- Histamine Intolerance Food List to Quickly Relieve Symptoms
- Getting to know histamine
- The problem with drink and histamine intolerance
- A low histamine diet: an easy approach
- Do Low Histamine Diets Really Work? Yes, But There are Limits
- The histamine bucket
- 100 “avoid” foods is not sustainable
- Why am I not eating a zero histamine diet
- Extreme diets are not sustainable
- My current histamine protocol
- Plant based “histamine reset” diet
- How low-histamine foods can help tame allergies
- What is histamine intolerance?
- How to manage histamine-related food intolerances
- Do You Need to Follow a Low-Histamine Diet?
Histamine Intolerance Food List to Quickly Relieve Symptoms
You’ve seen a list. Maybe you’ve seen many different lists…
Lists that tell you which foods you should be avoiding because of the histamine flare ups you're getting, in the hope of preventing symptoms itchy eyes, skin rashes, and a whole host of other unexplained and irritating symptoms.
Yes, it’s easy to think about simply avoiding these foods as a way to reduce your histamine load, but there’s also significant merit in understanding why food can be a trigger.
This understanding will not only help you to make better decisions about the foods that you choose to eat (and decipher those confusing, and sometimes conflicting food lists), but it will also help you to understand the underlying cause of your histamine intolerance, a huge first step towards managing it!
Let me explain…
Getting to know histamine
By now you’re ly aware that histamine is part of a group of chemical compounds in the body called biogenic amines. There are a number of different types of amines, the type of which characterizes the way in which that particular amine group functions in the body.
Histamine is categorized as a monoamine, a simple amine with the primary role of acting as a neurotransmitter, or chemical, that has a mediating response on the brain and spinal cord. When activated, this histamine neurotransmitter causes arousal and a state of heightened attention(1).
Furthermore, histamines are stored in and released from mast cells and basophils, which are two important cells responsible for immunity. These cells release histamine during an allergic reaction, or when tissue damage is present(2).
When it comes to the endogenous, or internal formation, of these biogenic amines, it's a process that occurs through chemical reactions, which alter the state of your body’s amino acid profile.
As a quick reminder, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, of which there are 20 that the body needs to function (9) of them can only be obtained through the diet while the other 11 can be made within the body itself(3).
What’s interesting about the creation of these biogenic amines, is that they can be created by metabolic processes that take place within a plant or animal, and what might not be so obvious, is that micro-organisms can synthesize them too(4)!
Do you see where we're going with this?
So what's an important link to consider here?… The microbiome, of course! Your gut is home to trillions of these little critters that are able to transform the l-histidine amino acid (found in the food that you consume) into the biogenic amine, histamine(5).
The foods in your diet also contain varying concentrations and strains of bacteria which produce these biogenic amines. When foods begin to spoil, the number of biogenic amines produced by the bacteria increase, which creates an undesirable effect that the food industry works hard to combat!
This is why so many preservatives and other compounds are used in packaged foods, many of which liberate histamine in the body even further… counter-intuitive, don't you think(6)?
What this means, is that your histamine levels can increase not only because of your individual makeup of gut bacteria, but because of the type and age of the foods that are going into your body.
The problem with drink and histamine intolerance
Food isn't the only thing we can put in our mouths that can cause a histamine response. Many of us enjoy the occasional drink to unwind. Unfortunately, when it comes to histamine intolerance, alcohol can do more harm than good.
When you drink alcohol, it not only acts as a histamine liberator because it's fermented(7), and contains histamine-releasing microbes, but it also increases histamine absorption through the intestines and inhibits the effects of DAO(8).
You would be spot on to say that alcohol has three strikes when it comes to histamine intolerance, which is why it’s often recommended to abstain from alcohol completely when you’re trying to reduce your histamine load, even if it’s just for the first few weeks of your intervention. If you do have to drink, try finding a low histamine wine.
Now, these problems don’t only arise in people that are sensitive to histamines; even healthy individuals can develop symptoms of excessive histamine accumulation should they have a particularly high load after consuming histamine-containing foods. When you have histamine intolerance however, even smaller amounts of histamine-containing foods can cause a variety of severe and often debilitating symptoms.
…which is why a low-histamine diet should be the first step towards managing of histamine intolerance, an effective way to improve your quality of life.
A low histamine diet: an easy approach
Hey, remember those lists we spoke about earlier?
It is difficult to decipher which one is “right” for you; but because you’re a unique individual, your reaction to some foods may be worse than it is for others with histamine intolerance.
I’ve created a post that details all of the dos and don’ts to follow when starting the diet.
Remember, if you see a symptom reduction within the first two weeks, that is highly indicative of a histamine intolerance.
However, this doesn’t mean you should stop the diet after these two weeks! This is just the beginning of a new journey to improving your gut health, and healing your histamine intolerance.
I've put all of this information into a free Guide to Histamine Intolerance that also explains additional ways to identify your food sensitivities, utilize helpful supplements and reduce your symptoms. Click below for the free Guide to Histamine Intolerance!
Do Low Histamine Diets Really Work? Yes, But There are Limits
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I once had a date tell me it was “the nerdiest thing she’d ever heard,” but yes, I actually moved from Austin, Texas back to New York City because I couldn’t handle the allergies in Texas Hill Country.
When I was living in Austin, I struggled with a major b histamine intolerance, meaning I didn’t just have traditional allergy, I developed all kinds of food sensitivities and lost a bunch of weight. In my case, location was the big factor. When I simply left Austin, most of my problems disappeared.
So, I have been where you now sit, and I’ve come through it.
Although I permanently cut out the worst offenders, red wine being the biggest sacrifice, my diet couldn’t be classified any longer as “low histamine.”
But this is not to say that your’s shouldn’t be.
Low histamine diets can and do work, so if keeping intake of those nasty “biogenic amines” is on your radar, your efforts are not in vain my friend.1
In fact, some of the diets in our nutrition plans, Agrarian and Hunter Gatherer, are low in histamine.
However, my first message to you is this – your low histamine diet isn’t working, and isn’t going to work, if you associate food with stress.
All food has histamine.
The first thing I want you to do (subject to the advice of your doctor of course) is to give yourself permission to eat.
Relax, do your best, avoid the major triggers (red wine, aged cheese, aged and processed meat, ripe avocado, olives that have been sitting out), but find something to eat and enjoy it.
Low histamine diets don’t work over the long term because they are way too restrictive.
For an entire podcast episode devoted to the issue of histamine, see The Histamine Leaky Gut Connection with Dr. Aaron.
The histamine bucket
If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably been introduced to the concept of the “histamine bucket,” the idea that we only have so much histamine we can clear from our systems, and when the histamine spigot goes into fire hose mode symptoms pop up as histamine begins to pool.
One of the factors that contributes to filling the histamine bucket is allergy. That’s right, the air we breathe impacts our immune system and how it subsequently reacts to food. Mold illness is another one. Foundational triggers mold and allergy can set the table for histamine intolerance by putting the immune system on a state of high alert.
If you’re interested in the primary factors that give rise to histamine intolerance, check out this post.
However, if you’ve already determined histamine could be an issue for you and are Googling everywhere for whether a given food is “high histamine,” I am going to give you permission to stop.
Stop, because strict low histamine diets don’t work for most people. Especially when those people are crafting their own diets and analyzing how every bite of food they eat is affecting them.
Here is the bottom line.
100 “avoid” foods is not sustainable
Whether you have an issue with histamine or not, you are going to have to eat to be healthy.
Exhaustive food lists detailing every food known to man as “high histamine” are not helpful. If the list stopped at dairy, cheese, red wine, and processed meat, that would be one thing. But spinach, banana, and tea? Seems a cruel joke. The fact is, most high histamine food lists contain many items that are nutrient rich and healthy as “foods to exclude.”
In my case, and before histamine came on my radar, I was unknowingly eating a very high histamine diet. Cutting out some of the obvious worst offenders, cheese, and limiting animal protein, seemed to go a long way towards resolving my issues.
Nonetheless, most of the blogosphere hyper focuses on high histamine food lists, which causes those of us trying to balance histamine levels to associate food with stress and to unnecessarily limit what we eat. Let me repeat: histamine issues or no, you’re going to have to eat.
When we’re stressed, as when we are obsessing over whether to eat a cherry or a dried apricot, we release more histamine.2
While I do feel better by keeping an eye on, and limiting, dietary sources of histamine, a couple weeks of scouring high histamine food lists drove me crazy. I no longer use them, or reference them.
I have a solid idea of which foods are highest in histamine, and which ones I don’t do well with, but I also understand that virtually all food contains some histamine.
If you have an issue with histamine, and you try in earnest to keep it under control, eventually you will get a sense for which foods cause problems, and what you can get away with. The truly scary part is when you see how much extra wiggle room you have in certain places.
Why am I not eating a zero histamine diet
I am not eating a zero histamine diet because I find it almost impossible to get enough nutrients, and completely impossible to enjoy life.
My new lower histamine diet takes into account my status as a single man who has to live in the world and be social.
75% of the time, I keep an eye on histamine, but if I’m out to dinner with friends, I am not going to obsess over what entree has the absolute lowest histamine levels. On a recent trip to Sonoma with my family, I abstained from wine, but basically ate everything else I could get my hands on. I felt fine (in my opinion, largely because of location).
I stay away from red wine and most cheese, but have been reintroducing foods small amounts of avocado, banana, walnuts, and other foods commonly listed as “exclude” on high histamine food lists.
My strategy is to remove “low value” histamine foods, i.e. foods that are high in histamine that I don’t enjoy all that much, and totally exclude the “obvious” histamine offenders red wine, cheese, and all processed meat.
Extreme diets are not sustainable
The implied consensus view when confronted with a histamine issue is to remove every last drop of histamine from your diet, and if you’re very sick, this may be necessary for a time.
However, it might not be.
You’ll have to learn what your body needs.
Not everyone processes histamine in the same way. If you’re sensitive, being mindful of histamine is a good idea. However, viewing food as the enemy isn’t the solution. Viewing a laundry list of food as “bad” is not going to take you where you want to go. Diminished ability to deal with histamine, does not equal zero ability to deal with histamine.
Extreme diets are not sustainable.
How many really healthy people do you know who eat as if they are navigating a mine field?
Don’t let histamine issues, or any other health project you’re working on, put your mind into a sickness mentality. Keep in mind that dietary histamine is only one factor that contributes to your overall histamine load. The idea is to eat smart and stay healthy, not to panic and start to fear your fridge.
If you want to reduce histamine, there are plenty of places to do it besides the fridge.
My current histamine protocol
Lifestyle factors working for me right now in allergy land (Austin, TX):
- Limit caffeine (lots of popular caffeinated beverages are high in histamine, but I will still do tea and an occasional coffee under the “don’t fear the fridge” rule)
- No gluten
- Limit dairy, especially cow dairy
- Trips to the California coast (worth an experiment if you have traditional allergies)
- Whole food, plant based diet 75% of the time has been helping tremendously (not 100% vegan, though). I notice I don’t need to be as strict when I travel outside of Texas
- Very little alcohol and totally cut out red wine
- Never eat processed meat
- Almost never eat leftovers
Plant based “histamine reset” diet
Note: some of the foods I list below are considered off limits on some high histamine food lists.
This may not be the right protocol for you.
I have received emails lately asking what I eat when I go plant based to lower histamine levels. As I mention above, I don’t reference a high histamine food list, or really even think all that much about histamine on most days.
Having said that, I do find the diet I list below as helpful when I want to reset and really focus on balancing out my system.
I will go on a strict, whole foods, plant based diet for 3 days and find that these strict diets have benefits that last for days and weeks after.
Breakfast – pressure cooked buckwheat porridge (Pocono brand), small amount of walnuts, 1 banana, hemp milk. You can also do oats, but the whole glyphosate issue has deterred me, and I find that I don’t digest oats as well as buckwheat.
I use a pressure cooker (Instant Pot) as supposedly, the pressure cooking process completely eliminates the lectin in buckwheat, but not in oats. Buckwheat is also high in quercetin, which is a known mast cell stabilizer. Yes, I know bananas and walnuts are higher histamine foods, but I walk on the wild side with these reset diets
How low-histamine foods can help tame allergies
Ever wonder why pollen, pet dander, and dust mites make you miserable with sniffles and itching? They can all spark the release of histamine: The chemical culprit behind the constellation of symptoms many of us experience when we’re exposed to common allergy triggers.
Histamine is a compound produced naturally in your cells that serves several key functions in the body.
It’s generated by mast cells, a type of white blood cell, when we’re exposed to an allergen and our bodies attempt to get rid of it. (Cue the sneezing and watery eyes.
) It’s also tasked with crucial roles in the digestive and neurological systems, helping regulate the production of stomach acid and keeping us alert during the day.
But histamine isn’t just produced by our bodies—it also occurs naturally in certain foods.
If you suffer from histamine intolerance symptoms, such as headaches, nasal congestion, or fatigue, a low-histamine elimination diet may help you pinpoint and avoid specific foods that trigger your symptoms.
But before you begin to overhaul your pantry, read on to learn more about histamine intolerance and how diet may help manage your symptoms.
What is histamine intolerance?
Most people tolerate the dietary histamines they consume on a daily basis without issue. However, approximately one percent of the population experiences histamine intolerance, either due to unusually high levels of histamine in the body or because they lack the enzymes necessary to remove it from the system.
When histamine builds up in excessive quantities or fails to break down properly, it may trigger a variety of responses, including headaches, anxiety symptoms, digestive distress, fatigue, and allergy signals such as sinus congestion, sneezing, hives, and difficulty breathing.
These symptoms occur throughout the body because histamine travels through the bloodstream. And, unfortunately, their non-specific nature makes diagnosis difficult.
So if you have several seemingly unrelated health complaints—especially if you also take medications that restrict the production of enzymes that break down histamine; gastrointestinal disorders such as leaky gut syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease; or bacterial overgrowth—you should consider consulting with a dietitian.
Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
How to manage histamine-related food intolerances
At present, there are no reliable tests available to diagnose histamine intolerance. Because symptoms vary widely from person to person, it is important to rule out alternative conditions, including food allergies.
Once you’ve done that, follow the steps outlined below to find your body’s individual histamine sweet spot.
1. Begin a two- to four-week histamine elimination diet
Just as the name suggests, an elimination diet involves removing all foods within a given category and then slowly reintroducing them to see how your body reacts.
Rachel Gargiulo, a certified nutrition consultant, recommends that people dealing with potential histamine intolerance avoid high-histamine foods.
Fermented foods should be first on your do-not-eat list—these include fermented dairy products (yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, kefir), pickled or fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi), soy products (tempeh, miso, soy sauce), kombucha, alcohol, and fermented grains such as sourdough bread.
You should also avoid aged cheeses, cured meats (sausage, salami), tomatoes (including ketchup), eggplant, spinach, and frozen, salted, or canned fish.
Additionally, it has been suggested that some foods, called “histamine liberators,” may cause your cells to release excess histamine into the body.
In order to ensure your body’s histamine slate is wiped as clean as possible, avoid pineapples, bananas, citrus fruit, strawberries, papayas, nuts, spices, legumes, cocoa, seafood, egg whites, and food additives such as colorants, preservatives, stabilizers, and flavorings, which are suspected histamine liberators. (Yes, that means ditching most processed foods.)
As you can see, this elimination diet is super restrictive. This is why experts recommend limiting the elimination period to two to four weeks. Permanently eliminating such a large number of nutrient-dense foods could be both challenging and potentially unhealthy, as it increases the lihood of nutrient deficiencies.
2. Load up on low-histamine foods
Completing an elimination diet requires some serious planning. To help soften the blow of a few weeks without ‘booch and sourdough avocado toast—and to reduce your lihood of slip-ups—Gargiulo recommends stocking your pantry and refrigerator with your favorite low-histamine staples.
These include rice, quinoa, all fruits and vegetables (other than those previously identified as being high in histamine), leafy herbs (thyme, cilantro, oregano), and meats and poultry.
In order to maximize the lihood of success on your program, consume the freshest food available, as fresh food has the lowest histamine content.
Finally, talk to your doctor or dietitian about supplements. They might be necessary to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need during your program.
3. Keep a diary as you reintroduce eliminated foods
Once you’ve made it through the not-so-fun elimination period, it’s time to pat yourself on the back before proceeding with the reintroduction stage of your elimination diet. This is when you’ll start adding eliminated foods back into your diet, one at a time, in order to identify the ones that trigger your symptoms.
It is critical that you keep a detailed diary of the foods you reintroduce and the symptoms you experience, as this record will allow you to identify trigger foods that you may wish to eliminate on a permanent basis.
Seek advice from your doctor or dietician regarding how often you should be reintroducing foods. Symptoms may not appear immediately, and you don’t want to risk overloading your system by reintroducing too much, too soon.
4. Consider taking supplements to further reduce histamine
What happens if you’ve eliminated all high-histamine foods for a month, but you’re still experiencing symptoms? Gargiulo says that certain supplements—including quercetin, vitamin C, and stinging nettle—may lessen the effects of histamine build-up in the body. She also noted that local bee pollen has surprisingly positive effects on allergy symptoms. But check with your care team first to make sure they’re right for you.
Look, histamine intolerance is never pleasant, and it can be an especially bitter pill to swallow when getting rid of the symptoms requires major changes to your habits and lifestyle.
If the elimination diet gets tough, just think about how empowering it’ll be to finally figure out your personal trigger foods.
Because feeling better would be so much sweeter than any of the high-histamine foods you choose to kiss goodbye, no?
If you’ve got an autoimmune disorder, this Paleo-esque diet may help. And here’s how to *officially* know if you’ve got a lactose or gluten intolerance.
Do You Need to Follow a Low-Histamine Diet?
10'000 Hours / Getty Images
A low-histamine diet can be suggested for people who have histamine intolerance. Histamine is a chemical released by mast cells in the immune system when the body encounters an allergen, which causes an allergic reaction.
Histamine intolerance, otherwise referred to as enteral histaminosis, is a very rare condition that is estimated to affect about 1% of the population. It is very hard to diagnose and is often characterized by symptoms such as itching, hives, sneezing, watery eyes, asthma, headaches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, tachycardia, and hypotension.
Ingesting a large quantity of foods high in histamine can trigger this response, but figuring out which foods triggered a response can be complicated.
Once food allergies have been ruled out, people can try a low-histamine diet. This type of diet is very restrictive and should not be followed for long-term. In addition, people following a low-histamine diet should be seen by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional to make sure they are receiving adequate nutrition.
There aren’t many studies examining the benefits of a low-histamine diet, ly due to the difficulty of following a low-histamine diet and the complexity of diagnosing histamine intolerance.
A small study conducted in Italy found that, when people restricted their intake of histamine provoking foods, their symptoms improved.
These people did not have food allergies or other gastrointestinal diseases.
There are many limitations in examining the role of histamine in the diet, and most of the time, individual cases need to be examined. Part of the reason for this is because it’s not possible to avoid histamine altogether—exposure to histamine goes beyond diet.
Additionally, because some people are more sensitive to histamine, a dose-dependent response is plausible. This makes following a rotation diet, where certain foods are avoided and then added back in at specific times is important. Keeping a food journal for a few weeks and tracking symptoms is also important in discovering the trigger foods.
Histamine toxicity, also referred to as scombrotoxic fish poisoning, is a result of ingesting spoiled finfish, such as tuna or mackerel. It is not considered to be an allergy or intolerance and usually needs to be treated with antihistamines and supportive care.
If food allergies and other gastrointestinal diseases such as celiac disease have been ruled out, your physician may try to determine if you are histamine intolerant.
To do so, they may ask you to take a skin prick test (which can often be unreliable) or measure your blood to test your diamine oxidase activity (DOA), the main enzyme involved in the metabolism of histamine.
Oftentimes, people with histamine intolerance have an imbalance of histamine due to a combination of too much histamine and lack of DOA.
If you are histamine intolerant, you may be told to follow a low-histamine diet. Because everyone responds to histamine differently, an individualized meal plan should be created.
Most of the time, you will start slowly by taking out high-histamine foods and logging symptoms. If you find that your symptoms have improved after removing a trigger food, you can omit that food temporarily and attempt to add it back into your diet in a about a month.
There is no specific scientific protocol for elimination diets, therefore, it will be important to work with a registered dietitian to make sure you are receiving adequate nutrition and are getting all your vitamins and minerals.
The rate at which you eliminate and add foods back in will be determined by your tolerance and symptoms.
Sometimes you will need to incorporate certain supplements and in some cases medications, such as an antihistamine, to improve symptoms. This will be discussed with your medical professionals. Some people will also need to supplement with B vitamins, calcium, copper, zinc, and other micronutrients.
Researchers suggest, “A histamine-free diet, if necessary, supported by antihistamines or the substitution of DOA, leads to an improvement of symptoms.”
Eating a diet rich in whole, non-processed foods will be important. Foods that are very ripe, aged, fermented or soured, also should be avoided. Certain fruits and vegetables can induce a histamine response, too.
Fresh fruit: Apples, pomegranates, grapes, cherries, pears, plums, peaches (any fruit except citrus fruits, strawberries, avocado)
Fresh vegetables: Arugula, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, onions, peppers, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, etc. (any vegetables except those on the do not eat list)
Fresh herbs: Basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, thyme, turmeric
Gluten-free grains: Quinoa, brown rice
Dried legumes: Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans
Starchy vegetables: Sweet potato, yam, butternut squash, winter squash
Fresh meat and fish: Chicken, turkey, salmon, lean ground beef, lamb
Carob (an alternative to chocolate)
Nut based milk: Almond, cashew, hemp
Hemp, flax, chia seeds
Olive oil, coconut oil
Aged cheeses: Parmesan, cheddar, Gouda, Camembert, Swiss
Fermented foods and beverages: Sauerkraut, pickles, pickled vegetables, kefir, kombucha
Yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk
Processed meats: Cold cuts, bacon, sausage, salami, ham, chorizo, pepperoni
Frozen and smoked fish
Shellfish: Clams, mussels, shrimp
Canned fish: Salmon and tuna
Certain vegetables: Spinach, tomatoes, eggplant
Certain fruits: Strawberries, cherries, citrus fruits (papaya, orange, lemon, pineapple)
Spices and condiments: Ketchup, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar
Packaged and processed foods: Snacks, ready-made grains, cookies, sweets
Food additives, preservatives, and food coloring
Licorice and chocolate
Fresh meat and fish: The longer a food is left out (never eat spoiled foods) or the more it is processed, the more histamine will be produced. Plan to cook your meat or fish right away and purchase wild or organic, pasture-raised when possible.
Starchy vegetables: Starchy vegetable such as sweet potatoes, yams, and butternut squash are rich in vitamin A, C, and other antioxidants. They are wholesome, fiber-rich, healthy food choices that can keep you full and replace processed grains.
Carob: Carob is packed with antioxidants and is a caffeine-free alternative to chocolate.
It is also gluten-free and contains bioactive compounds such as dietary fiber, polyphenols, flavonoids, cyclitols, ( d-pinitol) and tannins.
These compounds have been associated with a variety of health benefits including glycemic (blood sugar) control, cholesterol reduction, anticancer effects, and many more. It can be used in homemade baked goods and smoothies.
Fresh herbs: Fresh herbs can add flavor and nutrition to any meal without added calories and fat. They can spice up any boring protein, vegetable, or salad and are a wonderful and colorful addition to any meal plan. You can buy a potted herb plant and keep them at home if you prefer not to waste fresh herbs.
Nut-based milk: Fortified with calcium and vitamin D, nut-based milks are lower in calories and saturated fat than some cow's milk varieties and can serve for a dairy substitute for those people following a vegan or vegetarian meal plan.
A low-histamine diet can be very restrictive because dietary sources of histamine are found in a wide range of food items. Aged foods, fermented, processed, and overly ripe foods should be avoided.
There is no set schedule or timing of meals that you need to stick to unless you are taking certain medications, in which you should discuss with your physician.
Timing will be of the essence when you eliminate and add foods into your diet. When doing this, it is recommended that you consult with a professional, such as a registered dietitian.
For example, eliminating too many foods at once or reintroducing foods too quickly can reduce the quality of your diet and skew results. Working with a professional will help you to balance out your nutrient intake and reduce stress.
Cook fresh foods as often as you can. Focus on simple meal prep and cooking methods to ease the burden of meal planning. Baking, broiling, grilling, sautéing, and steaming foods are simple cooking techniques that you can use to prepare your meals.
Modifications can be made histamine tolerance and sensitivity. For example, while some people may need to avoid strawberries altogether, others may be able to tolerate small amounts.
Keeping a detailed food log that describes symptoms after food ingestion will be important.
While limited data have suggested that following a low-histamine diet can reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance, more research needs to be done in this area. Keep in mind that because this diet is somewhat restrictive, it is not meant for everyone.
Discovering trigger foods and identifying tolerable foods can help you to reduce cost and improve symptoms. You must also keep in mind, the following:
Overall, if done right, this diet can be a healthy one. But one must make sure that they are eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein.
Because one of the main focuses is on eliminating foods, people can fall into the trap of focusing on that and eating the same things daily. To ensure adequate nutrition, it’s important to meet with a registered dietitian. Some people may need additional supplements, too.
This diet is hard to sustain as you really cannot eat anything processed, packaged, canned, or pre-prepared. Most of the time, this diet is used temporarily until symptoms are managed and trigger foods are slowly added back in.
Including a wide variety of nutrient-dense whole foods is safe when done properly. Guidance is always recommended as meal plans should be individualized. As previously mentioned, it is advised to meet with a registered dietitian to ensure all your nutrition needs are being met.
For those people who to cook and prepare foods at home, this diet may not seem too difficult. On the other hand, if you eat on-the-go regularly this diet can be particularly challenging due to its lack of flexibility, especially during the elimination phase.
Whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, can be expensive. Try to buy local and seasonal when possible to reduce cost.
A study found that a low-FODMAP diet reduced the histamine produced by the microbiome, which also may contribute to the reduction in pain experienced by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients.
A low-FODMAP diet eliminates or reduces certain types of short-chain carbohydrates found naturally in many foods that we eat. These types of carbohydrates may be poorly absorbed in the intestine, draw extra water into the intestine, and are rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut.
This type of eating plan also depends on an individual’s tolerance and the quantity of food that is consumed. FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols.
A low-histamine diet has been shown to help improve symptoms of histamine intolerance, which can produce allergy-related symptoms such as sneezing, headaches, itchy skin, etc. Understanding histamine intolerance and diet is complex, as many individuals have differing levels of histamine intolerance.
It’s important for anyone looking to follow this type of eating plan to meet with a registered dietitian to ensure adequate nutrition: both macro and micronutrients.
Because the focus is on eliminating offending foods, understanding which types of foods you need to eat to avoid nutrient deficiencies will be important.
Sometimes people with histamine intolerance will also need additional supplements, and/or medications to relieve symptoms.
More research needs to be done in this area to better understand histamine intolerance and how diet plays a role in reducing symptoms.