Have you ever consumed a can of kombucha, some sauerkraut and soy sauce in a meal and felt on edge afterwards or has your heart rate increased?
Why can this happen?
Fermented foods contain the free (unattached) protein glutamate. The unattached nature of glutamate allows it to be absorbed almost immediately. A glutamate-containing meal or consuming many glutamate-containing foods throughout a day can cause a large spike in glutamate in the blood.
Who is most affected by this?
Us Zebras - Conditions like Ehlers-Danlos, Hypermobility spectrum disorder, Chronic fatigue syndrome, POTS and Fibromyalgia. As well as, dysautonomic conditions and those with chronic stressors or emotional trauma.
Why is this?
The excess glutamate is particularly a concern for individuals who are in constant “fight or flight” mode. With our overactive nervous systems, the body produces inflammation and inflammation leads to excess glutamate production. With our already excess glutamate, eating these foods results in further nervous system hyperactivation, leading to symptoms of:
X Fast heart rate
X Irritability & mood swings
X Brain fog
X Headaches & Migraines
X Sleep disturbances
X Sensory sensitivity
X Increased pain perception & sensitivity
X Muscle weakness
X Sore joints
X Digestive upset
Which foods contain free-glutamate?
The unattached glutamate in food gives it the delicious umami flavour. Foods containing glutamate are not just fermented foods such as pickled vegetables in vinegar, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha;
They also include:
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - also called E620-E625 & flavour enhancer
Yeast extract - found in most stocks, vegemite products, frozen meals
Slow cooked meat with bones
Soy products - tofu, edamame, soy sauce, soy milk & miso
Seaweeds - wakame, nori & others
Mushrooms - fresh and dried
Tomatoes - fresh, dried & tomato paste
Tinned fish - sardines, salmon, tuna & anchovies
Cured meats - hams to smoked salmon
Aged cheese - Parmesan & gruyere
How many of these do you eat in a meal or are in your foods and you did not realise?
If you think your condition is getting exacerbated by foods, such as glutamate-containing foods, reach out and we can work through it together. I have found replacements for a lot of these foods when they cause symptoms, until the symptoms subside.
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