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51 Foods That Lower Histamine (Anti Histamine Foods List)

51 Foods That Lower Histamine (Anti Histamine Foods List)

When I began an antihistamine diet, I couldn’t have even told you what histamine is, much less why it might have been causing all this trouble for me. It was a hail mary, in all honesty, but damn did it work. Within a week I was feeling 50% better, and when you already feel like the gum scraped off the bottom of someone’s shoe, 50% better is nothing to scoff at. While I’m still sorting out the root cause(s) for my histamine issues, I’m also continuing to research anti histamine foods I can work into my diet to help bring a variety of flavors and nutrients to every meal.

So what are histamines?

Histamine is a natural inflammatory substance released by the mast cells, which are a type of white blood cell responsible for immediate reactions to perceived allergens. When your histamine level overloads in one area of the body, it leads to inflammation, which can result in food allergy symptoms and even have a cascading effect upon the body. Histidine decarboxylase (HDC) is the sole member of the histamine synthesis pathway, producing histamine out of the amino acid histidine in a one-step reaction (with Vitamin B6 as a cofactor).

This means that histamine can be produced very quickly, an evolutionary trait which is helpful for alerting you to danger, but less helpful if your immune system has begun interpreting everything as dangerous. So while mast cells are an integral part of the body’s immune response to foreign substances, sometimes they can become unstable and overreact to certain foods.

What happens when mast cells destabilize?

They release histamine (and other inflammatory substances, albeit in smaller amounts), causing an inflammatory condition known as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). MCAS is a type of Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD), a group of immune conditions which affect the functioning of mast cells. Mastocytosis is a similar disorder, and treatment similarly involves lowering the body’s histamine load. The first step towards calming this histamine reaction is to clean up your diet, and slowly add in more anti histamine foods.

How do antihistamine foods help with histamine intolerance symptoms?

Food is really the best antihistamine for histamine intolerance, as most of us aren’t necessarily overloaded by our environment— as with traditional histamine toxicity (a.k.a. seasonal allergies)— but by our food. This goes back to the three main ways that histamine levels become problematic: ingested histamine, low DAO (diamine oxidase, which clears histamine), and histamine-liberating foods. There can be genetic contributions, but these factors most commonly arise when we consume high histamine food, DAO-blocking food, and food which releases histamine from other foods.

Anti histamine foods are all naturally low in histamine, but they also bring other histamine-clearing benefits to the table. The foods’ superpowers range from helping to stabilize mast cells to increasing DAO production or simply reversing oxidative damage from inflammation. Some of them even interrupt the making of histamine itself, by affecting volume & rate of HDC production (thereby slowing the body’s ability to produce histamine). Most of them also contain a significant amount of one or more co-factors in the production of DAO, such as vitamin B12, saturated fats, zinc, magnesium, iron, and omega-3 fats.

Antihistamine Foods List

The antihistamine foods list below is a living document that I’ll continue to update as I discover new ingredients which may help us in our pursuit of health and happiness— you should never have to prioritize one over the other. If you’ve found this post because you’re just getting started with a low histamine diet, I recommend beginning by reading my 5-day low histamine diet plan.

Jumping into a whole new lifestyle headfirst can work for some people, but for others, adding or taking away a large variety of foods at once can send your system into a tailspin. So before adding in a bunch of foods that lower histamine, consider a three-pronged approach of: 1) removing the highest histamine foods; 2) eating more low histamine foods in their place; and 3) adding in anti histamine foods last.

All that said, below are dozens of foods with natural antihistamine properties. Because I’m a science-minded individual who loves to cook, I’ve sorted each of these natural antihistamine foods based on their function in the kitchen. Most foods have multiple reasons why they’re listed here, so I’ve done my best to link sources for further reading.

Antihistamine Herbs

  • Basil (esp. Holy Basil)
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint (Spearmint, Peppermint)
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Antihistamine Spices

  • Black Cumin (nigella sativa)
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Cumin
  • Fennel Seed
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric

Antihistamine Vegetables

  • Artichoke
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Pepper
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli (& Broccolini)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Dandelion Root (also good as tea)
  • Greens (Mustard, Collard)
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Squashes (other than pumpkin)
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Antihistamine Fruits

  • Apples
  • Pomegranate
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwis
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches
  • Pears

Other Natural Antihistamines

  • Aloe Vera (anti-inflammatory in small doses)
  • Fresh Capers (preserved in salt & rinsed before use are also ok)
  • Hibiscus (great as a tea or chopped up and added to stews)
  • Manuka Honey
  • Monk Fruit Powder (as a powerful sweetener)
  • Moringa (stabilizes mast cells)
  • Spirulina (inhibits histamine release)
  • Stinging Nettle (great for tea, or adding to smoothies in powdered form)

Whether you’re struggling with a runny nose or a leaky gut, it’s important to understand how natural antihistamines can help you heal. For those who’ve also chosen to consume your antihistamine in food form, do you have any others to add to the list?

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Gay smith

Friday 27th of May 2022

Great list.. I'm really new and questions I can't find answers to.. can you direct me to answers or Answer them 1. Can I take frozen food sealed with foods average and put it in my sous vide to defrost in water and then cook..? 2. I do home canning.. if my meat is fresh (based on all I've read just killed) can I pressure can it? Will it "grow" histamine in the sealed jar?

Thank you.. freezing itimited my room and finding cooking methods acceptable is tough.. also if canning is possible I can take food with me

Jann

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Hi. Thanks so much for this site! It has been an amazing help to me!

I have finally realized that histamine intolerance is a real thing and it can be a serious thing. I actually think I've had it since I was a child and it explains ALOT. Plus I think it is the root cause for lots of my symptoms like Insomnia, internal tremors Anxiety, and tinnitus. So.... I'm researching all I can about it.

I see that you have Morniga on the list of "other natural anti-histamines". I know some people may react to some foods more than others but, another reputable Histamine site says that moringa is high in oxalates. And that oxalates can raise histamine levels. ( mastcell360.com) Can you help?

lowhistamineeats

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Oh wow! I'm glad to be of help, and even if you've been dealing with it for awhile, I'm happy to play a small part in your healing journey. "High oxalate" is generally relative to the serving size, but it can raise histamine levels as part of the body's natural allergic reaction to plant toxins (like oxalates). If you're having small amounts of oxalates over the course of a meal, you should be fine in that your body will be able to break it down without overloading and causing a reaction. I hope this helps!

Bellady

Friday 18th of March 2022

Hi - I have a question to ask : are you aware of any nutrition analysis tool which will also analyse for histamine? Thanks Enid Ginn

Amber

Monday 21st of March 2022

Hi Bellady, the "Food Intolerances" app does just that.

https://www.baliza.de/en/apps/histamine.html

lowhistamineeats

Friday 18th of March 2022

Hi, Enid! Unfortunately I don't, but there are a lot of papers out there that address the histamine effects of individual foods, and for the moment that's the best resource I know of: PubMed.

Tracey cline

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Hello. My name is Tracey I noticed you didn't have pineapple as a natural antihistamine but listed as a high histamine food.. Well this may be true for some, but I eat large amounts of it to actually keep from taking dao. Fresh pineapple is by my experience ,and I have severe histamine and macs. One of DAOs main ingredients is bromaline. Yes ascorbic acid . 100 mg or 2 slices is more then you need. I know that ascorbic acid in vitamin c isn't absorbed well is the digestive system . I take it in lip so mal vegetable capsule and in is mostly absorbed and is less hectic on your stomach. I've only seen in my research that ascorbic acid in vitamins arnt absorbed very well . I know people are different but like I said. I've been sick to 35 years and found this illness on my own no dr. Or allergist or gastrointestinal Dr thought of it and I've seen all of them. The reason I don't go to a functional Dr is my insurance don't cover them. Anyway I thought I would let u know my thoughts on pine apple. I take some cottage cheese with fresh chopped pineapple and pumpkin seed for some crunch mix in a bowl for a nice snack.

Health life to you Tracey clone hampton va.

lowhistamineeats

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Tracey! It's definitely true that pineapple is high in bromelain, but for most people the other aspects of pineapple cause too many problems to warrant eating them for that. But I'm trilled for you, that you've found something helpful after such a long time suffering! I hope this continues, and I'm sending more good wishes your way.

Ninoska Ferrer

Friday 11th of February 2022

hello how are you your page and information is very useful to me, I had doubts about spirulina because in the lists they say that spirulina is high in histamine so I am a little hesitant to try it

lowhistamineeats

Monday 14th of February 2022

I understand that some lists mistakenly lump chlorella and spirulina in with other algaes, but in reality, they've been greatly studied as immuno-modulators, and specifically for their mast cell-stabilizing properties. I highly recommend you look into some of the research on spirulina for allergies, but of course, you also shouldn't take anything your uncomfortable with or feeling anxious about-- that stress in itself can help trigger histamine activity!

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