Eating large amounts of foods containing a lot of histamines can trigger an allergic reaction in the body and cause many dangerous diseases. In order for the body to adjust its balance, people can try a low-histamine diet. Anyone with histamine intolerance should avoid foods with high concentrations of histamine. Let’s learn with Kerri Ann Jennings low histamine diet plan to get a healthy meal.
What is a low histamine diet?
Definition of Histamine Intolerance
Histamine intolerance can be understood as the inability of the human body to break down high amounts of histamine. The main cause is that the enzyme does not have enough levels to work. This phenomenon is known as diamine oxidase (DAO).
Bacteria found in some foods cause histamine to be produced. This is also known as a biogenic amine. This ingredient is found in mast cells found in the human body. If there is a release of histamine, it will cause symptoms that can lead to an allergic reaction. In addition, when people appear high stress can also cause an excess of histamine.
Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance
Diagnosis of histamine intolerance is usually based on symptoms. The most common symptom of histamine intolerance is migraine. Besides, there are digestive symptoms such as: bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Some other symptoms are headaches, itchy skin, skin rashes, low blood pressure, runny nose and watery eyes, or may also cause severe period pains in women. (1, 2)
Histamine intolerance can also cause more severe symptoms. It can trigger asthma attacks or anaphylaxis, it can make your heart beat faster, and it can be linked to serious chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease. If you experience these symptoms frequently after eating foods high in histamine, this could be due to histamine intolerance.
Who is low histamine diet plan for?
People with histamine intolerance are best advised to follow a low-histamine diet. This condition will be diagnosed when you experience at least 2 of its symptoms (1). This condition will improve mainly with a low-histamine diet and antihistamines. To check diamine oxidase activity and histamine levels one can do a skin prick test.
There are also many medical conditions that lead to symptoms of histamine intolerance. Then it is absolutely necessary to exclude these conditions. It can cause allergies/malabsorption, the development of celiac disease, and more seriously, other food intolerances. Anyone with this condition can experience a variety of symptoms.
When gastrointestinal symptoms appear after a more severe time, it can lead to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the cause of other gastrointestinal diseases. Although there are some studies that indicate that the relationship between histamine intolerance and IBS is limited, it is rare. However, in recent times, another study has shown that histamine may be a factor in IBS symptoms.
For those who have not done well with the low Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols (FODMAP) diet, it is even more important to pay attention. With a combination of this diet and a low-histamine diet, the symptoms of Histamine Intolerance are also effectively reduced.
Benefits of a Low Histamine Diet
This diet will select certain foods to ensure that little or no histamine is introduced into the food. It can help these cases get rid of the symptoms. For example, if you have histamine intolerance, you should avoid fish and smoked meats as well as certain vegetables, fruits, and alcohol.
It is conceivable that if the cause of the symptoms is histamine intolerance, then a low-histamine diet is needed. As it can help people manage digestive and other symptoms, the case can be prevented from becoming more serious.
This diet helps people identify foods high in histamine to limit during meals. At the same time, it is also possible to comfortably eat a variety of foods, even high-FODMAP foods that we were previously restricted from eating.
Drawbacks of a Low Histamine Diet
Histamine diet will also cause unwanted side effects, directly affecting people. If not done properly and have a thorough understanding, it will lead to the loss of nutrients in the body. When combining this high-abnormality diet with a low-FODMAP diet or gluten-free meals, specific guidelines must be followed. It has a direct effect on human health, so everything needs scientific control and planning.
Many people, when experiencing symptoms of histamine intolerance, will have a fear of eating and an eating disorder. When following any restrictive diet, most people have such fears. Because they think that the way the symptoms are related to food. Psychology will also make you become too restrictive in eating and often have worries and worries about what you eat.
See: Ideas GERD Diet Plan Menu For Acid Reflux To Get You Losing Weight
Foods you should avoid in a low histamine diet plan
There are some food that contains a lot of Histamine that people with allergies should pay attention to, they include:
- Seafood, especially fish, is one of the food sources with the highest amount of histamine.
- Most food allergies are triggered by certain proteins in dairy products: yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc.
- Nuts like cashews, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts or any other nut can make allergies worse, including packaged nut foods.
- Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha… often have very high levels of histamine, so people who are prone to allergies should also be careful when using these products.
- Avoid eating shellfish such as: crabs, lobsters, crayfish, pink shrimp and other small shrimps, squid, octopus, clams, scallops, snails and oysters…
- When following a low-histamine diet, people need to stay away from processed meats such as sausages, fried fish balls, ham,…
- Egg whites are also food you should avoid.
- Canned, smoked foods will also have harmful ingredients when following a low-histamine diet.
- Aged cheeses such as: Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan
- Some vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, spinach also have very high histamine content that people should not include in their daily menu.
- Some fruits should not be eaten such as: citrus fruits, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, banana, plum.
- In addition, there are some other foods that should not be eaten such as: Wine, coca vinegar, chocolate, cocoa and some beans.
Related: Dairy Free Diet Plan For Beginners
Foods you should eat in a low histamine diet plan
- In addition to some fish to avoid, in the low histamine diet plan you can also add some fresh or frozen fish such as: Hake, salmon, pompano, carp, mackerel… Because they contain a very large amount of natural omega-3. This is a substance with strong anti-inflammatory effects, so eating a lot of fish will help overcome the symptoms of histamine intolerance.
- Fresh meat and chicken are also foods that you should add to the menu in your daily plan. This type of food provides useful protein content, along with many other nutrients good for health, to help improve the patient’s health.
- Compared to egg whites, egg yolks have more beneficial ingredients that are recommended by many nutritionists to eat. If you like to eat eggs but are afraid of the effects on your body, you should eat the egg yolk and discard the white part of the egg.
- If you like to eat fruit but are afraid of being affected, choose the right type. Although there are some fruits that cannot be added to the diet menu, there are still other fresh fruits that can be eaten such as:
- Apple, apricot, blueberry, mango, persimmon, cherry, cranberry, peach, blueberry,….
- Add to the menu low histamine diet plan green vegetables such as: artichokes, arugula, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, kale, potatoes, romaine lettuce, zucchini.
- Cereals and cereal-based products are also great for people with histamine intolerance. Can eat grains like: Quinoa, millet, oats, rice, etc.
- Some cheeses that can also be eaten are those that don’t have rancid histamine, such as: mozzarella, cream cheese, and butter.
- You can eat most cooking oils, herbs and herbal teas like coconut oil, basil, oregano, parsley, chamomile tea.
- Besides the nuts not to eat mentioned above, people on a low-histamine diet can also eat Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Read more: Fat Protein Efficient Diet Plan: Everything You Need to Know
Other nutrients and supplements if you are histamine intolerance
In case, you have histamine intolerance but do not have the condition to eat scientifically, you can supplement with substances specifically for this condition. Despite the fact that there have been limited studies using supplements for histamine intolerance. But there are also a lot of people who suggest that these substances are actually effective. Specifically, some substances that people can refer to below.
- DAO is also included in the list of effective supplements for histamine intolerance. This is known to be an enzyme that can aid in the breakdown of histamine that is naturally produced by the body. DAO supplements allow patients to eat more relaxed, less restrictive diets. It is prepared from the extract of the protein component found in pig kidneys and it is available over-the-counter. (3)
There are many studies that have shown that taking DAO supplements has effectively helped people improve their symptoms. However, this is an action that can affect many problems in the body. So to add a DAO supplement in a healthy way to a low-histamine diet trial requires the guidance of your doctor or nutritionist. They will help you get the best results.
- In addition, some micronutrients including vitamins C and B6 can also increase the effectiveness of DAO enzymes optimally. In some studies, it has been shown that vitamin C has the ability to increase DAO levels in the body of each person. It can also help reduce the symptoms of seasickness. This phenomenon has been shown to be due to an increase in the level of histamine in the body. (4)
- Quercetin has also been shown to improve symptoms for the relief of symptoms of histamine intolerance. It is also essential to learn about foods that support this supplement. Some quercetin-rich foods that can be added to the low histamine diet plan are: kale, broccoli, blueberries and apples. If this is the case, you should choose the above foods to improve your health. (5)
- To support histamine metabolism, experts also recommend probiotic supplements. It also has the effect of helping to promote the healthy gut microbiome that makes the gut healthy to withstand the most impact. Therefore, probiotics are also considered beneficial for people who are in a state of histamine intolerance. (7)
However, you need to choose the appropriate strain in probiotics. Because there will also be some gut bacteria that can produce histamine that increases this component and the condition will be more serious. You can take care to avoid bacteria in yogurt fermented foods. These foods will not be well tolerated while on a low-histamine diet that you need to avoid. (7)
Related: The Leaky Gut Diet Plan: What to Eat, What to Avoid?
- Strains such as Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are among the bacteria found in fermented foods and they should be restricted on a low-histamine diet. (7)
- Some strains of probiotics that can reduce histamine levels are Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium Infantis and Bifidobacterium longum. Their benefits are diverse, so it is necessary to research whether it is suitable for your body or not. (6)
These additional ingredients all require specialized knowledge in the process. Therefore, it is difficult for ordinary people, who have not studied nutrition research, to understand the related terms. The best way is to find yourself an experienced nutritionist to help.
Read more: Elimination diet meal plan
5-day meal sample menu for Low Histamine Diet Plan
|Breakfast and Lunch||Dinner|
|Day 1||Smashed sweet potato and basil chicken.||Kale soup and Lemongrass chicken|
|Day 2||Rosemary roasted carrots with 2oz of chopped chicken salad.||Roasted butternut squash|
|Day 3||Smashed sweet potato and basil chicken.||Kale soup and Lemongrass chicken|
|Day 4||Rosemary roasted carrots with 2oz of chopped chicken salad.||Roasted butternut squash|
|Day 5||Chicken and kale salad with chopped grapes||Pasta with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and borlotti beans.|
Download Low Histamine Diet Plan PDF here by deliciousliving.com
Low Histamine Diet Day 1
Breakfast and Lunch
When you wake up, drink 2 glasses of water.
Start making breakfast:
Eat a medium-sized sweet potato, sliced. Then put slices of sweet potato soaked with 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil. Next, sprinkle with sea salt and roast for 45 minutes at 425°F / 220°C. Potatoes can be smashed and topped with a little coconut cream and chia seeds before baking.
Bake 110g/4oz chicken breasts, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil at 350°F/175°C and wait for 20 minutes. Next, coat the chicken breasts with 2-3 tablespoons of basil pesto sauce and continue to bake for 5-20 minutes. Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F, it is edible.
Kale soup: Chopped kale, prepare lemongrass chicken breast about 4oz and add a little coconut milk on top. After washing kale, cut off their spines. On a non-stick skillet, add the chopped kale and warm for about 2 minutes. Next, add half a teaspoon of fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Or you can try this vegetarian recipe:
Lemongrass chicken: First, cut the chicken into small pieces. Take about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, put the chicken in small pieces and cook over medium heat. Reduce the temperature when the oil shows signs of scum. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, combine half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of minced lemongrass to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add a little coconut cream, salt and pepper to enjoy.
Low Histamine Diet Day 2
Breakfast and Lunch
When you wake up in the morning, drink 2 large glasses of water.
Take 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces. On a non-stick pan, add the chopped carrots and cook for about 5 minutes over high heat, stirring. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and chopped dried rosemary leaves.
Take a 2-3 oz piece of chicken and cut it into smaller pieces. Cook the small pieces in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a few minutes, when the meat is firm and no longer pink, turn off the heat and let it cool. Continue to add the chicken to the pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil, fresh sage, rosemary and oregano leaves, turn down the heat until the herbs are warm, then turn off the heat and enjoy.
Peel the squash and cut it into pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, half a teaspoon of salt, and pepper to the chopped squash. On a baking tray, to 400°F/205°C, roast squash and pork on it. Time it for about 15 minutes, then turn the pork over. When the pork is no longer pink in the middle, it can be removed and eaten.
Low Histamine Diet Day 3
The same as day 1
Low Histamine Diet Day 4
The same as day 2
Note: During the 4th day, you should add some foods containing sulfur.
Low Histamine Diet Day 5
In today’s menu, people just need to eat less histamine for breakfast and dinner, you can eat whatever they like. According to the advice of experts, you should only eat the food of the first day in this diet.
See: Fatty Liver Diet Plan: What to Eat, What to Avoid and Meal Plan
Some tips about Low Histamine Diet you should know
The low histamine diet plan provides a very healthy diet for everyone in a short time. However, to follow this scientific diet, not everyone can do it. Define your own thoughts and goals. Family support is also required. The most important thing is your own efforts and perseverance. Otherwise, people will not be able to make it through 5 days of the given plan.
Any food in the diet can cause an adverse reaction. If you are determined and really want to follow a diet but are still afraid of developing histamine intolerance, then choose the right foods. Some tips below will help everyone get the most useful knowledge:
- Before starting with the diet, prepare measures to overcome. You should go to the pharmacy and buy natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatory foods to use when there is a reaction. During the fasting period, if any bad reactions happen, don’t worry too much. The diet will still work, just take an antihistamine for day 3.
- For foods with high histamine content, they should be kept in a place out of sight as possible, preferably indoors. Keep all low-histamine foods out of sight, especially in the refrigerator.
- Make a list of the foods you will eat and drink during the day and keep them as close to sight as possible and then do them during the day. Don’t think too much about those foods, think about better things. Before the meal begins, it should be prepared in advance. You can also keep a diary if you experience any histamine symptoms. The purpose is to be able to look back and have a better fix later.
- Food is very important to human life, so it is difficult to overcome temptation. But it’s best to buy organic foods when shopping because their histamine levels are often lower than other foods.
- Organic foods are available, if you feel bored with these foods, you can add more fiber. Experts also recommend using 1 teaspoon of psyllium pods in 8 oz. water if there are signs of stomach upset. (8)
The low histamine diet plan above will definitely help you avoid the severe symptoms of histamine intolerance. Thanks to that, people can still perform effective weight loss without affecting the body and losing the necessary nutrients. Hopefully, with the above sharing, everyone will get the most useful ideas for daily meals.
Don’t forget to find out more Diet plans and Recipes on Kerriannjennings.com
(1) Histamines and IBS (monashfodmap.com)
(2) Symptoms (histamineintolerance.org.uk)
(3) Histamine Intolerance: The Current State of the Art (nih.gov)
(4) Impact of oral vitamin C on histamine levels and seasickness (nih.gov)
(5) Quercetin inhibits transcriptional up-regulation of histamine H1 receptor via suppressing protein kinase C-δ/extracellular signal-regulated kinase/poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 signaling pathway in HeLa cells (nih.gov)
(6) Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus downregulates FCER1 and HRH4 expression in human mast cells (nih.gov)
(7) Which probiotics for histamine intolerance? (optibacprobiotics.com)
(8) The Food List (histamineintolerance.org.uk)