High-protein foods like meat or seafood don’t contain much histamine when they are fresh, but the longer they are cured or stored, the more histamine they contain.
When you think of histamine, you think of allergies and sneezing right? But histamine is actually a neurotransmitter and release is activated by any outside ‘invader’ such as pollen.
We make histamine in our cells, then dump it out after exposure to a trigger. But we might also be eating histamine on a daily basis. By eating certain foods you unintentionally raise an ‘allergy’ chemical. Maybe you don’t mean to, but that’s what you’re doing nevertheless.
Foods that are high in histamine are almost always fermented (basically, they’ve started to rot a little bit). Sorry for the visual!
High-protein foods like meat or seafood don’t contain much histamine when they are fresh, but the longer they are cured or stored, the more histamine they contain. Leftovers are super high in histamine. Cold-cuts, hot dogs, processed fish, wine/alcohol, aged cheese like Parmesan, vinegar (including fermented beverages like kombucha) and sauerkraut are all very high in histamine.
In 1989, a study examined ‘Chinese food syndrome’ and discovered people’s reactions mimicked symptoms of histamine intolerance. They measured plain soy sauce to contain 220 micrograms of histamine per gram, while tamari (a gluten-free soy sauce) was loaded with an astonishing 2,392 micrograms histamine per gram. That’s 10 times higher, just to get gluten-free soy sauce! Both soy and tamari are fermented. If there is MSG present in your meal, the combination of excessive glutamate from the MSG and histamine from tamari could trigger diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, migraines, panic attacks and pain.
You can see how easy it is to mess yourself up with a condiment! It’s even more problematic for the brains of sensitive vegans/vegetarians that eat fermented or manufactured foods that often high in MSG and histamine.
Histamine intolerance disorders can occur when you get too much histamine and your tissues can’t break it down fast enough. DAO is the enzyme that processes histamine to help us keep it in balance. Excess amounts are the problem. Histamine intolerance from your meals can also cause diarrhea, headache, sinus congestion, sneezing or a runny and itchy nose.
How many of you have been put on antihistamines only to get awful side effects? Maybe the problem was just something on your plate.
What about inhalers for asthma? Asthma is another sign of histamine intolerance.
Minor annoyances are one thing, but psoriasis, Hashimoto’s, multiple sclerosis, sjogren, lupus and others are serious enough that you should eliminate histamine-rich foods for several months to gauge improvement.