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How to Eat for Histamine Intolerance

Random hives, being fine eating a particular food to throwing it up in a matter of two weeks, horrendous seasonal allergies year-round are all potential symptoms of histamine intolerance. Histamine intolerance isn’t what we’d normally think of an intolerance. You’re not allergic to histamine. It is actually a condition where your body is not able to break down histamine. This causes symptoms like the ones I listed above plus

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Hypertension
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Arrhythmia, or accelerated heart rate
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Flushing
  • Nasal congestion, sneezing, difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Hives
  • Fatigue
  • Tissue swelling

How Histamine Builds Up

The question becomes, “What causes histamine to build up in my body?” As with everything in life, it’s not just one thing but a combination of many things. Contributing factors include

  • Leaky Gut
  • SIBO
  • Consuming an abundance of foods that limit the breakdown of histamine foods
  • Consuming foods high in histamine
  • High caffeine intake for a long period of time
  • Stress
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Certain medications
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin)
    • Antidepressants (Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Zoloft)
    • Immune modulators (Humira, Enbrel, Plaquenil)
    • Antiarrhythmics (propanolol, metoprolol, Cardizem, Norvasc)
    • Antihistamines (Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl)
    • Histamine (H2) blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac)

How to Reduce Histamine Build Up and Start Feeling Normal Again

Knowing what led up to this point is great, but now it’s time to stop feeling like you’re playing Russian Ruellet with every meal. Along with expert help. here’s how to start feeling better.

  1. Stop consuming the foods that limit the are high in histamine and also the ones that limit the breakdown of histamine.
  2. Take DAO with every meal to help breakdown histamine and limit any histamine that is consumed from entering the body.
  3. Eat fresh, healthy foods that are prepared just before cooking.
  4. Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
  5. Heal your leaky gut
  6. Exercise 3-5 days per week
  7. Manage your stress
  8. Address nutritional deficiencies

For the best DAO supplement, addressing leaky gut, and addressing nutritional deficiencies you’ll want to work with a Functional Medicine or Naturopathic Doctor and health coach specifically trained in Histamine Intolerance. 

Foods to Avoid and Foods to Enjoy

Foods to avoid are:

  • Fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne, and beer
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc
  • Vinegar-containing foods: pickles, mayonnaise, olives
  • Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats, and hot dogs
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread, etc
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Certain fruits: banana, papaya, pineapple, strawberries
  • Most citrus fruits
  • Aged cheese including goat cheese
  • Nuts: walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
  • Vegetables: avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Smoked fish and certain species of fish: mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines, and shellfish
  • Gluten
  • Many artificial preservatives and dyes
  • Caffeinated drinks (sorry): energy drinks, black tea, mate tea, and green tea

Foods to enjoy are:

  • Animal proteins: any not listed above including beef, bison, lamb, poultry,
  • Freshly caught or frozen: salmon, cod, halibut, and many more
  • Eggs
  • All vegetables except the ones listed above
  • All fruits not listed above including melons, grapes, apples, plums, peaches, pears, mango, kiwi, and others
  • Gluten-free grains (in very limited amounts. They are hard on our intestinal integrity)
  • Coconut products including milk, virgin oil, and shredded coconut
  • Hemp milk
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds including sunflower, chia, flax, and pumpkin
  • All herbs and spices
  • Herbal teas

A few more notes:

  • You want to eat as fresh as possible. Food that has been prepped and/or cooked start doubling in histamine every hour.
  • You must freeze leftovers immediately after cooling.
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped produce. Buy all produce in its whole food and chop it shortly before cooking or eating.
  • Avoid highly processed foods.
  • Limit the amount of sweeteners you use in a day.

Feeling Overwhelmed? We can help get you started

It is overwhelming. It’s a HUGE change. All of a sudden healthy foods aren’t so healthy, you can’t have coffee or alcohol, and everything has to be cooked from scratch and as fresh as possible. That’s why we created a meal planning program just for this condition. Having no clue what this diet could look like, all the shortcuts that are available to you, and over 35 recipes to help prevent food boredom and give you a solid foundation of nutrient-dense foods to enjoy for the 3-6 months you’ll need to follow this diet plan.

Head over here to learn more and start your new diet plan today.

How to eat for histamine intolerance



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About Us

Hi friend!

I’m Marian Mitchell, Health Coach, Chronic Illness Warrior, Mom, and Food Lover. I help you navigate the food and lifestyle side of Chronic Disease Management with coaching, meal plans, recipes, podcast, and this blog. You can thrive without eating the same 4 things every day. I’m here to show you how.

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