Low-Histamine Food List: Alleviating Histamine Intolerance

Learn about histamine intolerance, how a low histamine diet can manage symptoms, and explore our comprehensive low-histamine food list. Discover the foods to eat and avoid for better health.
min read

Histamine intolerance, though not as commonly known as allergies, is a sensitivity that can significantly impact a person's quality of life. Jeoff, 27, one of our customers that provided personal input for this article, remarked, "Before I understood what was happening, I felt as if I was fighting an unseen enemy. Understanding histamine intolerance has been a game-changer."

Histamine intolerance, though not as commonly known as allergies, is a sensitivity that can significantly impact a person's quality of life. Jeoff, 27, one of our customers that provided personal input for this article, remarked, "Before I understood what was happening, I felt as if I was fighting an unseen enemy. Understanding histamine intolerance has been a game-changer."

Table of Contents

What is Histamine and Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine is a chemical compound that our bodies naturally produce. It's stored in mast cells and released during immune responses, serving vital roles in your body's processes, including the digestion of food and the regulation of sleep. When we speak of histamine intolerance, we're referring to the body's adverse reactions when there's too much histamine circulating in the system. This imbalance can occur due to a lack of diamine oxidase (DAO), an enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine in the body.

Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

Symptoms of histamine intolerance can vary from person to person. Some, for instance, can struggle with chronic headaches before realising that histamine was the culprit. For some, undertaking a low-histamine diet can see symptoms reduce significantly.

Common symptoms can include skin reactions, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory complications, and even cardiovascular problems. A properly planned diet can help mitigate these symptoms.

Comprehensive Low-Histamine Food List

Food choices can significantly influence histamine levels in your body. So, knowing what to eat and what to avoid is crucial for managing histamine intolerance.

What Foods to Eat on a Low-Histamine Diet?

A low-histamine diet doesn't have to be restrictive. Sharon, 63, told us "I initially thought a low-histamine diet meant I had to give up everything I loved. But, it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to explore fresh vegetables and other foods lower in histamine."

Your food list should include fresh, unprocessed foods whenever possible. It's also vital to consult with a registered dietitian to help devise a suitable meal plan.

What Foods to Avoid on a Low-Histamine Diet?

High histamine foods often include fermented foods, certain types of fish, and aged cheese. Also, additives present in some food products can trigger histamine release, thus exacerbating histamine intolerance.

Sharon also noted that leftovers could also be high in histamine: "I noticed my symptoms often got worse after consuming leftovers. Now I try to eat freshly cooked foods whenever possible."

Here's a detailed breakdown of low histamine foods by category, based on the SIGHI guidelines:

Fresh Meat and Fish

  • Freshly packaged and dated natural meats including poultry, sheep, goats, cattle, pork, and wild boar. For example, cutlet, fillet, chicken legs, turkey breast.
  • Frozen meat that is thawed rapidly.
  • Cooked ham in slices, excluding any with yeast extract or glutamate.
  • Freshly caught fish (angling, fishing, fish farm).
  • Rapidly thawed frozen fish (avoid long-time storage).


  • Eggs from chickens, quails, etc.


  • Fresh dairy products like raw milk directly from the cow, UHT-milk, pasteurised milk, butter, cream, and whey.
  • Cream cheese such as mozzarella, curd cheese, cottage cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, goat cream cheese, young Gouda, Butterkäse, Schichtkäse.


  • Potatoes, corn, rice, any kind of grain in various forms such as granules, flakes, semolina, middlings, flour, pasta, bakery products, sauces, etc.


  • All vegetables except those listed as high in histamine, fresh or frozen. These include sauerkraut, spinach, tomatoes (including tomato-based products like ketchup and tomato juice), eggplant, avocado, and olives. Additionally, legumes such as lentils, beans, soy, and soy-based products like tofu are also best avoided. You should steer clear of pickled vegetables as well. Certain types of mushrooms like ceps, morels, and agaricus also have high histamine content and should be removed from your diet.


  • All fruits except those identified as high in histamine, e.g. apple, peach, apricot, melon, mango, persimmon, lychee, cherries, sour cherries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, currants, cassis, jostaberry - fresh, frozen or canned. Additionally, strawberries and raspberries are known to have high histamine levels and are best avoided. Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, along with bananas, pineapples, kiwis, pears, papayas, and guavas, are also on the high-histamine list. Moreover, while nuts can be a healthy snack option, certain types like walnuts, cashews, and peanuts are high in histamine and should be avoided.

Nuts and Seeds

  • Coconut, coconut milk, coconut water, macadamias, chestnuts.

Oils and Fats

  • Vegetable oils, vegetable fats, animal fat, fish oil.


  • Table salt, fresh or powdered garlic, culinary herbs, mild spices.
  • Distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.
  • Culinary herbs, either fresh or dried.
  • Starch as a binder, such as cornflour or potato starch.


  • Sugar, agave syrup, honey, stevia, jams from acceptable fruits.

(Note: Consuming sweet foods in excess is generally not recommended for overall health.)


  • Water, herbal teas, rooibos tea, juices and sodas made from acceptable ingredients, almond milk.

Always consult with a healthcare provider or dietitian to create a personalised low histamine meal plan that suits your specific needs. Remember, everyone's tolerance to histamine varies, so what works for one person might not work for you. Always monitor your symptoms and adjust your diet accordingly.

Benefits and Challenges of a Low-Histamine Diet

Balancing the histamine levels in your body through diet can provide multiple benefits, and provide significant relief to those experiencing symptoms, but it's not without challenges.

Overcoming the Challenges of a Low-Histamine Diet

While the benefits of a low-histamine diet are evident, sticking to such a diet isn't always easy. It can be particularly challenging when dining out or traveling. One of our customers found that keeping a shopping list of low-histamine foods helped her when shopping for groceries or planning meals.

Managing Histamine Intolerance: Practical Tips

Successfully managing histamine intolerance is achievable with proper guidance and a bit of discipline.

Tips for Following a Low-Histamine Diet

When asked about following a low-histamine diet, Jeoff was quick to clarify, "Don't look at it as a restriction, but as a way to help your body heal."

Some practical tips include sticking to your shopping list, seeking the advice of a dietitian, and gradually reintroducing certain foods into your diet to monitor your body's tolerance.

Keeping a Food Journal for Histamine Intolerance

Keeping track of what you eat can be incredibly beneficial in managing histamine intolerance. Maintaining a food journal is highly recommended, and quickly noting down what is on your plate before eating can help you understand which foods are causing flare-ups.

Tracking your meals and symptoms can help you identify foods that exacerbate your histamine intolerance. Remember, everyone's body is unique, so what works for one person might not work for you.

To conclude, while managing histamine intolerance might seem overwhelming at first, but it is abundantly clear that with knowledge, guidance, and a little bit of patience, it's entirely possible to lead a comfortable and healthy life despite histamine intolerance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance refers to an imbalance in the body when there's too much histamine circulating, which can be caused by the body's inability to break down histamine efficiently. This imbalance often results in various symptoms that can impact a person's quality of life.

How can I diagnose Histamine Intolerance?

Diagnosing histamine intolerance can be a complex process due to the overlap of symptoms with other food intolerances and allergies. However, one effective way is through an elimination diet where you remove certain foods from your diet and gradually reintroduce them, tracking any changes in symptoms. It's always recommended to do this under the guidance of a healthcare professional or dietitian.

What is a Low-Histamine Diet?

A low-histamine diet is used to help manage histamine intolerance. It involves choosing foods with lower histamine content and avoiding histamine-rich foods, which can trigger histamine release.

Can a Low-Histamine Diet help reduce symptoms of Histamine Intolerance?

Yes, following a low histamine diet can significantly help reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance. Many of our customers have found that less histamine in their diet led to a noticeable reduction in their symptoms.

What are some Low-Histamine Foods to eat?

Low-histamine foods include fresh, unprocessed foods whenever possible. This could be fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and fresh meat. Remember, even certain fresh foods can trigger histamine release in sensitive individuals, so a personalised approach to your diet may be needed.

Which Foods should I avoid on a Low-Histamine Diet?

High histamine foods often include fermented foods, aged cheeses, certain types of fish, and food additives. Moreover, some foods, known as histamine liberators, can trigger the release of histamine in your body even though they might not contain histamine themselves.

Where can I find a Low-Histamine Food List?

A dietitian can provide a comprehensive low-histamine foods list to help manage your histamine intolerance. Remember, everyone is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another.

Are there any Diet Tips for managing Histamine Intolerance?

Some tips include following a low histamine diet, keeping a food diary to help you understand which foods trigger your symptoms, and consulting with a dietitian for guidance. It's also advisable to eat freshly cooked meals and avoid leftovers as they can contain high amounts of histamine.

How does the DAO Enzyme affect Histamine Intolerance?

The DAO (diamine oxidase) enzyme is responsible for breaking down histamine in your body. If you have a deficiency in this enzyme, it can lead to an excess of histamine, which in turn can lead to histamine intolerance.

How does Histamine Intolerance differ from Food Allergies?

Histamine intolerance is a reaction to the excess histamine present in your body and is dependent on your body's ability to break it down. Food allergies, on the other hand, are an immune response against certain food proteins and are not influenced by the histamine content in food.

Can I ever introduce High Histamine Foods back into my diet?

Once your symptoms are under control, you can gradually reintroduce certain foods back into your diet to check your tolerance. However, this should be done slowly and preferably under the guidance of a dietitian.

Please note that this guide is intended to be informational and should not replace professional medical advice. For personal health concerns, consult a healthcare provider.

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