The Best Diet for Histamine Intolerance

Are you struggling with the symptoms of histamine intolerance? Discover the best diet you can follow to combat histamine intolerance and get relief from your uncomfortable symptoms. You’ll feel better in no time!

Quick facts: Best Diet For Histamine Intolerance

  • ✅ Histamine intolerance is caused by an enzyme deficiency that leads to an increase in histamine levels in the body. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ A low-histamine diet should focus on fresh, unprocessed foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats. (Harvard Health Publishing)
  • ✅ Foods to avoid include aged cheeses, smoked and processed meats, fermented foods, alcohol, and foods high in tyramine, such as soy sauce and pickled foods. (Harvard Health Publishing)
  • ✅ Vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, may help reduce histamine levels. (Medical News Today)
  • ✅ Eating more probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt, tempeh, and sauerkraut, may help to reduce histamine levels. (National Institutes of Health)

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Histamine intolerance is an issue that can affect many people who consume a wide array of foods. By maintaining a diet that is free from histamine-containing foods, people can reduce the symptoms associated with histamine intolerance. In this article, we will discuss the best diet for histamine intolerance and its associated benefits.

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance is a condition in which a person’s immune system overreacts to histamine, resulting in a range of symptoms that can include migraines, skin rashes and flushing, digestive issues, dizziness, and headaches. People with histamine intolerance cannot properly break down the histamine that naturally occurs in certain foods and beverages.

A low-histamine diet is often recommended for those suffering from this condition as it involves avoiding high-histamine foods and focusing on eating low-histamine options instead. Foods that are lower in histamine have either not been processed or have not been exposed to bacteria that causes the build-up of histamines. Examples of these types of foods include:

  • Most fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meats like chicken or turkey breast
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dairy substitutes such as almond milk or coconut milk yogurt
  • Non-citrus fruits like bananas or grapes
  • Gluten-free grains like quinoa or buckwheat

Eating these types of foods can help reduce the symptoms associated with Histamine Intolerance.

Food to Avoid

If you are suffering from histamine intolerance, it is important to adjust your diet to fit your condition. Certain foods, such as fermented and aged items, processed meats and fish, citrus fruits and some vegetables, can trigger an increase in histamine levels and cause an array of symptoms.

Let’s take a look at what foods you should avoid to manage your histamine intolerance:

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are high in histamine and should be avoided if you have a histamine intolerance. Foods with a high histamine content include sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, soy sauce, and aged cheese. Other fermented foods like yogurt and kefir can sometimes contain high levels of histamine as well. These foods are best avoided until the underlying cause of your intolerance is addressed.

Certain alcohols can also lead to increased levels of histamine in the body. All wines and beers contain some level of natural or added histamines. Red wines typically contain the highest concentrations, so it is best to avoid these altogether if you are trying to manage your symptoms. Cider and some hard liquors may also cause an increase in symptoms due to their high levels of yeast or other fermenting ingredients.

Cured Meats

Cured meats are a type of food to avoid if you are following a diet for histamine intolerance. Cured meats such as bacon, ham, salami, and prosciutto contain high levels of histamine which can trigger symptoms in those with histamine intolerance.

The process of curing meat involves the addition of spices or other additives that often contain histamine or other bioactive amines. The curing also increases bacterial growth on the surface which further increases the levels of histamines.

Cured meats should be avoided entirely for those with histamine intolerance or greatly reduced in the diet to minimize symptoms related to the intolerance.


Alcohol can worsen symptoms of histamine intolerance due to its ability to produce histamine in the body. Studies show that alcohol metabolizes differently than most foods and therefore should be avoided by people with histamine intolerance.

Beer, wine and spirits are all high in histamine, many of them reaching levels up to four times higher than what is found naturally in other foods. In addition to this, alcohol can trigger the release of more histamines from mast cells into the bloodstream, contributing further to inflammation and discomfort. As such, it is best for people with histamine intolerance not to consume any alcoholic beverages as part of their diet.

Dairy Products

People with histamine intolerance should avoid dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Dairy contains high levels of histamine and can cause a range of symptoms from itchy skin to headaches.

Histamine is a chemical that the body releases in response to an allergen or irritant and when it accumulates in the body due to dietary habits or other factors, it can lead to a range of symptoms including nausea, headaches, vomiting and flushing.

Dairy contains both natural histamines as well as enzymes which break down into histamines upon digestion, thus exacerbating pre-existing symptoms of an intolerance.

Other food options should be considered as alternatives to dairy products such as soy milk, rice milk or other non-dairy alternatives.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are among the top foods to avoid when managing histamine intolerance. Not only do citrus fruits contain a high amount of histamine, but they also contain a chemical called synephrine which can induce allergic reactions in some individuals with a histamine intolerance.

Common citrus fruits include grapefruit, oranges and lemons. All types of citrus fruits should be avoided if histamine sensitivity is present as they can trigger uncomfortable symptoms including headaches, skin rashes and digestive issues.

People with histamine intolerance should also avoid any foods that contain large amounts of additives such as preservatives or flavoring agents which can also lead to an increase in symptoms.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a common source of both histamine and biogenic amines, making them some of the top foods to avoid for those with histamine intolerance. Nuts and seeds can be found in a variety of foods, such as cereal, bread, and salads. Folks with histamine intolerance should also take caution when cooking with nut-based oils or vinegars as they could contain high histamine levels as well.

Some examples of nuts and seeds to avoid include:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

When shopping for food ingredients or snacks always read the label carefully to ensure there are no hidden sources of nuts or seeds included.

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are too high in histamines and should be avoided on a histamine intolerance diet. This includes any type of beans or legumes, including different kinds of lentils, peas, chickpeas and other varieties. Beans in particular have high levels of natural histamines – even if cooked from fresh or canned, so it’s best to avoid these altogether.

If you do eat beans and legumes, then make sure to soak them overnight in water with a little bit of apple cider vinegar before cooking them. This helps reduce their histamine content. Additionally, you can also boil them for 4-5 hours to further reduce the amount of histamines in the food.

Processed Foods

Processed foods are to be avoided on a diet for histamine intolerance. Histamine is released when bacteria breaks down food that has expired or gone bad, and many processed foods contain large amounts of histamine. Histamine can cause inflammation, digestive issues, and worsen symptoms related to food allergies and chronic illnesses. Additionally, these foods often contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and coloring agents which can increase inflammation within the body as well.

Examples of processed foods include:

  • Deli meats
  • Frozen dinners/packaged meals
  • Canned goods
  • Smoked/cured meats/fish products
  • MSG-containing items (e.g., chips)
  • Condiments (e.g., ketchup)
  • Store-bought bakery products like breads and muffins

Eating freshly prepared meals made with fresh ingredients will help eliminate potential sources of histamine in your diet and improve overall health.

Foods to Eat

If you have histamine intolerance, it’s important to follow a diet that avoids high histamine foods and drinks. Foods to be avoided are those that are high in histamine, are difficult to digest, or contain histamine releasing compounds.

The best diet for histamine intolerance is one that focuses on eating low histamine foods that are easy to digest and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Let’s look into some of these foods in more detail.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are some of the most nutrient-dense foods one can consume. Greens like kale, spinach, arugula, swiss chard, bok choy and Romaine lettuce are packed with vital vitamins and minerals. Eating them is especially important for those with histamine intolerance because these vegetables can reduce the production of histamine in the body and help naturally block its action.

Leafy greens are also a great source of fiber which helps to support digestive health by improving gut bacteria. Moreover, eating these vegetables boosts energy levels and contributes to overall good health.

Some easy ways to incorporate leafy greens into your diet include:

  • Adding them to smoothies
  • Adding them to salads
  • Adding them to cooked dishes

Non-citrus Fruits

Non-citrus fruits are a wonderful and nutritious food group to include in your diet if you’re managing histamine intolerance. Not all non-citrus fruits are histamine friendly, but there are plenty to choose from that won’t trigger a reaction. These include:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Mangoes
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Plums

Note that some of these may irritate people with oral allergy syndrome so make sure to pay attention to how your body responds if you’re eating them for the first time. Non citrus fruits can help improve digestion due to their high fiber content and they may also help reduce inflammation due to the polyphenols they contain. They make a delicious snack or part of any meal when cooked or mixed into sweet or savory dishes.

Lean Meats

Lean meats are an important component in a diet for histamine intolerance. Lean meats such as chicken, turkey and fish are lower in histamine, which means they won’t trigger symptoms associated with histamine intolerance. As a general rule, the fresher the meat, the lower it will be in histamine.

In addition, when preparing lean meats for a diet for histamine intolerance, steaming is preferred over frying to help reduce the presence of additional histamines. It is important to look into where and how your meat is being sourced to ensure that you are getting high quality lean meats with minimal additives or preservatives which may further increase histamines.

Additionally, consumption of lean meats should be balanced with other protein sources such as legumes and nuts which not only provide different nutrients but also help reduce inflammation.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are an important part of a balanced diet, especially for those with histamine intolerance. Whole grain foods include grains such as oats, rye, wheat and barley, which contain all the essential parts of the grain, including the bran, germ and endosperm. Whole grains are rich in many nutrients including proteins and complex carbohydrates, as well as B vitamins, iron and zinc.

Eating a variety of whole grains can help people improve their intake of key nutrients that may be lacking if one is following a low histamine diet due to histamine intolerance. This can help ensure balanced nutrition and better overall health.

When buying whole grains for histamine intolerance sufferers, it’s important to choose those that are certified gluten-free since gluten can trigger symptoms in some individuals with this condition. Examples of gluten-free whole grain foods include quinoa, buckwheat and millet.

Healthy Fats

When you have histamine intolerance, it is important to make sure that you are getting enough healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats are beneficial for overall health and can also help reduce inflammation related to histamine intolerance. Healthy fats include sources such as avocados, nuts, coconut oil and olive oil. These types of fats provide essential fatty acids and a good source of energy. They also help soothe the digestive system and support healthy digestion.

Additionally, healthy fats can increase good cholesterol levels and decrease bad cholesterol levels in the body, both of which can contribute to improved histamine tolerance symptoms. Eating a balanced diet with the right amounts of healthy fats will help maintain a balanced level of histamine in the body.

Tips for Eating Out

Eating out can be a challenge when you have histamine intolerance. Restaurants often serve dishes that are cooked with ingredients high in histamine or cooked with methods that increase histamine levels. However, there are some tips you can use to make eating out a little easier if you have histamine intolerance. Let’s explore these tips.

Ask Questions

One of the most important things to do when eating out is to ask questions. If you have histamine intolerance, it can be difficult to trust the ingredients used in restaurant meals. Many restaurant dishes contain hidden sources of histamines, so always ask the server about what’s in a dish before ordering.

Common trigger ingredients include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, and artificial preservatives and dyes. Additionally, be sure to inquire about how your food was cooked and prepared, since overcooking or burning some foods can increase histamine levels. Don’t forget to also check if other ingredients have been added after cooking (e.g., cheese or sauces) as this could be a source of hidden histamines.

Lastly, always let your server know that you have an allergy so they can pay special attention when preparing your meal.

Avoid Sauces and Dressings

When eating out, it’s important to remember that sauces and dressings are often high in histamine. Since these can be hard to track down on menus, your safest bet is to avoid them altogether. If the restaurant has a “low-histamine” or “histamine-friendly” menu, look for options with plain meats and fresh vegetables.

During the ordering process, it’s also important to request that your food is cooked without butter, cream or other sauces. Additionally, be sure to ask your server if any dishes have been pre-marinated or pickled—either of which could cause unwanted histamine reactions.

Finally, don’t forget about potential allergens like shellfish and wheat—which can also trigger adverse reactions in individuals who struggle with histamine intolerance.

Avoid Processed Meats

Processed meats are food items that have been mechanically or chemically altered from their original form, often with additives and preservatives. These changes can significantly increase the levels of histamines in certain food items. It is best to avoid processed meats altogether if you are following a histamine-restricted diet for intolerance.

Processed meats include:

  • Lunch meat
  • Hot dogs
  • Bacon
  • Ham
  • Certain types of sausages

If you are already eating these foods, it may be helpful to switch to healthier versions like organic or antibiotic-free cold cuts. Be sure to check the label for any added preservatives or ingredients that may increase histamines. Finally, it is always best to choose freshly prepared meats as they have less chance of being contaminated with high levels of histamines.

Ask for Substitutions

When eating out, it’s essential to ask for substitutions or modifications to the menu items. It is important to read the ingredients list of included items and try to get a plain meal without any additional sauces, dressings or seasonings. Having a list of histamine-rich ingredients as well as histamine-free alternatives can be helpful when navigating a restaurant menu.

For example, if ordering fish, look for oven-baked, poached or grilled options instead of marinated or smoked dishes that are high in histamine. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants may be a great option because these dishes are likely to be low in histamine and may not require many substitutions. In addition, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables—which are generally lower in histamines than processed foods—is also suggested when eating out.


The best diet for histamine intolerance is a low-histamine diet. This means avoiding high-histamine foods and focusing on fresh, unprocessed foods. This includes fresh meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It is also recommended to avoid alcohol, added sugar and artificial sweeteners as these can aggravate histamine intolerance symptoms.

Additionally, probiotics are beneficial for regulating levels of healthy bacteria in the gut which can help reduce symptoms of histamine intolerance. Finally, it is important to consult with a health professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle. With their guidance and support you can find an individualised plan that works for you in managing your symptoms of histamine intolerance.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Histamine Intolerance

Q: What is histamine intolerance?

A: Histamine intolerance is a condition where too much histamine builds up in the body because the body is not able to break it down properly. Histamine is a chemical released by the body during an allergic reaction and is also found in some foods.

Q:What are some of the best diets for histamine intolerance?

A: Some of the best diets for histamine intolerance include the low-histamine diet, the anti-inflammatory diet, and the low FODMAP diet. The low-histamine diet involves avoiding high-histamine foods, such as aged cheeses, processed meats, and fermented foods. The anti-inflammatory diet focuses on eating anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. The low FODMAP diet is a restrictive diet that helps to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and it involves avoiding certain carbohydrates that can trigger symptoms.

Q:Are there any supplements that can help with histamine intolerance?

A: Yes, there are some supplements that may help reduce symptoms of histamine intolerance. These include vitamin C, magnesium, B-vitamins, and probiotics. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they are safe for you to take.

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