If you pay close attention to foods choice, chances are you might discover the foods you are unconsciously avoid eating – you may dislike certain foods for example – histamine containing foods – like salami, chianti wine, aged cheese, dark chocolate? For a long time, I did not know what contains histamine but I was avoiding almost all of histamine contained foods even though I have never had major histamine reaction moment. Histamine is a chemical involved in your immune system, proper digestion, and your central nervous system. As a neurotransmitter, it communicates important messages from your body to your brain. It is also a component of stomach acid, which is what helps you break down food in your stomach.
You might be most familiar with histamine as it relates to the immune system. If you’ve suffered from seasonal allergies or food allergies, you may have noticed that antihistamine medications like Zytrec, Allegra or Benedryl provide quick relief of your symptoms. This is because histamine’s role in the body is to cause an immediate inflammatory response. It serves as a red flag in your immune system, notifying your body of any potential attackers.
Histamine causes your blood vessels to swell, or dilate, so that your white blood cells can quickly find and attack the infection or problem. The histamine buildup is what gives you a headache and leaves you feeling flushed, itchy and miserable. This is part of the body’s natural immune response, but if you don’t break down histamine properly, you could develop what we call histamine intolerance.
Because it travels throughout your bloodstream, histamine can affect your gut, lungs, skin, brain, and entire cardiovascular system, contributing to a wide range of problems often making it difficult to pinpoint and diagnose.
For Histamine contained foods to avoid, please check here.
For more information about causes, symptoms, treatments and great recipes, check out the following list:
#4 Bone Broth for Histamine Intolerance people (use bone marrow, not cartilage or knuckle bones. These bones will cause bloating).
and Histamine related links:
- Is Histamine Intolerance the cause of your problems? by Jill Carnahan, MD
- Why you shouldn’t eat leftovers or fermented foods? by Suzy Cohen
- Headaches, hives and heartburn – could histamine be the cause? by Chris Kresser Lic. Ac.
- Are you suffering from histamine intolerance? by Dr. David Jockers
- Histamine rich foods substances (histamine.com)
- Histamine Intolerance (thatpaleoguy.com)
- All about histamine (paleoleap.com)
- Whole30 version low histamine shopping list (whole30.com)
- Supplement for Histamine Intolerance – Enzyme supplement called Hist DAO by Xymogen
- Histamine Testing by Dr. David Jockers
Low Histamine Modifications you can make today by:
- Avoid Spinach: I assume Popeye did not have histamine problems! It is one of HIGH histamine food and widely taken as a “Healthy Foods” for a lot of people. If you are making green smoothie with handful baby spinach or a bowl of spinach salad for lunch? You may substitute with Romaine lettuce or baby kales instead.
- Avoid Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar: My first in the morning ritual by drinking lemon or ACV water is not good for Low Histamine people. Adding a few drops of Agrisept, Bitter orange, Grapefruit Seed extract or Lemon, Peppermint Essential oil will be great alternatives.
- Avoid eating left over meat: The longer the meat sitting on the fridge, the more histamine will be produced. If you have a left over, you may eat as the lunch next day.
- Avoid Seeds: Especially pumpkin seeds might be triggering histamine reactions.
- Avoid Bone Broth: This is what I experienced in the past. I had a major bloating for hour after eating a small bowl of soup. I thought eating bone broth is so healthy! I purchased a couple of cartilage bones at the local whole foods and put carrots, ACV, black peeper corns, celery, bay leaves, onion and garlic in and cooked 18 hours by using slow cooker. Avoid pre-made bone broth and use Marrow Bone instead (avoid Cartilage Bone). And most importantly, avoid adding onion & garlic when you make your own. 12 hours cooking will be long enough.
- Avoid canned coconuts milk: I do not have any problems (I like Natural Value Brand -BPA Carrageenan free) but many people have a problem with. Use Coconuts Butter (I like Nutiva’s Coconuts Manna) mix with coconuts oil instead.