As with most diets, there are many allowed fruits on the low histamine diet. I generally recommend people start with just blueberries, and work up to apples, raspberries, and kiwis before reintroducing other fruits. Some people may not be able to tolerate a few of these fruits due to oxalate, blood sugar, or salicylate issues, but there will likely be at least one low histamine fruit on this list that you can tolerate; I can almost guarantee that.
In fact, I’d even categorize many of these as antihistamine fruits, meaning that they contain substances such as quercetin, which stabilize the mast cells, those which release histamine throughout the body. If you’re still feeling confused as to what histamine is and why it’s wreaking such havoc upon your systems, please check out my low histamine diet plan primer. Below are 17 fruits that are low in histamine!
What Makes Some Fruits High Histamine?
If you’ve ever had a bunch of blackberries begin fermenting in your fridge, you’re not alone. If left to their own devices, fruits will start breaking down— rotting— within a few days. Some fruits tend towards ripening rather than rotting, and while a ripe peach is better than a rotten one, neither is ideal for histamine issues.
This is because the longer a fruit sits around, the more bacteria it’s exposed to, and many types of bacteria produce histamine as a by-product of their own digestion. For some people, the bacteria are already inside them over-producing histamine, so when they eat high-carb foods like fruits, this bacterial overgrowth foods on the sugars and produce histamine (known as SIBO). Yet even some unripe fruits are still considered high or moderate in histamine.
As discussed in the high histamine foods list, most of the supposedly high histamine fruits are off-diet due to indirect histamine increases rather than directly containing histamine. In fruit much of this is due to the ‘histamine liberator’ effect, often discussed and rarely explained in the field of histamine intolerance. In short, the idea is 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 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.
Medium & High Histamine Fruits List
The below-listed high histamine fruits are labelled as such either because they legitimately contain high levels of histamine, or because they theoretically “release” histamine from other foods (histamine liberators).
- Any very ripe fruits
- Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, etc.)
- Dried fruits
- Olives (preserved)
How Can You Keep Fruits Low in Histamine?
It can be disheartening to buy a fruit you know you tolerate, and suddenly have a reaction. Could it be the pesticides used on the farm? Poor storage conditions? Oral allergy syndrome? To avoid all the most common pitfalls, ones I’ve even fallen into, below are my top 5 tips for keeping fruits low histamine rather than losing them to time.
- Source fresh, local fruits. It may sound obvious, but I don’t mean the fruits from your local grocery store. Try to source all your fruits and vegetables from your local farmers when possible, to minimize the distance from farm to table (plus it supports the local community!).
- Buy organic. If you can’t buy local produce, at least try to buy organic when purchasing the infamous dirty dozen.
- Eat seasonally. This can be understandably hard in the winter, but try your best to eat the fruits that are in season in your area. Even if all the fruits at your local grocer’s isn’t from your region, they’re more likely to come from nearby, and it may be easier to find a local, direct source.
- Store fruits properly. For most fruits, keeping them on the counter and eating them just under peak ripeness is fine, but when a fruit starts to ripen, you should eat it immediately or refrigerate it for a few more days.
- Eat when less ripe. This generally means using them in some more savory recipes, and relying on less inflammatory sweeteners when needed, like monk fruit or stevia.
What Fruits Are Low Histamine?
There are hundreds of types of fruit out in the world, but the info on the histamine levels in fruits that are less common is, well, much less common. So below is a list of low histamine fruits whose impact upon our histamine response is not just minimal, but is often beneficial.
- Coconut (fresh)
- Cranberries (fresh)
- Currants (fresh)
- Dragon Fruit
Do you have a favorite low histamine fruit to bake with or snack on? Drop it in the comments below, and let us know your favorite way to eat it!