Histamine, not just tuna! Foods that contain more and can cause you allergy

Who I am
Carlos Laforet Coll
Author and references

Histamine is a substance infamous for allergy sufferers. Here is the list of foods that contain the most

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Histamine is a substance infamous for allergy sufferers. To avoid nasty surprises it is good to know which foods contain the most

Histamine occurs naturally in most plant or animal foods and acts as a chemical mediator in some reactions of our organism. Very high levels of this substance in the body cause various to appear allergy symptoms.


What is histamine? 

Our body produces histamine when it comes into contact with something to which we are particularly sensitive, this can be a food but also a plant, dust mites, etc. There are some foods that contain a lot of histamine. Among these we find tuna, but it is not the only one. 

Many foods that contain histamine, some with larger quantities than others. We usually do not worry about this as a healthy body is able to manage the histamine present in food thanks to the work ofenzyme diaminosidase (DAO) which inside the small intestine prevents its absorption. However, when this enzyme does not perform its task correctly, in most cases because it is not in sufficient number to manage histamine, here we are faced with an intolerance to histamine.

In these cases, but even if hives, dermatitis or other problems related to or worsening due to histamine have appeared, it is good to know the foods that contain more of it or those that make our body release more of it. A diet low in histamine can help solve the problem and the symptoms, but always talk to a specialist. Now let's see which foods contain the most histamine.

Read also: Histamine: what it is, symptoms and remedies for intolerance

Foods that contain more histamine


Many foods contain histamine but the quantity of this substance increases especially following some treatments to which the foods are subjected. The formation of histamine in fact requires particular conditions to be able to develop and these are all present in the cases in which the products are subjected to seasoning, fermentation, maturation o prolonged storage in warehouse.

In the list of foods that contain the most histamine we therefore find: cheeses, salami and speck, red wine and sparkling wine, fish and seafood, soy sauce, ketchup and vinegar, sauerkraut, yeast but also some vegetables including tomatoes, spinach and eggplant.

Particular attention should be paid to fish which, if stored for too long or incorrectly, can seriously endanger our health as it is excessively rich in histamine. More dangerous in this respect are canned ones such as tuna, mackerel, sardines and herring. In fact, we happened to report food warnings that concerned too high levels of histamine in tuna or anchovy fillets.

To recap foods rich in histamine are:

• seasoned foods
• foods stored for a long time in warehouses
• fermented foods
• cheeses
• salami
• speck
• fish (especially tuna, mackerel, sardines and herring)
• seafood
• Red wine
• bubbly wine
• ketchup
• soy sauce
• vinegar
• sauerkraut
• tomatoes
• eggplant
• spinach

Foods that make our body release histamine

There are foods to be careful of because even if they contain little histamine inside, they are able to make our body release this substance once ingested. Among these we remember in particular strawberries, chocolate, mushrooms, pineapple, walnuts, almonds and in general dried fruit, egg white, fish, shellfish, soy, whole grains and alcohol.

Foods that make our body release histamine are therefore:

• strawberries
• chocolate
• mushrooms
• pineapple
• walnuts and almonds
• album
• fish
• clams
• soy
• Whole grains
• alcohol

Recall that generally a healthy person is able to better manage histamine from food sources, the problem exists however when there is a specific intolerance to this substance.

Foods rich in histamine

It is difficult to establish the exact amount of histamine in a given food as there are many variables. The amounts of histamine in the following foods are generally known:

preserved tuna: 6 μg / g
preserved herring: 350 μg / g
preserved sardines: 15 μg / g
preserved anchovies: 60 µg/g
preserved salmon: 7 µg/g
pork liver: 25 µg/g
sausages: 160-225 µg/g
fermented cheeses: 1330 μg / g
fermented drinks: 20 μg / g
tomatoes: 22 μg / g
spinach: 37 μg / g

Foods without histamine

If you want to be careful not to get too much histamine in your diet, you should favor the intake of some fresh foods as well as cereals and pseudo-cereals that do not contain histamine. Green light therefore to vegetables such as salad, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, garlic, zucchini, beets, pumpkin, asparagus while as fruit you can choose apples, lemons, blueberries, plums, etc.

If you consume fish and meat you must always choose them in the fresh version and not preserved or processed, as far as milk and dairy products are concerned, they can be consumed fresh cheeses and yoghurt. Without histamine also potatoes, rice, pasta and so-called pseudo-cereals.

Those who need to follow a low histamine diet, however, should be followed by a specialist who will find a way to calibrate the diet in such a way as not to incur any nutritional deficiencies or a monotonous diet in which they always eat the same foods.

Histamine, intolerance and symptoms


But how to realize that there is an intolerance to histamine or in any case need to limit the intake of this substance? There are some symptoms to keep in mind and ask your doctor who, in some cases, may recommend a therapeutic diet in which histamine is reduced to a minimum. Between these:

  • Diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • stomach ache
  • itching and hives
  • breathing difficulties
  • stuffy nose
  • asthma
  • headache
  • irritations of various kinds
  • itchy eyes
  • dizziness
  • tachycardia

Natural antihistamines

You can keep histamine at bay not only by paying attention to what you eat but also by using it some natural remedies precisely considered natural antihistamines. These include vitamin C, flavonoids, omega 3s, ginger, chamomile, echinacea, fennel, garlic and licorice root. Often used is the ribes nigrum, a natural remedy in the first place in the natural treatment of many types of allergies.

Read also: Natural antihistamines: 10 allergy remedies

Follow us on Telegram | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Youtube

Fonti: Histamine Intolerance Awareness/Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance (SIGHI)

You may also be interested:

  • Histamine: what it is, symptoms and remedies for intolerance
  • What happens to your body if you eat too much canned tuna
  • The most dangerous side effects you should think about before opening a can of tuna
  • How to prevent food allergies in children: the new guidelines
add a comment of Histamine, not just tuna! Foods that contain more and can cause you allergy
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.