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Foods with histamine that you should avoid if you are allergic to this substance

The histamine, is a compound that is found in all cells of the body and, in addition, is a natural component present in many foods, which we consume daily. This substance is an important part of both the immune system and the neurological system. Deficiency, abundance or allergy to this compound can cause various problems to the body.

In a person without any health inconvenience, histamine is regularly broken down with the help of 2 enzymes: DAO and HNMT.

For this reason, those individuals who have difficulties with histamine, it is because they have a genetic dysfunction or a greater presence of one of these 2 enzymes.

For these cases, it is essential to know the list of foods with histamine, so as not to have health problems.

Causes of histamine allergy

The DAO enzyme is produced in the gut, so if bowel function is in trouble, there may not be enough enzymes to break down histamine normally.

Precisely, people allergic to this component, have an important imbalance, between different populations of bacteria in their intestine.

In turn, the habit of smoking, is another of the most common causes of those patients, who have this type of rejection towards the compound.

Keep in mind that allergies are very specific discomforts and their causes can be multiple. So you can be in very good health and still have problems digesting food, with a high content of histamine.

Symptoms of histamine intolerance

When a person has problems or intolerance towards this component, which is so important for the body, the symptoms can be diverse.

Some are very common discomforts, which can be perfectly confused with other diseases.

Whatever the case, it is important to go to a trusted doctor, who will surely detect where the problem is.

Among the symptoms that we could call “less serious” and that can perfectly lend themselves to confusion, we find:

  • Headache.
  • Heartburn.
  • Runny nose (excessive perspiration in this area).
  • Watery eyes.
  • Itchy skin.

Depending on the level of rejection of histamine, the body may have more important discomforts, such as:

  • Low blood pressure.
  • Rash, with large welts on the body.
  • Angioedema (swelling of the face).
  • Wheezing (trouble breathing).

In addition, in the case of women, during the menstrual cycle, may suffer severe headaches or deep cramps, due to the contractions produced by histamine, in relation to low hormone levels.

Regardless of the symptom that the person presents, it is always advisable to go to a doctor to diagnose.

And depending on the symptoms presented, it will be possible to determine how allergic the person is to this component.

In general, when an individual has rejections of histamine foods, the solution is to start a healthy diet, which will depend, no doubt, on how serious that intolerance is.

How histamine allergy is diagnosed

At present, there are no proven tests, which can diagnose histamine intolerance, beyond the feeding diet.

Although it is possible to measure the activity of the DAO enzyme in the blood, as well as the levels of this component in the blood and urine, but these results cannot be correlated, yet, with the symptoms of histamine allergy.

For this reason, a healthy diet is, for the moment, the only solution to this type of disorder.  In general, the patient has a follow-up by his doctor and if, after several weeks, the histamine levels are correct, it means that the diet is working.

Foods with high histamine

Keep in mind that, it is difficult to find information, about the amount of histamine that each food or drink has.

In any case, after several tests of different medical specialists, it has been concluded that, food and Fermented and aged beverages are foods with a high level of histamine.

On the other hand, there are foods that, although they do not contain high levels of this compound, are large histamine releasers, so they can trigger similar symptoms as they increase their levels.

Among the foods that release this component, we find citrus fruits, strawberries, nuts and egg whites, among others. On the other hand, the enzyme blockers are, alcohol, black and green tea.

In short, people allergic to this component should be careful when digesting these foods with a high level of histamine:

  • Alcoholic beverages such as red and white wines, beers and champagne.
  • Fermented or smoked meat or fish such as salami, bacon, sardine or mackerel.
  • Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt or whey.
  • Dried fruits, strawberries and citrus fruits.
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, peanuts or soybeans.
  • Canned foods such as sauerkraut, soy sauce or pickle sauce.

There may be other foods that increase histamine, especially in those allergic people, such as some chocolates, wheat or tomato.

It does not mean, from any point of view, that every person with intolerance to this compound, does not have to ingest or drink more in his life, all these foods or drinks.

There is no doubt that, each case is particular and it will be the doctor who determines, the correct diet according to the allergy that the patient has.

If the allergy is very important, then you have to consider these foods to avoid with high histamine, so as not to have serious inconveniences in the future.

Foods with low histamine

When an individual is allergic to histamine, your doctor will prescribe a diet with foods low in this compound.

In this sense, the most advisable thing for these people is to eat fresh foods, such as meat and fish (here it is vital to avoid those preserved meats and fish).

Of course, you can not miss fresh fruits, with the exception of strawberries and citrus fruits. The same goes for vegetables, except for tomatoes and spinach.

Among the cereals, the most prescribed are rice, corn, oats and sorghum. As far as oils are concerned, specialists maintain that most of these products for the kitchen are accepted.

In conclusion, those people with allergy to this substance, should know the foods to avoid with histamine or pay attention to the state of them, at the time of consuming them, so as not to have health problems.


About Andrew Parkinson

Andrew Parkinson is a highly accomplished pharmacist with a passion for improving healthcare. With a wealth of experience in both community and clinical pharmacy settings, he's known for his dedication to patient well-being. Mr. Parkinson actively engages in medication management, offering personalized solutions and promoting better health outcomes. He has also played a pivotal role in educating patients on proper medication usage and potential interactions. Andrew's commitment to advancing the field of pharmacy and ensuring safe and effective drug therapies has garnered him recognition as a trusted and invaluable healthcare professional, making a positive impact on countless lives.

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