Functional Medicine

What Not to Eat to Improve DNA Methylation


Methylation is an important process which promotes a variety of bodily functions, including the production and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters, the development of immune cells, and the management of the detoxification of exogenous substances as well as the clearance of histamine, among other essential processes. DNA methylation is also fundamental for cellular renewal to ultimately alter genetic expression.  

By modifying your nutrition and lifestyle habits you can optimize your overall health and wellness. You can also improve this essential process by eating a variety of healthy foods. We’ve previously discussed what foods to eat to improve DNA methylation, in this article, we will discuss what foods not to eat to improve DNA methylation. Just like healthy foods can promote methylation support, unhealthy foods can tremendously affect methylation.

What Not to Eat for Methylation Support

The following article focuses on what not to eat to promote methylation support. Below, we will demonstrate what not to eat to improve DNA methylation including charred foods, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated fats, alcohol, and folic acid fortified foods. Our ultimate goal is to help you achieve optimal methylation support. By improving your DNA methylation, you can ultimately achieve overall health and wellness.

Charred Foods

Cooking at high temperatures to create a “seared” or “chargrilled” effect causes a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction. This process develops compounds, also known as heterocyclic amines, which have been considered to be pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant, and damaging to cells. Instead of eating charred foods, try eating slow-cooked or braised foods, where temperatures are lower and moisture is utilized throughout the cooking process. If you do eat grilled foods occasionally, utilizing marinades which contain garlic, rosemary, fruit pulp and other spices without sugar, can help prevent the development of harmful heterocyclic amines.

Added Sugars

Added sugars can tremendously affect our molecules, enzymes, and cellular structures. Eating too much sugar has been associated with almost all of the most common health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Excess sugar consumption causes the human body to produce fat; where the excess sugar is then converted into triglycerides, or fat storage molecules, in the liver, which can cause fatty liver and an accumulation of fat deposits in various regions of the human body. Added sugars can be hidden in a variety of foods. Even supplements, drugs and/or medications, can be sources of excess sugars. Reading the labels for nutrition facts in foods is a good way to start recognizing unwanted sources of sugars. Also, avoid eating high-sugar foods, such as fruit juices, carbonated beverages, confectionery, ice creams, and sweetened yogurts. Make sure to check condiments for hidden sugars. Choosing unprocessed, whole foods is the easiest way to avoid eating hidden added sugars.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are also not recommended if you want to improve your DNA methylation. Artificial sweeteners have been demonstrated to cause a physiological response where insulin develops and brain-reward signaling pathways are triggered. This can cause blood sugar imbalances and cravings. Both of these factors make it difficult to eat healthy foods. Moreover, artificial sweeteners have been demonstrated to affect the brain and the nervous system. While artificial sweeteners require further research studies to determine their negative effects, caution is advised. Artificial sweeteners which can help improve DNA methylation are stevia and the sugar alcohols erythritol and xylitol. It’s recommended to use these artificial sweeteners while you are weaning yourself off a high-sugar diet. Once you’ve limited sugar in your diet, you’ll find that your taste buds will naturally adapt to the sweetness in whole foods and even vegetables

Hydrogenated Fats

Hydrogenated fats are frequently produced when liquid oils are converted into solid fats. This process changes the molecular structure of the fat into one which is pro-inflammatory and harmful to cells. In the United States, the FDA has already ordered the removal of hydrogenated fats from the supply chain, however, the changes may take effect over a period of years. To avoid choosing hydrogenated fats, be aware of any solid fats produced from oils which would normally be in a liquid state. On food labels, avoid the terms “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”, and look for labels that say “trans-fat free”. Utilizing minimally processed oils and butter, or ghee, and avoiding processed foods, is an easy way to avoid trans fats.


Alcohol can interfere with DNA methylation, negatively affecting our gene expression. For this reason, alcohol is not recommended if you want to improve your DNA methylation. If you do consume alcohol, make sure to keep it to a minimum. This means that both men and women should have no more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks per week. One alcoholic drink is approximately equivalent to 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of spirits. Furthermore, it’s important to note that alcoholic beverages do not carry a food label, as other foods and drinks are required to do. Alcohol is not subject to the same regulations as other foods, therefore, it is much more difficult to determine whether one alcohol has higher sugar content than another. Grapes grown for wine are also frequently sprayed with pesticides; choosing organic varieties can ultimately help reduce your exposure.

Folic Acid Fortified Foods

Many grains are fortified with vitamins like folic acid or the synthetic form of folate. However, research studies have demonstrated that folic acid can restrict MTHFR activity and cause a variety of health issues. We recommend avoiding folic acid fortified foods and instead include sources of natural dietary folates, such as dark leafy greens, liver, and legumes, to help improve DNA methylation as well as overall health and wellness.

DNA methylation is a fundamental process in charge of a variety of essential bodily functions. A balanced nutrition can help safely and effectively improve methylation support, however, certain foods can also affect DNA methylation. The purpose of the following article is to easily demonstrate what not to eat to improve DNA methylation from a variety of different food groups. It’s essential to know what food groups to avoid to promote methylation support as well as to promote overall health and wellness. 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. Understanding the role of methylation adaptogens can help promote methylation support. 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

XYMOGEN’s Exclusive Professional Formulas are available through select licensed health care professionals. The internet sale and discounting of XYMOGEN formulas are strictly prohibited. Proudly, Dr. Alexander Jimenez makes XYMOGEN formulas available only to patients under our care. Please call our office in order for us to assign a doctor consultation for immediate access. If you are a patient of Injury Medical & Chiropractic Clinic, you may inquire about XYMOGEN by calling 915-850-0900.

For your convenience and review of the XYMOGEN products please review the following link.*XYMOGEN-Catalog-Download * All the above XYMOGEN policies remain strictly in force.


Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "What Not to Eat to Improve DNA Methylation" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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