Histamine in the diet
If you have a sensitive reaction to histamine, you should be extra careful about what you eat. Some foodstuffs contain a lot of histamine. In addition, when eating, we can ingest substances that boost the release of histamine in the body (histamine liberators) or block the endogenous enzyme DAO.
Does a low histamine diet help?
If the body reacts sensitively to histamine, it is advisable to cut histamine-rich foodstuffs from the menu. Doing away with histamine in food altogether is virtually impossible if you want a balanced diet, as histamine-free foodstuffs are very rare. On the whole, fresh, unprocessed foodstuffs are low in histamine. Stored, canned or other industrially processed products have a high histamine content.
Giving up histamine for good?
In the event of a temporary enzyme deficiency, it may be enough to avoid histamine-rich foodstuffs for a couple of weeks. The duration of individual low-histamine diets can vary greatly. You therefore need to talk to your physician.
Which foodstuff do you need to avoid?
Be careful with alcohol: Even small amounts can severely impair the action of the DAO enzyme.
The fermentation process boosts histamine formation. Red wine is particularly high in histamine.
Black tea gets its characteristic flavor from fermentation of the tea leaves. Unfortunately, the histamine content rises during this process.
Cocoa & Chocolate
Cocoa & Chocolate.
Although cocoa and chocolate contain hardly any histamine, other substances in these products block the DAO enzyme.
That is why they feature among the histamine liberators. How well sufferers can tolerate chocolate depends on the cocoa content.
They should therefore generally stick to milk chocolate with a low cocoa content.
Young cheese is essentially more digestible than mature, older cheese varieties such as Parmesan, Camembert, Harzer or Cheddar. And the histamines are mainly found in and directly under the rind.
In general, people with histamine problems can tuck into fruit with gusto. They should be careful with citrus fruits, pineapples, bananas, kiwi fruit, raspberries and strawberries,
all of which boost the release of histamine in the body. They should also steer clear of overripe fruit and canned fruit due to their higher histamine content.
Like various types of fruit, nuts also increase the release of histamine in the body.
The fermentation process involving yeast often leads to a high histamine content in bread.
Consequently, sufferers should avoid bread that is made from dough that has to “rise” before baking.
Black bread such as pumpernickel and crispbread is better for them than fluffy white bread.
Green light for low histamine food stuffs?
In contrast with lactose intolerance, where all dairy products are forbidden, there is no specific histamine product group that must be avoided.White bread with strawberry jelly from a jar and Parmesan can therefore be easily replaced by a slice of pumpernickel, cream cheese and home-grown cress.
Water, Coffee and Tea
Potatoes, Rice and Pasta
Fresh dairy products
Herbs and spices
Fresh meat, poultry and fish