Skip to Content

50+ Natural Antihistamine Foods (to Lower Histamine Levels)

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 natural 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.

Natural 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

Other Natural Antihistamines

  • Aloe Vera (anti-inflammatory in small doses; Thrive Market has a great selection)
  • 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?

Save this post for later!

pinterest pin image
pinterest pin image

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Sunday 21st of May 2023

I am glad I found your blog. As I am menopause, I have noticed I am having an allergy reaction to Cinnamon, Pineapple, Sea Salt, Grapefruit (not oranges or tangerines). Immediately when I eat any of those, I get congested. My body has really changed. I am hyper sensitive to environment changes also etc. I am now looking at anti inflammatory diet to see what foods from this group can help. I'll check out your list and start seeing what works for me. Thank you.


Sunday 21st of May 2023

I'm so sorry you're dealing with all that; the changes during menopause can certainly affect your immune system. I hope working more of these foods into your diet makes a big difference for you, Gwen!

Diana kennedy

Thursday 18th of May 2023

Love the list of foods.


Thursday 18th of May 2023

Thanks, Diana! I'm glad you're finding it helpful.


Thursday 13th of April 2023

Have got a rash after taking nettle tea could be hives taken antihistamine tablets but has not cleared it started on ginger and more vitamin c but still comes and goes any ideas of what else to take

comes and goes after


Thursday 13th of April 2023


For one you may want to stop taking the nettle tea if it seems to bother you, but it could be that you're allergic to the nettle, or experiencing oral allergy syndrome (allergic cross-reaction to a substance related to nettle), or even histamine intolerance or MCAS. I'd recommend you talk to your doctor about testing for MCAS and finding an immune-stabilizing medicine or supplement to help you in the short-term.



Friday 17th of February 2023

Thank you! This is helpful - sort of. I am confused because I see some things on this Anti-Histamine list that according to the SIGHI list, as well as other sources, are actually high histamine or histamine-liberating foods. So how can they be both? Kiwi, raspberry, pears, stinging nettle, cumin... just to name a few. This is challenging to sort out!


Friday 17th of February 2023

Hi, Sue! I understand your confusion— there are a lot of different lists which categorize things differently based off of different sources (or altogether hearsay). This list is based off of a combination of the research of Naturopath Beth O'Hara at MastCell360 plus more individual research into all of the foods on her list which are contradicted by the SIGHI list or vice versa. Overall I found that her reasoning and contextualization of each food holds up much better under scrutiny than SIGHI's, but I know that theirs is more popular in Europe. In the end, regardless of 'histamine-liberating' foods

In the end, different lists take into count different factors: whether any patient or person has ever reported reacting to that food, substances in those ingredients which may trigger a histamine response indirectly (not that same as the idea of 'histamine liberators'*; see below), effect on DAO, whether they contain histamine-like substances, actual histamine levels (which vary by age of foods), and irritation potential (like in the case of hot peppers). The foods you've named are all, in balance, actively antihistamine— this means that they're all naturally low in histamine and also bring other histamine-clearing plant chemicals to the table.

Each of those specific foods has been often identified as a 'histamine liberator,' a term which alleges that certain foods “release” histamine from other foods. The theory is based on chemical-isolating studies done in the 1950’s and ’60’s, which found that some participants experienced histamine release when they consumed specific foods (all of which were otherwise known to contain low levels of histamine). Although this idea of histamine liberators has since proliferated, no recent studies have been done to try to replicate these results. Yet from those studies alone, dozens of foods have been added to the SIGHI high histamine list, and many people continue to avoid them.

Even the man who runs SIGHI (who, I might add, is also not a medical professional) notes in his FAQ that: "Histamine levels can increase dramatically over time, by several orders of magnitude, especially in perishable foods. The histamine content often depends less on the type of food and more on other factors such as hygiene, processing method, age or degree of ripeness, storage time and storage conditions. For example, the end of the fish that sticks out of the ice at the counter should have a higher histamine content than the end that is stuck in the ice."

So yes, long story short; there are many different foods lists and every single person will tolerate different foods. It's important to initially follow an elimination diet and slowly add in just one food every other day. But when looking for the extra helpful foods that will help balance out too much histamine from the start, the power is in the plants. The issue can also sometimes be in the plants themselves (like with lectins & oxalic acid), but for the most part you'll find that fruits and vegetables will be well-tolerated and helpful for people suffering from histamine issues. If you're wary of a specific food, I'd recommend reading some studies from Google Scholar regarding the actual benefits and histamine levels of certain foods.


Thursday 16th of February 2023

Hi, I’ve started a low histamine diet yet I also need protein. Would any meat be okay as long as it is fresh? Thanks!


Wednesday 22nd of March 2023

@Christina, I have found that only certain nuts bother me (cashews and almonds). But I love pecans. If I toast them, it changes something about them and makes them more tolerable. I believe the same is true of peanuts, though I only do that in moderation. Peanut butter bothers me, maybe because it's a lot of peanuts squeezed into a tablespoon! Also I do well with pistachios, though not my favorite.


Friday 17th of February 2023


Thank you so much for the help. I buy organic grass fed beef and everything is frozen right away. Same goes with my chicken. I am not a big fish eater. I have heard to stay away from nuts which is harder for me as well because I love them all. I appreciate the advice. Thanks again.


Thursday 16th of February 2023

Hi, Christina! I'm not a doctor, but from my own 3 years of experience and extensive research, the fresher the meat, the better. Freshly frozen is even better. While you can get most of your protein from seeds, nuts, and most vegetables & legumes, meat can be a safe part of a low histamine diet. It's just important to freeze the leftovers to slow any development of excess histamine.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring!

Help spread the word if this helped you!