Before you dive into the below content, I’ve created a video for you explaining what histamines are and how to follow a low histamine diet. Click the PLAY button below to get started.

 

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Many of my clients eat foods that are high in histamines such as red wine, citrus fruits, sauerkraut, bacon and aged cheese. Yes, these foods can be healthy but for many people, they can cause health issues and symptoms ranging from anxiety, migraines, hives, acid reflux, chest pain, fatigue, confusion, irritability, drop in blood pressure, tissue swelling, digestive upset, nasal congestion and much more. Many Western medicine doctors do not understand the connection between high histamine foods and these symptoms, however if you are experiencing symptoms like the ones listed above, you may be suffering from a common cause of food intolerance and disease, called Histamine Intolerance.

Many people haven’t heard of histamine intolerance but it is a food intolerance that’s difficult to diagnose and is often confused with many other conditions. Skin problems, mental health issues, migraines and headaches are all common symptoms. Sadly, this food sensitivity is not well understood by many doctors.

The tricky thing about histamines is that the reaction to foods is not immediate. Histamine intolerance is also closely linked to dysbiosis and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth). My Integrative doctors believe that the main cause of histamine intolerance is from an overgrowth of bad bacteria int he gut that makes histamine from foods that are not digested. This undigested food builds up in your body and overwhelms your body- therefore you’re left with excess histamine.

What foods are high in histamines?

  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Olives
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Peppermint tea
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • White vinegar

If you are experiencing a histamine intolerance, it’s important to follow a LOW histamine diet for quite awhile until your body is able to tolerate eating histamines again.

I suggest you work with your Integrative MD to heal your gut (Leaky Gut) and dysbiosis as well as SIBO that may be present in your body.

What foods are low in histamines?

  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bananas
  • Bean sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cashews
  • Celery
  • Chamomile tea
  • Chickpeas
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Green cabbage
  • Kidney beans
  • Leeks
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Lima beans
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Red cabbage
  • Shallots

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59 comments

  1. Hi!

    I thought avacado was on the don’t eat/high histamine list? But, I see it on the low histamine (above). Please clarify. Thank you.

    1. It depends what doctor you see; mine told me I could eat it. I’ve seen it on both lists. My advice is to see if it bothers you and if it does, remove it from your lifestyle. xo

      1. I have many allergies Wheat Dairy Gluten Paprika Cantaloupe honeydew and shellfish. I take allergies shots for dust rag weed certain trees and wine. If I have one glass I am ok but I have to be very care full. I am just wondering if I am allergic to histamines.
        I found all this out myself in 1999 when I took food out of my diet and saw results.

        1. Hi Anita! It would be best to work with an integrative doctor to determine if your symptoms are related to a histamine intolerance.

    2. Every food histamine list which I have found put Avocado as High Histamine,but as with every list it is sometimes a matter of your own experience.

  2. Hmmm, so much confusing mixed information on the web… thanks for sharing your thoughts here, but where do so many websites state AVOCADOS are High In Histamine and you have them on here as low?

    1. Yes, there is a ton of misinformation everywhere. This list was from my MD, who I trust and who helped me heal. Listen to your body and see what works for you! Big hugs. xox

  3. Hi Amie
    I have a problem with my mast cells and have been advised to follow a low histamine/ low sulfite diet, this is quite challenging however need to do it as am at a severe stage.
    Do you have any tips to start off? Would you strip your diet completely?

    1. Thanks Sam; the best thing to do is read my book Eating Clean so that you can start removing all the inflammation in your body so your body can start to heal! oxxx

      1. Dear Aime

        Thanks for such relevant and useful information. I am a woman in my late 40s and I suffered with recurrent and serious lip swelling for three years.

        None of the doctors could work out what was wrong. I was prescribed EpiPen‘s, Benadryl, and some other crazy medications. I did not take any of them.

        I’m health and fitness instructor, so every time I would work out it would get worse, because increased blood flow. It was debilitating to me.

        So I switched up my fitness regime to something much gentler, such as yoga and Pilates. So I could stay active but not aggravate my condition until I could figure it out

        So finally, I clued into the histamine containing foods and change my diet to a more Mediterranean one, lots of olive oil, thyme, and I added garlic, watercress, capers, ginger and turmeric to my daily diet.

        I’m a vegetarian so meat is not in my diet. I do eat the odd piece of fresh fish now, never canned.

        I know for me, foods like tomatoes, strawberries, avocados, spinach, eggplant and any food left over is off-limits. My lips swell will swell. Reaction is usually 24 to 48 hours later so it’s really hard to figure out.

        So this used to keep happening every 3 to 4 weeks. I have not had a flareup in six months since I changed my diet. Yay! The information you’ve provided has helped me stay on track.

        Interestingly, I can feel the tingling in my lips and the swelling in my tummy, which I know no is fibroid tumors, which indicates to me that I’ve slipped up in my diet somewhere, usually a glass of red wine, and as soon as I cut back the symptoms go away within the week.

        And the other really funny thing? Now when I get bitten by mosquitoes they don’t swell like they used to. I’ll definitely keep looking on your website for further updates, and to help me stay on track. The doctors really had absolutely no idea.

        But through a lot of trial and error, and through peoples information like yours, I managed to figure it out.

        Thanks again keep doing what you’re doing, you’re helping lives!

        Sincerely
        Andrea

  4. Hi. What would you say with relation to oats, buckwheat, millet, parsnip, all gluten breads, corn (e.g. pasta made from corn), palm oil, regular fresh/frozen meat (from the shelves which probably not freshly frozen, as well as not ideally fresh. For the most part they do not indicate the date when it was packed), regular frozen fish (that which is very unlikely immediately frozen at sea), chia seeds and hemp seeds or chia/hemp protein powders (to replace meat/fish during testing). ? I would appreciate any feedback on this matter.
    p.s. have you ever heard of anyone having acute acne+severe bloating and HIT as a culprit of such ailments?
    Warm regards

    1. Hi, I would not do palm oil. I would only do organic/grass feed meat and I would avoid all corn if it’snot organic. The other foods should be okay for you but try them slowly once a week and see how you feel! oxx

    2. Hi SN. I’m gluten intolerant and used to get extremely bloated if I ate any grain with it in, in fact, the only grain that I seem to be ok with is rice.
      In addition to many other seemingly random symptoms, I’ve had moderate and cystic acne since I was a teenager. My skin seemed to get even worse a few years back (around aged 44) and I was diagnosed with acne rosacea by a dermatologist and subsequently recommended an anti-inflammatory paleo diet along with various supplements, by a nutritionist who put it down to leaky gut. After almost a year with little improvement and lots of investigating by myself, I suspected that I was histamine intolerant. As soon as I stopped eating fish and shellfish, I stopped getting cystic acne. I’ve found Neuroprotek (quercetin, luteolin & rutin) helped immensely with my symptoms in general but I would still get flare-ups from time to time. Recently I also started taking Simply Pure’s Organic Mangosteen Rind which I’m overjoyed to say, has pretty much completely cleared up my skin.
      I also take Touchstone Essential’s ‘Green Energy’ which stopped me waking up every morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck and vitamin D.

  5. Hi Amie,
    my tolerance level is terrible i must have one – two zyrtecs per day to keep my hives at bay.
    I don’t know what’s good or bad like what i can eat for breakfast, feels like I’m lost.

    1. Antonia,
      I would find a functional MD to help you go off of zyrtec; that’s probably causing all of your gut issues. Big hugs! ox

  6. Hi Amie, so thankful for all your wisdom and I’m going to get your book. Would you be able to recommend your functional MD? My daughter is 12 and having symptoms of mast cell disorder, histamine intolerance. Appreciate your help, take care, Michelle

    1. My pleasure; did you check out my Functional/Integrative Medicine pages? There you’ll find a list of doctors and also a search to find someone near you! oxx

  7. Great site, definitely going to get your book. I have been very ill for years and for 6 weeks now have been unable to eat more than 500 calories a day and was still choking on the walnuts, avocados, nitrate free pork bacon and zucchini (3 of those were probably the worst things I could have eaten!). Discovered the low histamine diet this week and am now getting on the road to, for the first time in 6 weeks I am not choking (along with a host of other reactions) everytime I eat… I still have some problems but can definitely see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m still unable to get above 500 -550 calories a day. The things I’ve been able to eat right now are zucchini, apples, nitrate free turkey bacon and chicken. What are some high fat/low histamine foods that I can try to incorporate to get my calorie/nutrient count up as I heal? Thank you !

    1. Thank you Brenda; sending you so much love! Zucchini and chicken is all I ate for 10 years! I feel you! The histamine foods are on this page that you can enjoy!

  8. I am having a problem with convenience on this diet. I need a cookbook that offers minimal ingredient recipes and ways to do this diet without that added stress(cortisol) boost you receive JUST trying to figure out what is a simple preparable meal that doesn’t require ingredients that are not even readily available to you at most markets. I feel as though consuming food is already so stressful, making food should not be! Any Suggestions?

  9. Hi Amie,

    I just found your website and plan going to order your book. I have a question for you, is Clean Eating a book written for histamine intolerance or gut issues in general . I have been suffering from various gut issues for many years and have many books on the subject right now I’m dealing with mast cell disorder and histamine intolerance and I’m looking for recipes and a book specifically for low histamine foods . Can you please advise? Thank you

    1. Hi Elaine,
      Lovely to hear from you. It’s all anti-inflammatory. There are very few histamine foods in the book but there are a few. It’s all clean, whole ingredients and there is SO much helpful detoxification information included, as well. Much love! xx

  10. Hi Amie!
    Thanks for this very helpful information. I don’t see coffee anywhere on this list. Is it high or low histamine? And it looks like all teas – black & green – are high histamine. Is that correct?

  11. Hi Amie, I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto and have terrible hives ever night . My lip swell and hives on my eay lids .my dr wants me to do a no histamine diet with querceyin and a very expensive gut powder for immune ! But I’m thinking the hives are from my thyroid anti bodies and still have them even after XOLAIR shots . I’m on prednisone just to not have a complete allergy attic !i have slowly gone from 40mg a day to 5 or 10 . The hive come out at night and worse under a warm blanket ! I want to get off prednisone any help would be greatly appreciated !!! Thank you sharon

    1. Thank you Sharon; we’re not able to answer medical questions via online but your immune system is reacting. Please schedule an appointment with Amie on our Services page and she can help you! xx

  12. Isn’t there a difference in food high in his hiatimines and food that cause mast cell to realese histamine ? I was told those foods are the worst to eat by a specialist. Also foods that act like a histimine and use DOA as a histimine would. Like advocado and citrus fruits. I am recovering on he strict hisitmine diet from psoriasis. Wine coffee, citrus fruits were my culprit . I love advocado’s and still eat spraring then will introduce fully back when I heal completely . Will have to watch my alcohal and caffeine intake most

  13. I’ve been trying to work through a list of food allergies and histamine intolerance and ended up making heads and tails of the situation by keeping a simple spreadsheet where I list the food in one column and check off whether it’s high histamine, low histamine, histamine reducing or an allergen (finding that information out can take trips to allergists and dermatologists if you react to such things as cinnamon and soda). The smart phone is great in the grocery store and restaurants because you can check the ingredients for histamine levels and in my case if it contains Balsam of Peru. It takes time to create a master list because each person is unique. It’s worth the effort.

  14. Since I can’t cook at home for lunch during the workday. Are there optimal recipes that can be prepared the night before to take to lunch with me the next day?

  15. Hi Amie

    I have started a low histimine diet but I am vegetarian and all the protein foodsi normally consume such as lentils, chickpeas, soy, beans etc are high in histimine. Any ideas?

    1. We have a histamine program and 12-week meal plan coming soon- stay tuned in our newsletter for the launch. It will cover all of this information!

  16. Hi Amie! Thanks so much for all your great info! I am in the process of figuring all this out for myself and am seeing discrepancies on the acceptable food lists – specifically eggs, avocado, beans and nuts. I’m still in the elimination process but most lists I’ve seen say eggs are ok and the other 3 aren’t but can you shed any light on that? Also, my schedule during the week is crazy so I meal prep. Is reheating the ground turkey I make for example causing problems? I’ve dealt with this before and eliminated gluten from my diet and was seemingly been fine for 10 years but was exposed to mold a few years ago and had a set back, overcame it and am now dealing with it again. It makes sense to me that histamine could be a trigger for all of this. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kate! We have a histamine program and 12-week meal plan coming soon- stay tuned in our newsletter for the launch. It will cover all of this information!

  17. Hi,

    I’ve changed my diet to low histamine and I’m taking supplements from my naturopathic. I’m still reacting to foods on the low histamine list. I definitely have histamine problems, swelling of eyelids, rashes, itchy skin and tongue. Can you recommend how to get my body to calm down?

  18. Is there an expected date release for new program? I’m looking for a low histamine program to follow.

    Thanks,
    Kat

  19. This list is completely wrong. As someone who struggles with histamine issues, avocados are AWFUL for histamine. Please take that off of your ‘okay’ list.

    Also, eggs, fish, and fresh meat are fantastic. They should be on the ‘okay’ list. Canned fish, like sardines, should be avoided, but any fresh meat and eggs are almost zero histamine.

    Please fix your list. you are passing around bad information.

    1. Hi Ryan – thanks for your comment. We are sorry and will make some edits!! This is such an old page and was passed down from a doctor years ago. We have a totally new histamine program coming out soon but we never updated this list.

  20. I’m a little confused, I’ve been led to believe broccoli is a low histamine food, although it’s on the high histamine list on this page? First time I’ve ever read that, has there been a mistake in typing this out? Or do people actually suffer negative consequences through eating broccoli? Appreciate any feedback, kind regards
    Emma

  21. So much to ask but so little unanswered. Amy where and with whom can I make a consultation over the phone or in person. I will pay anything to have a one detailed discussion on not just histamine intolerance but gut healing and nutrition in general. I believe in food sources as the means to medicine both reversible and preventive. I am simply confused and overwhelmed with the online information , I need the best and most appropriate guidance and teacher/specialized nutritionist. Help.

  22. What are your thoughts on Alkaline Water ? Coconut Water? like the healthy ones they sell on cartons at the store. Drinks that are healthy for you and low in histamine ?
    Also on bananas and avocado and bread ? I used to have those everyday with no problem and now I won’t have them just because some DO NOT lists. My problem started about a month ago when I had an allergic reaction to a lobster bisque at a premium restaurant, later they said that they cook it on a very rich heavy shellfish all together. It was a Trigger, my histamine levels shoot up, and although I didn’t swell up, I felt vertigo, blood pressure drop, heart rate up, dizzy, a pressure in my jaw, face, my body temperature inside was changing from cold to hot. It was scary. Ever since I never been the same. The next day I had just a few sips of wine and felt the same way but much less severe, few days later I had my usual organic coffee with milk, lots of chocolate ice cream, and eggs and bacon and avocado and felt sick for days, between the acid reflux, bloating and the lightheaded pressure in chest and face, I realized that something changed in me because I use to drink and eat everything without a problem. I would occasionally have bad episodes of acid reflux but not with this intensity.

    1. Hi Claudia! We recommend thoroughly reading labels before you eat or drink any processed foods. You should always go organic and make sure there is no processed sugars, gluten, etc. added. You might also need to steer clear of dairy and other inflammatory ingredients until you are able to work out what is best for your body. We will be launching a personalized Histamines meal plan and protocol program soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I recommend checking out our resources on acid reflux and anti-inflammatory clean eating.

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