I feel like I need to include every sort of disclaimer here because some of these foods are not perfect, and I am sure many will find reasons to criticize them. However, I will absolutely admit how hard it can be to switch your family to a whole food-based diet when coming from the standard American diet. While some of these foods are not ideal and can be very inflammatory due to poor quality oils, sugar, non-organic, high in x,y,z, etc., they may help reduce free glutamate exposure or are slightly cleaner options when switching to a whole food diet. Strictly avoiding processed sources of free glutamate was essential to our health, especially our son’s neurological health.
Our sensitivity to free glutamate has changed over time. Initially, the smallest exposure would disrupt mood, behavior, and physical symptoms for days. However, as we have worked to get to the root of the dysfunction, our sensitivity is nearly gone.
Please remember that some of these foods can also feed underlying pathogens, creating a surge in glutamate, and that diet should be tweaked to fit your individual needs.
The following items have been linked via my Amazon affiliate account, for which I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Products may need to be sourced based on availability and/or pricing.
Be sure to take a look at my Instagram page saved stories for our favorite grocery finds, all categorized by store.
Several of the items found on this page are not brand specific. Rather, brands that we have been able to source quickly.
Organic and certified gluten-free grains are REID-approved in moderation (see REID Perfect Plate). Though they are allowed, they can be a source of inflammation, and many REID families have to go grain free at some point (our family had to go grain free for three years). When someone consumes too many grains, they can ferment in the gut. As part of this fermentation, you can see an increase in pathogens, glutamate, propionic acid (also a type of glutamate receptor), clostridia, yeast/candida, parasites, etc., contributing to pyrroles.
Unfortunately, most gluten-free processed grains, bread, baked goods, etc., have free glutamate in the form of additives (i.e. xanthan gum, yeast, etc.) and/or processing. Because of this, we switched to more of a paleo-style baked good. It is important to remember organic and certified gluten-free grains are REID approved in moderation*. However, they should ideally be consumed fairly unprocessed. The more processed, the more glutamate risk, which may be problematic for sensitive people. Take rice (naturally gluten-free). For example, glutamate will increase when you start to process the rice grains into brown rice “flour,” rice bran, parboiled, germinated, or even white rice for those highly sensitive. While black and brown are less processed and, therefore, have a lower glutamate risk. However, all of this depends on individual sensitivity. If one lacks proper digestive enzymes or has significant SIBO, high-fiber foods, like whole grains, may be hard on the gut until these issues are resolved. It is important to note that while gluten-free grains are okay in moderation, consuming too many grains can lead to additional inflammation, microbial imbalances, dysbiosis, propionic acid (a type of glutamate receptor), and increased glutamate levels as they ferment in the gut.
Dr. Katie Reid of Unblind My Mind encourages using homemade flour, although I never had it in me to consistently go that far. However, if you know you are very sensitive to free glutamate and want to follow her approach strictly, you may want to. I would encourage you to reach out to a consult with her at Unblind My Mind.
Tip: Ground pumpkin seeds or tahini can replace almond flour if there is nut sensitivity or a substantial oxalate issue. Nut flours may also constipate some, so keep that in mind. Coconut flour can be very tricky to use and doesn’t act as an equal substitute for other flour.
What Do We Eat?
Brown Rice, White Rice, Quinoa, Buckwheat