Low Histamine Diet and High Histamine Foods
When you’re choosing to decrease the levels of histamine in your diet, it’s just that: decreasing. It is simply impossible (and actually unnecessary) to try to eliminate histamines. They’re everywhere. However what you can do, and should focus on, is reducing your intake of high histamine foods along with combining foods that are low in histamine with other foods can help break down and clear histamine from the body. Use this list to help lower your histamine load.
Foods That Contain Low Histamine Levels – Eat These!
For those on a Low Histamine Diet, be sure to increase these foods with low histamine in your regular meals. Notice the emphasis on fresh in this list.
- Fresh Meat (cooled, frozen, or fresh)
- Freshly Caught Fish
- Chicken (skinned and fresh)
- Egg Yolk
- Fresh Fruits – with the exception of strawberries, most fresh fruits are considered to have a low histamine levels (also see the Histamine Liberators list below)
- Fresh Vegetables – with the exception of tomatoes
- Grains – rice noodles, yeast-free rye bread, rice crisp bread, oats, puffed rice crackers, millet flour, pasta (spelt and corn based)
- Fresh Pasteurized Milk (and milk products)
- Milk Substitutes – coconut milk, rice milk, almond milk
- Cream Cheese & Butter (without the histamine generating rancidity)
- Most Cooking Oils – check suitability before use
- Most Leafy Herbs – check suitability before use
- Most Non-Citric Fruit Juices
- Herbal Teas – with the exception of those listed below under DAO Blockers
Foods That Contain High Levels of Histamine – Don’t Eat These!
High histamine foods are good to stay away from as much as possible. These are foods with histamine – a lot of it:
- Pickled or Canned Foods – sauerkraut
- Matured Cheeses
- Smoked Meat Products – salami, ham, sausages
- Beans and Pulses – chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
- Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts
- Chocolates (and other cocoa-based products)
- Ready Meals
- Salty Snacks, Sweets (with preservatives and artificial colorings)
Foods that Promote High Histamine – Limit These!
Histamine Liberators are foods that are low in histamines themselves, but they help release histamines in other foods. These aren’t necessary to stay away from as they aren’t foods with histamine, but they are good to limit.
- Most Citric Fruits – kiwi, lemon, lime, pineapple, plums
- Cocoa and Chocolate
- Beans and Pulses
- Wheat Germ
- Additives – benzoate, sulfites, nitrites, glutamate, food dyes
Diamine Oxidase (DAO) Blockers – Stay Away From These!
DAO Blocks are foods that can prevent specific enzymes (diamine oxidase enzymes) from breaking down histamine in the body. If you eat high histamine foods, you need to minimize these.
- Black Tea
- Energy drinks
- Green Tea
- Mate Tea
Debatable High Histamine Foods:
- Yogurt – depends on the bacteria culture used
- Egg White – it is a histamine liberator only when in its raw state
Other Histamine-Related Foods, Not Foods with Histamine
- Yeast – even though it does not contain histamine as such, yeast serves as a catalyst for histamine generation during manufacture. There is no yeast in the end-product.
Learn More about High Histamine Foods or Low Histamine Diet
Our bodies are complex, and there is usually more at play than we think. What most don’t take into consideration when addressing histamine-related health issues is genetics. Whether you’re on a low histamine diet due to histamine intolerance, or simply trying to reduce high histamine foods for general health, you will benefit from understanding how your genes are related. Learn more about histamine and genetics here!
Our body has two distinct methods of clearing things that could bring it harm: our immune system kills living toxins (bacteria, virus, parasites…) and our detoxification pathways clear non-living toxins (chemicals, heavy metals, drugs…). We have one other system that sits somewhere in the middle between the immune and the detoxification systems that helps with both: the mast cells. Read more about Histamine’s Double-edge Sword in the Formation and Progression of Cancer.
Hopefully these lists of foods with histamine were helpful to you. Be sure to use the search function to find more content on histamine, or click here.
Dr. Conners graduated with his doctorate from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 1986 and has been studying alternative cancer care for over 20 years. He holds AMA Fellowships in Regenerative & Functional Medicine and Integrative Cancer Therapy.
He is the author of numerous books including, Stop Fighting Cancer and Start Treating the Cause, Cancer Can’t Kill You if You’re Already Dead, Help, My Body is Killing Me, Chronic Lyme, 3 Phases of Lyme, 23 Steps to Freedom, and many more you can download for FREE on our books page.