimately help improve DNA methylation. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topic Discussion: Acute Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
Formulas for Methylation Support
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