Histamine Containing Foods


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Bacteria and yeasts release large amount of histamine, so any foods that have been fermented are likely to contain high levels of histamine. The following is a list of foods with a high histamine content:

  • Cheese
  • Processed meat
  • Chicken
  • Vegetables – spinach and aubergine
  • Fish – sardines, herring, tuna, mackerel
  • Yeast extract – Bovril
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Alcohol – champagne, beer, red and white wines

The following are foods that may cause the body to release excess histamine in response to their consumption:

  • Citrus fruits – oranges and lemons
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Peanuts
  • Chocolate
  • Shell-fish
  • Pork
  • Egg white
  • Alcohol

It should also be noted that as fresh age after they have been caught, histamine levels increase with time. So fish such as tuna can contain high histamine levels. Eating spoiled fish with such a large histamine content can lead to a type of food poisoning called Scromboid fish poisoning.

Living with histamine intolerance

Histamine intolerance is managed by following a low-histamine diet. This mean avoiding histamine rich foods such as fish and alcohol. With advice from your doctor you may be able to reintroduce certain histamine rich food. This way you can find your tolerance to different histamine containing foods.

The following is a list of foods that are low in histamine:

  • All fresh meats apart from chicken
  • Root vegetables – potatoes, carrots etc
  • Rice, wheat and oats etc
  • Fruits – apples, pears etc

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