August 12, 2021 5 min read
If you’re relying on antihistamines to treat allergy symptoms, you may want to consider another approach.
Although these medications may seem effective, they don’t address the root cause of symptoms and can create negative side effects.
If you’re experiencing symptoms such as nasal congestion, sinus issues, headaches, or hives; you may want to look at the foods you’re eating each day. Particularly foods high in histamine.
This article will talk about what histamine is, symptoms of a histamine intolerance, what foods to eat and which ones to avoid, a sample meal plan, tips for following a low histamine diet, as well as some possible beneficial supplements to consider as well.
Histamine is a chemical that is found naturally in all cells in our body. It plays a role in several bodily systems including the immune, neurological, and digestive systems.
Not only does our body make histamine, it’s also found in certain foods in varying degrees.
Those with a condition called histamine intolerance, may experience allergy-like symptoms when they consume high histamine foods due to their body not being able to break down the histamine as effectively.
Histamine intolerance is generally caused by a defect in one of two enzyme systems that break down histamine: N-methyl transferase (HMT) and diamine oxidase (DAO); with DAO being the most probable cause of the intolerance (1).
Additionally, certain medical conditions may impact how well the body is able to break down histamine. Those include (2,3):
Signs and symptoms of a histamine intolerance may be different for everyone, but common ones include (4):
Keep in mind that a histamine intolerance is often difficult to identify, since symptoms are generally similar to other conditions, and aren’t always immediate.
Now that you know that high-histamine foods may trigger symptoms such as runny nose or itchy eyes, let’s talk about what foods are highest in histamine.
Keep in mind that everyone reacts to foods differently, and some may tolerate high histamine foods better than others. It’s important to try foods out yourself to determine how your body tolerates it.
Foods that have been reported to be higher in histamine include (5):
In addition, there are several foods that release histamine in the body. Those include:
Although there are quite a few foods to avoid on a low-histamine diet, there are plenty of foods low in histamine that you can focus on.
Foods that are generally low in histamine include (5):
It can seem overwhelming starting on a low-histamine diet at first, so below is a simple 3-day sample meal plan to help you get started.
There’s several things to keep in mind when trying a low-histamine diet. Those include:
Additionally, before you get started on a low histamine diet, it may be helpful to rule out any gut imbalances or SIBO.
Along with avoiding or limiting foods high in histamine, adding in certain supplements may be beneficial. Those include:
Find Quercetin in our Allurtica supplement.
Find our high-quality zinc supplementhere.
Check out our foundational formula Essentially-U which includes Vitamin C.
If you’re experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, headaches, or heartburn, removing high histamine foods in your diet may be beneficial.
It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional such as a registered dietitian prior to starting something like a low-histamine diet, to help make sure you’re obtaining enough essential nutrients.
Additionally, it’s not meant to be a long-term diet since it can be very restrictive.
Have you tried removing high histamine foods before? Did it help? Let us know in the comments!
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