With the number of cases increasing in histamine allergies, more people are inclining towards a low histamine diet to sustain a healthy life. No wonder foods that are low in histamine levels were the highest search on the internet.
Have you wondered how you would suddenly develop severe allergic reactions and started sneezing, wheezing, and coughing out of the blue? It may be due to the high histamine foods that you consume in your daily diet.
Intriguing right? Well, read the article to know more about this topic then.
A Complete Guide On A Low Histamine Diet
A. What is histamine intolerance?
Histamine is a chemical substance produced by the body in response to foreign substances and allergens entering our bloodstream.
Histamines form the body’s first line of defense. It is an integral part of our immune system and gets released whenever the body reacts with substances that are perceived as harmful to the body’s well-being.
Upon releasing histamines in the bloodstream, it causes inflammation of the blood vessels and leads to common allergic reactions. Some of the most common symptoms observed are itching, swelling formations of hives, watery eyes, and runny noses.
Histamine intolerance refers to when the histamine levels have become too high in the blood levels, or the histamines could not be broken down properly. Therefore the high histamine levels start interfering with normal functions of the body.
Histamine intolerance also occurs when the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) levels become deficient in the body. This DAO breaks the histamines, and therefore decrease in DAO levels causes an increase of the histamine levels in the bloodstreams. The deficiency in the DAO enzyme in the body can be due to various reasons ranging from a simple injury to an underlying chronic condition.
Histamine intolerance is difficult to diagnose, but you can look out for these certain symptoms that are thought to be commonly observed in histamine intolerant people. To diagnose histamine intolerance, the symptoms are
- Severe seasonal allergies’ reactions
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeats
- Fluctuations in blood pressure, anxiety, and palpitations.
Now that we have understood histamine intolerance, we should now move towards the main part of the article, i.e., learning about a low histamine diet.
B. Best foods for a low histamine diet
A low histamine diet enables you to combat the symptoms of histamine intolerance. A low histamine diet can help you fight against the allergic reactions caused due to histamine intolerance. Still, it can also help you to fight against symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Some foods that are exceptionally low in histamine content are
- Fresh fruits and vegetables- Apple, pomegranate, plums, peaches, green leafy vegetables, cucumber, onions, and carrots
- Herbs- Basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro
- Grains like quinoa and brown rice
- Legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans
- Fresh meat and fish
- Almond, cashew, and hemp milk
- Starchy vegetables and seeds like chia, flax, and hemp
- Coconut oil and olive oil
A typical low histamine diet meal plan can look like
- Breakfast- Oatmeals, puffed rice, fresh fruits, or smoothies
- Lunch- Chicken, kale or herb salads or quinoa
- Dinner- Low histamine fishes, fresh meat or legumes
- Snacks- berries, cottage cheese, and fresh fruits
C. What to avoid in a low histamine diet?
To have a proper diet, you should know about the food items you should strictly avoid.
- Fermented food
- Aged cheese and other dairy products
- Processed meat and vegetables like spinach, eggplants, and tomatoes
Many foods are considered histamine releasers. These histamine-releasing foods are thought to be low in histamine content, but it causes the mast cells to release histamine upon entering the body. Some examples of such foods are additives, certain fruits like bananas, papaya, citrus fruits, certain vegetables, and egg whites.
D. What to keep in mind during a low histamine diet?
For people with histamine intolerance, there are certain preventative measures that you should always keep in mind.
- Fresh foods are all that you should consume in your daily diet. Foods that have been kept cooked for more than a day or fermented food in that matter should be strictly avoided.
- Plan your meals to buy only fresh foods and consume it as soon as it is purchased.
- Avoid overcooking the food ingredients as it is necessary to keep the ingredients close to their original form as much as possible.
- Certain cooking techniques can help you to minimize histamine levels. Frying and grilling tend to increase histamine levels whereas, on the other hand, boiling ameliorates it.
- According to studies, freezing foods also helps you to prevent or reduce histamine development.
- Keep a journal by your hand to keep the diet on track and note uncomfortable symptoms and allergic reactions against the food items.
- Avoid eating junk food and processed food as much as possible.
- A low histamine diet should not be followed for more than a month. After a month, observe your symptoms and then again switch back to the diet tweaking it according to your needs.
- If you have a deficiency of DAO hormone in your system, many foods can help you increase your DAO levels. However, you can also try DAO supplements to help you to combat the situation.
Now there you go, everything you need to know about a low histamine diet. People who are histamine intolerant cannot have a complete elimination diet avoiding all the histamine-rich foods as most of the food ingredients are extremely important for pepper functioning of the body and completely avoiding can produce unwanted effects in the body in the long term.
To lead a quality life, find a balance between the extremes. Eat foods that are fresh, low in histamine content, help you combat the symptoms, and reduce histamine intolerance condition naturally. However, before ending the article, we would definitely like to provide a small piece of advice. Always consult a nutritionist or dietician before starting the meal plan for proper guidelines and techniques.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.