Low-histamine diets work by preventing a substance called histamine from affecting the cells in your body. The histamine diet has a very important role in the case of allergies and food intolerances, and in the processes of the immune system in general.
What is histamine?
Histamine is an amine that provokes allergic reactions when it encounters a benign compound inside the body. When the body requires an additional amount of histamine, it can also be introduced from outside sources.
In addition to triggering allergic reactions, histamine also coordinates many other bodily functions. Histamine can stimulate our immune system. This causes irritation, and it alerts the white blood cells to the threat of foreign antigens. In addition, histamine stimulates smooth muscle contraction and gastric acid secretion. And also, increases vascular permeability, cell proliferation, inflammation, immunomodulation, etc.
The function of histamine is to protect the body from potential threats from the environment; To protect against allergens and toxins. People who experience an allergic-like reaction to foods containing histamine may have a condition known as histamine intolerance.
What is Histamine Intolerance?
In some cases, the rate of histamine in the blood is very high. The body begins to fail to release the histamine it produces quickly. This causes histamine intolerance. But this intolerance does not indicate a histamine allergy like gluten intolerance. This simply indicates high histamine in the blood.
Certain allergies, imbalance of the intestinal microbiota, celiac disease, use of certain medications, genetic predisposition, and high histamine diet can cause high histamine in the blood.
Histamine in itself is not a bad thing. Your body naturally releases it to facilitate communication between brain cells and to help regulate the immune system.
So to say that someone is allergic to histamine is actually a wrong word. In fact, no one is allergic to histamine. More precisely, some people develop an overloaded histamine response. When an overloaded histamine response occurs, a widespread high-inflammatory response occurs in the body.
Since most histamine comes from food, the best treatment for histamine intolerance is dietary changes. Try these steps to remove histamine from your diet and start feeling better.
Foods to avoid on a low-histamine diet
The main goal of a low-histamine diet is to reduce the effect of the diet on histamine levels. But that doesn’t mean a zero histamine diet. It is not possible to reset environmental histamine exposure. Therefore, the aim is to do as little as possible.
In general, fermented foods have the highest levels of histamine and fresh unprocessed foods have the lowest levels of histamines.
High Histamine Foods:
- fermented foods; Pickles, Kombucha, Yogurt
- cheese (especially aged)
- Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, and raisinsgram
- Nuts: walnuts, cashews, and peanuts.
- tomato ketchup
- any food containing yeast
- Vinegar and any food containing vinegar
- canned food
- red chili, cinnamon, clove
- frozen, salted, or canned fish, such as sardines and tuna
- Processed foods: preservatives are very high in histamines.
Histamine Releasing Foods:
some foods can “release” histamine in the body
- brussel sprout
- energy drinks
- All types of tea
Foods to eat on a low histamine diet
- organic animal products
- salad with chopped pistachios
- fresh fish
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those not included in the above lists; Watermelon, Onion, Apple, Blueberry
- smoothie made with mango, coconut milk, Rice Milk, chia seeds, and kale
- gluten-free cereals
- cottage cheese
- Egg yolk
- Homemade turkey burger
- peanut butter
- olive oil, coconut oil
- fresh spices; Turmeric, Ginger, Oregano, quinoa
If you suspect that you have histamine intolerance, the healthiest way is to go on a low-histamine diet for a while and see if you feel better as a result. Also, if you experience a reduction in your symptoms as a result of the diet, you can seek help from a specialist to increase your histamine levels.
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