Avoiding high-histamine foods

Ah-choo! Sniffle. Wheeze.

Ahhh – the sounds of summer…

Wait a minute. That’s a far cry from the heavenly hum of a sultry summer day.

The gentle stir of leaves in the breeze, cicadas sonorously buzzing, wind chimes tinkling, and the whir of the neighbour’s lawnmower. Now that’s more like it. Sexy and seductive.

But.

Unfortunately for many of us, Spring and Summer bring on the woes of allergies. Red and weepy eyes, drippy nose, sore throat and a headache-y fog is what so many people experience at this time of the year.

Aside from the conventional means of attacking allergies, did you know that avoiding certain foods -and adding others- can help with the overload of histamine in your system? Basically, it makes sense to remove high-histamine foods when you’re feeling the ill effects of this compound that is released in droves by your immune cells when you’re having an allergic reaction.

Here are some foods that are particularly high in histamine.  Consider keeping these to a minimum to avoid amplifying the allergy storm.

  • Alcohol
  • Pickled or canned foods – e.g. sauerkraut
  • Matured cheeses
  • Smoked meat products – salami, ham, sausages
  • Shellfish
  • Beans and pulses – chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
  • Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts
  • Chocolates and other cocoa-based products
  • Most citris fruits
  • Wheat-based products
  • Vinegar
  • Salty snacks and sweets with preservatives and artificial colourings

Try adding the following low-histamine foods to your diet during allergy angst:

  • Fresh meat and fish
  • Egg yolk
  • Fresh fruits – with the exception of strawberries
  • Fresh vegetables – with the exception of tomatoes
  • Grains – millet, brown rice, oats
  • Milk substitutes – coconut, almond, rice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil
  • Most fresh herbs
  • Most non-citris fruit juices
  • Herbal teas – with the exception of black, green and mate

Not everyone has the same reaction to high-histamine foods during allergy season. But it may be wise to pay close attention to what you are eating when the going gets tough.

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