Lectin Foods

Lectins, Low Lectin Foods, and the Mast Cell Connection – for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

My knees, fingers, and toes were constantly swollen, and my joints always felt like they were on fire. 

The level of pain I experienced was so bad that I had been (mis)diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

I was also frequently bloated with lots of abdominal pain.  

And brain fog was interfering with my ability to do anything. Chores were left undone. Mail was left unopened. Even basic self-care like showering was a struggle.  

I was so exhausted all the time. 

Have you felt like this, too? 

I had already done a lot of work on my health. After I worked on my Histamine Intolerance and Oxalate issues, I was getting better.  

I no longer had soul-crushing pain and anxiety. I felt like I was making progress.  

But I was still experiencing so many symptoms.  

How could I have come this far to still feel so sick? 

I was always looking for answers to that question.

One day, I was talking with a colleague about my ongoing issues and Lectin Sensitivity came up.  

To be honest, for several months, I resisted exploring it further. I’d made so many changes to my diet already. 

But one day, the pain got so bad, I could hardly move.  

So, I went back and read everything I could on lectins. I was desperate. 

The night before, I’d eaten a corn tortilla with bell peppers, quinoa, zucchini, and potatoes for dinner. 

Little did I know, it was a lectin smorgasbord!  

I went on to read that for those with lectin sensitivities, lectins can trigger mast cells. And that can result in symptoms like burning joints.  

Fast forward: Within 2 weeks of coming off lectins, the burning pain in my knees, fingers, and toes was completely gone!  

I couldn’t believe it! I finally felt some relief! 

Lectin Sensitivity is particularly important to know about with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.  

Many of us with mast cell issues, or any form of Autoimmunity, may have Lectin Sensitivity. Particularly, if we’ve had mold exposure. I’ll tell you more about that in a bit. 

Related Article: How To Detox Your Body from Mold with MCAS

Before we go any further, though, know this — not everyone has trouble with lectins. So, please don’t limit your foods unnecessarily.  

But lectins can trigger Mast Cells for many people. And many people who are sensitive to lectins have gotten really good results by shifting to a Low Lectin, Low Histamine diet. 

So, if you’ve dealt with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Mold Toxicity, or Autoimmunity, keep reading to see if this is something that might help you.  

First, let’s cover the signs that lectin sensitivity could be a problem. Then, we’ll go over what lectins are and why they could potentially be a mast cell trigger for you. 

Signs and Symptoms of Lectin Sensitivity –What to know when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

woman in Pain

It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. If you have any medical condition, it is critical you work under the care and guidance of a licensed medical provider. 

Are any of the following symptoms familiar to you?

  • Fatigue 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Brain fog 
  • Pain in the joints and elsewhere in the body 
  • Skin breakouts 
  • Digestive problems including bloating, gas, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome 

Well…all those symptoms can be related to Lectin Sensitivity.   

But keep in mind that reactions can come from any number of factors like: 

  • other types of foods (like high histamine foods or oxalates or FODMAPs) 
  • environmental triggers such as chemical toxins in skin or home care products 
  • nervous system dysregulation 
  • mold toxicity 

And more…  

But if your symptoms start within a few minutes to a few hours after eating meals loaded with lectin foods, Lectin Sensitivity could be a problem.  

Lectin sensitivity may also contribute to the following conditions: 

  • Mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis 
  • Neurodegenerative diseases 
  • Autoimmune diseases 
  • Inability to gain or lose weight 
  • Blood sugar problems 
  • Water retention 
  • Excessive mucus 

So, you might be asking yourself, “What exactly are lectins and how are they causing these issues?” 

Great questions. 

Let’s start with what lectins are. 

What Are Lectins? What to know when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance


It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. If you have any medical condition, it is critical you work under the care and guidance of a licensed medical provider. 

There are many, many types of lectins. 

Lectins can be found in plants. (And technically animals make certain kinds of lectins too).  

Lectins are proteins that help cells correctly recognize each other.  

Lectins in your body play an important role in cell communication. One of the biggest roles is that lectins help immune cells recognize your own cells from outside invaders, like infections. 

So, the lectins your own body produces aren’t the problem here. But your own body can sometimes respond to the lectins in plants in a negative way. 

Many plant lectins are harmless, but some plant lectins can be triggers for mast cell activation because they mess up our own cell communication. 

And some lectins are outright dangerous.  

Eating uncooked white kidney bean lectins, for example, is very unsafe. These lectins can cause a type of food poisoning if eaten raw.  

And caster bean ricin is a type of lectin so toxic is has been weaponized! 

Other lectins are not outright dangerous, but they can be problematic in very sensitive people. Unfortunately, these lectins are in very common food staples.  

Common food groups that have potentially problematic lectins include: 

  • Certain grains 
  • Beans and lentils 
  • Certain nuts 
  • Certain seeds, including seed-based spices 
  • Plants in the cucumber family, including melons, squash, and cucumbers 
  • Nightshade plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes 
  • Genetically modified foods (GMOs) – these are made with potentially concerning lectins 

Cooking or pressure cooking can break down some lectin groups, though.  

Lectins can be reduced in these foods by peeling, seeding (for vegetables with seeds), and pressure cooking: 

  • Winter squashes (ie. spaghetti, acorn, butternut, etc)
  • Summer squashes (yellow, zucchini)
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Buckwheat 

This is the pressure cooker I use: 

What makes these lectins so harmful for some very sensitive people?

woman holding upset tummy

Lectins can break down the gut barrier. 

Some lectins are known to open the gut barrier. For example, gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley can open the gut barrier. This can cause leaky gut. 

By opening the gut barrier, lectins can expose the content inside the gut to the immune system. The content may include food, bacteria, and gut bacteria. This can cause more food sensitivities. 

Very sensitive people often have weak digestion to begin with. So, a breakdown of the gut barrier just creates more problems. 

Lectins can contribute to autoimmunity.  

Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, described the three requirements for the development of autoimmune diseases, including: 

  1. Genetic predisposition 
  2. Leaky gut 
  3. An environmental trigger (like mold toxins) 

We just talked about how lectins can contribute to #2 on this list – leaky gut. We’ll talk about the mold connection further down. So, for people with genetic predisposition, lectins can be one factor contributing to autoimmunity. 

Lectins can also affect the gut bacteria and throw them off-balance. The imbalanced or unhealthy gut bacteria can also contribute to autoimmunity. 

Some plant lectins can interfere with communications between your cells. 

Our cells normally talk to each other with hormones and cytokines. In the brain, neurons talk to each other with neurotransmitters.   

Some studies have shown that lectins may interfere with the functions of hormones, cytokines, and neurotransmitters.   

For example, at low doses, wheat germ lectins seem to block insulin function. 

Lectins from foods have also been found in the brains of patients with psychiatric disorders. Some of these lectins bind to neurotransmitter receptors and affect brain functioning.  

Lectins can have some specific concerns for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, though. Let’s explore this next. 

The Lectin – Mast Cell Connection – What to know for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Mast Cell

Mast cells have hundreds of different types of receptors on the outside of them. These receptors are sensing for anything concerning coming into your body. 

There is a specific receptor called a Toll-like receptor on mast cells. It senses things like bacteria, viruses, molds, and even lectins. 

When triggers like lectins come into contact with the mast cell Toll-like receptors, they set off a lot of mast cell activation in sensitive people. 

When these Toll-like receptors are getting overactivated, they trigger the mast cells to release a lot of their inflammatory mediators. 

In very sensitive people, problematic lectins can also cause leaky gut. This allows lectins to get absorbed into the bloodstream intact. 

In the bloodstream, they can activate all types of immune cells, especially mast cells. They can cause mast cells to release histamines and other mediators.  

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) also has a role in lectin sensitivities.  

IgE is a type of antibody that recognizes allergens. In people with allergies, IgE binding to allergens can activate mast cells. Lectins recognize a portion of IgE. Therefore, if you have some allergies or pre-existing Mast Cell Activation, food lectins can make these worse.  

A 2007 study in Clinical and Experimental Immunology found that potato lectins can activate both mast cells and basophils in people with allergic tendencies. The study concluded that people with allergies should not eat a lot of potatoes.  

Lectins can contribute to inflammation, especially for those with any of these: 

We talked earlier about factors that can make you sensitive to lectins. Here’s that list again. 

  • Genetic predisposition 
  • Immune system triggers, which may include mold toxicity and infections 
  • Stress or limbic system activation 
  • Deficiencies of nutrients that are important for immune tolerance, such as vitamins A and D, and Zinc 

One of those factors is immune system triggers…like mold toxicity. I see mold toxicity in over 90% of the clients in my Mast Cell 360 practice. And I’ve seen this be the root of a lot of sensitivities…including Lectin Sensitivity. 

What Is The Lectin – Mold Toxicity Link? Info for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Mold Growth in petri dish

We talked before about how lectins can trigger the Toll-like receptors on the mast cells.  

In people with Mold Toxicity, these Toll-like receptors are already getting hit hard by the mold in the body. And, over time, those receptors can become more sensitive to lectins because of mold. 

So basically, Mold Toxicity can lead to increases in lectin sensitivities. 

Mold Toxicity can worse lectin intolerance in other ways, too. 

Mold Toxicity can contribute to: 

  • A leaky gut 
  • Overall immune activation, including mast cells 
  • Nervous system problems 

See, lectins can also worsen leaky gut and activate the immune cells. Many people with Mold Toxicity also have a leaky brain. And, lectins can also worsen neurological and mental health issues.   

So lectins can become a big double-whammy in Mold Toxicity.  

I had severe Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Mold Toxicity. 

Once I removed lectins, my joint pain and brain fog significantly improved. And I’ve seen it help many of our clients as well. 

Now, let’s look at whether you should consider eliminating lectins.  

How Can I Find Out If I’m Lectin Sensitive? What to know when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

woman thinking

Before you change your diet on your own, please make sure you’re working with a healthcare practitioner who can help you with this. Never limit foods unnecessarily, and always have a licensed medical provider who is supervising your case.  

First, I want you to know not everyone can or needs to remove lectins. And if you are only able to eat a few foods, it’s not a good idea to restrict your foods even more. 

For example, some of our readers can only tolerate 10 foods or less. In these cases, it is usually not a good idea to remove more foods.   

But for those who can tolerate a variety of foods and suspect they may have reactions to lectins, it may be a good idea to experiment with removing lectins.   

Every case of lectin sensitivity is different.   

Two people can have very different reactions to the exact same food. For example, one person may have brain fog, while another has joint pain.  

You may also tolerate some lectins but not others. Or you may be able to tolerate some lectins in small doses. 

For example, I can eat melons just fine. And I do great with rice and can sometimes eat a little potato. But I really struggle with tomatoes and cucumbers. 

Others are just the opposite.  

If you do reduce your lectins, I am a big fan of keeping variety in your diet. Diet variety is linked to better health and longevity.  

Also, too restrictive diets can lead to or worsen: 

  • Nutrient deficiencies 
  • Social isolation, which is not healthy 
  • Unhealthy gut microbiome 

And you want to avoid those things if you are trying to heal. So, if you’re having any of those issues, be sure to work with a licensed medical provider. 

But if you do have lectin sensitivity and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, lectins could be triggering your mast cells causing unwanted reactions. 

If you have some of the signs we talked about earlier and you are in a healthy place to experiment with your foods, you might want to explore lectin sensitivity further.  

If you suspect you may have Lectin Sensitivity, you might consider a low-lectin trial. 

What is A Low-Lectin Trial? Info for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance


An elimination trial is the gold standard for identifying food sensitivities.  

During a low-lectin trial, people will often try a low-lectin and low-histamine diet for 6 weeks. If they start to feel better, they will often re-introduce foods.  

I recommend keeping track of your symptoms in a food journal as you reintroduce foods. 

I also recommend re-introducing only 1 variable at a time. If you haven’t previously eliminated high histamine foods, your variables here are high histamine foods and high lectin foods.  

It can be helpful to remove the high histamine foods variable by sticking to low histamine foods during the re-introduction.   

For example, you may try reintroducing a serving of a lower histamine, higher lectin food on day 1.   

If you have no reaction to the food, then increase it to 2 servings on day 2.  

If you still have no reaction to 2 servings, then eat freely of the lectin-containing food on day 3.   

After these 3 days, if you experience no increase in symptoms, then you may be okay with that specific lectin-containing food. 

However, if you experience any reactions to the food or worse symptoms, I recommend that you stop eating the food. Then, go back to low-lectin and low-histamine foods until the reactions subside before re-introducing the next item.  

I’ve put together a guide below you can use to help you know which common foods are high lectin, low histamine and which are low lectin, low histamine. 

As always, be sure to work with a healthcare professional when making significant dietary changes. You want to be fully supported in your health journey!

I hope learning about lectins today has supported you, too! 

Buy the MC360 Mold Master Class!

What Foods Are High and Low in Lectins? What to know when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Before you change your diet on your own, please make sure you’re working with a healthcare practitioner who can help you with this. Never limit foods unnecessarily, and always have a licensed medical provider who is supervising your case. 

High Lectin, Low Histamine Foods:

bell Peppers

[O indicates oxalate]


  • Bean Sprouts  
  • Corn 
  • Cucumber 
  • Green Split Peas 
  • Peppers – Bell or Hot 
  • Potatoes 
  • Squash, Butternut  
  • Squash, Spaghetti 
  • Squash, Summer 
  • Squash, Winter 
  • Squash, Yellow 
  • Yellow Split Peas 
  • Zucchini  


  • Cantaloupe / Rock Melon 
  • Honey Dew
  • Watermelon


  • Beans 
  • Lentils 


  • Chia Seeds 
  • Pumpkin Seeds 
  • Sunflower Seeds 


  • Buckwheat – O 
  • Buckwheat flour – O 
  • Buckwheat noodles – O 
  • Corn 
  • Corn – Popped  
  • Crackers – Gluten-free- containing lectin ingredients O 
  • Oats – O   
  • Pasta –Gluten free- contains lectin ingredients – O 
  • Quinoa – O 
  • Rice, black – O  
  • Rice, brown – O 
  • Rice, white (lower lectin than brown or black rice) – O

Low Lectin, Low Histamine Foods

Low Lectin Broccoli


  • Amaranth – O 
  • Cassava – O 
  • Millet – O 
  • Sorghum, Black – O  
  • Sorghum, Popped– O (limit to 1/2 cup popped for lower oxalate) 
  • Sorghum, White – O  


  • Artichokes – O 
  • Arugula  
  • Asparagus  
  • Basil  
  • Beets – O – (very high oxalate) 
  • Bok choy  
  • Broccoli  
  • Broccolini 
  • Brussels sprouts  
  • Cabbage – Chinese 
  • Cabbage – Green and Red)  
  • Cabbage – Napa 
  • Carrot greens – O 
  • Carrots  – O
  • Cauliflower  
  • Celery 
  • Celery root / Celeriac 
  • Chicory 
  • Chives  
  • Cilantro  
  • Collards  
  • Daikon radish  
  • Dandelion greens  
  • Dill 
  • Escarole 
  • Fennel  
  • Fiddlehead ferns – O 
  • Garlic  
  • Garlic Scapes  
  • Ginger  
  • Hearts of palm – O 
  • Kale – Curly – O  
  • Kale – Lacinato or Dinosaur 
  • Kohlrabi  
  • Leafy Greens 
  • Leeks  
  • Lettuce – Butter 
  • Lettuce – Endive 
  • Lettuce – Leaf Green and Red 
  • Lettuce – Radicchio – O 
  • Lettuce – Romaine 
  • Mesclun (baby greens)  
  • Mint  
  • Mizuna  
  • Mustard greens  
  • Nopales cactus – O 
  • Okra – O 
  • Onions  
  • Parsley – curly -O 
  • Parsley – flat or Italian 
  • Parsley Root 
  • Parsnips – O 
  • Perilla  
  • Purslane – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Radishes  
  • Rutabaga / Swede 
  • Sage 
  • Saffron 
  • Scallions  
  • Shallots  
  • Sweet Potatoes – O – Very High Oxalate 
  • Swiss Chard – O – Very High Oxalate 
  • Turnips, greens or root 
  • Watercress 
  • Yucca – O 


  • Apples  
  • Apricots – fresh 
  • Blackberries – O 
  • Blueberries  
  • Cherries  
  • Kiwi – O 
  • Nectarines  
  • Passion Fruit  
  • Peaches  
  • Pears  
  • Persimmon / Khaki – O 
  • Pomegranates – O 
  • Raspberries – ¼ cup -to keep histamine levels lower 


Grass-fed / Pasture raised  

  • Beef (only if unaged and unground) 
  • Bison (only if unaged and unground) 
  • Chicken  
  • Duck  
  • Eggs, if tolerated 
  • Elk
  • Goose  
  • Lamb  
  • Ostrich  
  • Pork  
  • Quail 
  • Rabbit 
  • Salmon (frozen) gutted and frozen within 30 minutes of catch. (like Vital Choice Fish King Salmon
  • Turkey 
  • Venison 


  • Almonds (blanched) – O – Very High Oxalate 
  • Brazil nuts (only 3-4 a day) – O 
  • Chestnuts – Fresh – O 
  • Coconut Cream 
  • Coconut Meat – Fresh 
  • Coconut Milk, 100% Pure Coconut Milk only (no additives) 
  • Flax Seeds  
  • Hazelnuts – O 
  • Hemp Protein Powder – O 
  • Hemp Seeds – O 
  • Macadamia Nuts – O (if over ¼ cup) 
  • Pecans – O (if over ¼ cup) 
  • Pine Nuts – O 
  • Pistachios – O (if over ¼ cup) 
  • Poppy Seeds – O 
  • Sesame Seeds – O 
  • Tiger Nuts (a type of root) – O 


  • Avocado Oil  
  • Butter – Grass fed, if not available European is better 
  • Coconut Oil  
  • Macadamia Oil  
  • MCT Oil  
  • Olive Oil (extra virgin) – (use cautiously if DAO levels are very low) 
  • Palm Oil  
  • Rice Bran Oil  
  • Sesame oil  


  • Basil 
  • Bay Leaves 
  • Cardamom 
  • Caraway 
  • Chives 
  • Cilantro 
  • Coriander 
  • Cumin – O 
  • Curcumin powder can replace turmeric if oxalates are a concern 
  • Curry Leaves 
  • Dill 
  • Fennel 
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger 
  • Lemongrass 
  • Mint 
  • Oregano 
  • Parsley – Flat Leaf-  (curly is high oxalate) 
  • Peppercorns, Pink – O 
  • Peppermint 
  • Poppy Seeds – O 
  • Rosemary 
  • Saffron 
  • Sage 
  • Salt – only unrefined like Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt 
  • Shallots 
  • Spirulina  
  • Tarragon 
  • Thyme 
  • Turmeric – O 


  • Homemade sweets with allowed ingredients 
  • Inulin
  • Monk Fruit – 100% no fillers 
  • Stevia 

***These dairy products are technically low histamine. But many people have casein and lactose issues. Start with only ghee in Phase I: Elimination. If you test negative for dairy sensitivities on a Dairy Zoomer, then you can try adding the others. 

  • A2 milk – plain 
  • Butter – Grass fed, if not available European is better 
  • Cream – Grass fed 
  • Cream cheese – Grass fed 
  • Ghee from – Grass fed  
  • Goat milk 
  • Sheep milk 


  • Almond Flour – Blanched – O (very high oxalate)  
  • Arrowroot – O (medium to high oxalate)  
  • Baking soda 
  • Baking powder 
  • Cassava flour – O (Otto’s Cassava Flour is the only unfermented option) 
  • Cocoa butter (white chocolate with no additives) 
  • Cream of tartar 
  • Flax meal  
  • Hazelnut Flour – O  
  • Hi-Maize resistant starch Fresh Coconut Meat  
  • Homemade relishes with allowed ingredients 
  • Leftovers – freeze right after cooking 
  • Miracle Noodles 
  • Miracle Rice  
  • Tiger Nut flour (Gemini Organics) – O 


  • Coffee – preferably avoid caffeine. If you must drink coffee, then only lower histamine, mold free brands like Purity Coffee* 
  • Dandelion Root Tea  
  • Herbal teas, except black, green, white teas (oxalates) & rooibos (histamine) 
  • Mineral Water – Plain and carbonated 
  • Water – with fresh squeezed lemon or lime (if tolerated) 

References on Lectins – Information for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Brady, P. G., Vannier, A. M., & Banwell, J. G. (1978). Identification of the dietary lectin, wheat germ agglutinin, in human intestinal contents. Gastroenterology75(2), 236–239. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/669209 

Cordain, L., Toohey, L., Smith, M. J., & Hickey, M. S. (2000). Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis. The British Journal of Nutrition83(3), 207–217. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0007114500000271 

da Silva, L. C., & Correia, M. T. (2014). Plant lectins and Toll-like receptors: implications for therapy of microbial infections. Frontiers in microbiology, 5, 20. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00020 

Drago, S., El Asmar, R., Di Pierro, M., Grazia Clemente, M., Tripathi, A., Sapone, A., Thakar, M., Iacono, G., Carroccio, A., D’Agate, C., Not, T., Zampini, L., Catassi, C., & Fasano, A. (2006). Gliadin, zonulin and gut permeability: Effects on celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and intestinal cell lines. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology41(4), 408–419. https://doi.org/10.1080/00365520500235334 

Fasano, A. (2011). Zonulin and its regulation of intestinal barrier function: the biological door to inflammation, autoimmunity, and cancer. Physiological Reviews91(1), 151–175. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00003.2008 

G.M.D.T. (2021, April 8). Dr. Gundry Diet Food List: A Comprehensive Lectin Free Diet Plan. https://gundrymd.com/dr-gundry-diet-food-list/ Accessed September 25, 2021. 

Lavelle, E. C., Grant, G., Pusztai, A., Pfüller, U., & O’Hagan, D. T. (2001). The identification of plant lectins with mucosal adjuvant activity. Immunology102(1), 77–86. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2567.2001.01157.x 

Li, B., Selmi, C., Tang, R., Gershwin, M. E., & Ma, X. (2018). The microbiome and autoimmunity: a paradigm from the gut-liver axis. Cellular & Molecular Immunology15(6), 595–609. https://doi.org/10.1038/cmi.2018.7 

Livingston, J. N., & Purvis, B. J. (1980). Effects of wheat germ agglutinin on insulin binding and insulin sensitivity of fat cells. The American Journal of Physiology238(3), E267–E275. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.1980.238.3.E267 

Lopes, F. C., Cavada, B. S., Pinto, V. P. T., Sampaio, A. H., & Gomes, J. C. (2005). Differential effect of plant lectins on mast cells of different origins. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research38(6), 935–941. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0100-879×2005000600016 

Nishimura, K. I. A. (2015). Lectin-Positive Spherical Deposits (SPD) Detected in the Molecular Layer of Hippocampal Dentate Gurus of Schizophrenia. Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology06(06). https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-9562.1000327 

Pramod, S. N., Venkatesh, Y. P., & Mahesh, P. A. (2007). Potato lectin activates basophils and mast cells of atopic subjects by its interaction with core chitobiose of cell-bound non-specific immunoglobulin E. Clinical and Experimental Immunology148(3), 391–401. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2249.2007.03368.x 

Pusztai, A. (1993). Dietary lectins are metabolic signals for the gut and modulate immune and hormone functions. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition47(10), 691–699. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8269884 

Pusztai, A. (1998). Effects of lectin ingestion on animal growth and internal organs. Methods in Molecular Medicine9, 485–494. https://doi.org/10.1385/0-89603-396-1:485 

Tchernychev, B., & Wilchek, M. (1996). Natural human antibodies to dietary lectins. FEBS Letters397(2-3), 139–142. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0014-5793(96)01154-4 


  1. Lin

    Hi Beth,
    Does sprouting beans, seeds, and legumes significantly reduce lectin content?

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Lin,
      At this time, Beth hasn’t seen any research saying it does, so she doesn’t know the definitive answer for this. If you find some research which backs this, please let us know! We are always looking to learn!

      Suz, MC360

  2. Rachel

    I have a question about pumpkin and squashes. In the food list squashes are listed as low histamine, and pumpkin as high histamine, though the difference between them is vague, and botanically pumpkin is a squash.
    Then, what exact kinds of squashes are actually high histamine and better be avoided? Thank you

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Rachel,
      You are correct that pumpkin is a squash. However, it is the only squash we know of which is high histamine. The low histamine squash varieties are listed in the low histamine column. It may be confusing depending on where someone is from, too, because I understand that in England, pumpkin is referred to as squash. In the US, we very rarely call it that. Think about it like this: all pumpkin is squash, but not all squash is pumpkin.

      These are the lower histamine varieties of squash we have listed:
      Squash, Butternut– L
      Squash, Spaghetti– L
      ![Squash, Summer]– L
      Squash, Winter – L
      Squash: Yellow – L

      I hope this helps!

      1. Lindsay

        Hi – I’m a little confused on the above comment, with regard to all the different squashes listed above, they are low in histamine but High in Lectins, so we wouldn’t be able to consume if following both diets? What if the seeds and skin are removed, would they be considered ok? I didn’t see the squash on the Low Lectin column. Also, why would one have to worry about Extra Virgin Olive oil if deficient in the DAO enzyme? Thank you.

        1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

          Hi! She was specifically asking about histamine levels. But you are correct that if you are following low histamine and low lectin, you’ll want to avoid anything we have with an L next to it. In the article Beth writes:
          Cooking or pressure cooking can break down some lectin groups…

          Lectins can be reduced in these foods by peeling, seeding (for vegetables with seeds), and pressure cooking:

          Winter squashes (ie. spaghetti, acorn, butternut, etc)
          Summer squashes (yellow, zucchini)

          In regards to EVOO and DAO, check out this article to learn more: https://mastcell360.com/olive-oil-avoiding-the-frauds-what-to-know-when-youre-dealing-with-mast-cell-activation-syndrome-or-histamine-intolerance/

  3. Ginger

    So reading through your lists- do you know anything about tapioca starch in regards to histamine and lectin? Would it be okay to use?

Add A Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.