low histamine foods on counter

Low Histamine Foods List for MCAS and Histamine Intolerance

Are you interested in eating a low histamine diet?  This low histamine foods list can help! 

You’ll see lists for both high and low histamine foods. I’ve indicated which foods are high lectin or high oxalate, too. 

You can use the key located just above the foods list to help you understand which foods to emphasize and which foods you may need to find alternatives for. 

What Makes This Low Histamine Foods List Different? 

There are many different histamine lists and elimination diets online.  

Some are reliable. However, some list every food someone reacted to…even if those reactions weren’t due to histamine.  

Some lists include a lot of processed, packaged foods, too. Processed foods can make Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance worse over time, though. 

I wanted this list to be as reliable as possible. So, I took the best research available about histamine liberators and histamine-releasing foods to make this foods list.  

Can You Eat Any High Histamine Foods? 

Remember that histamine intolerance works like a sink. You might be ok with 1 strawberry or 1 bite of pineapple. But if you combine a few bites here and there of high histamine foods, your sink might overflow. 

Your histamine sink can be fuller due to exposure to seasonal allergens, mold, fluctuating hormones, dehydration, stress, etc. You’ll want to keep this in mind when making food choices. 

This list is meant to be a starting place for you to make your own personal list. Everyone is different in what they can tolerate. 

What If You Eat Low Histamine and Still Have Reactions? 

If you’re dealing with MCAS and Histamine Intolerance, your mast cells may be contributing to your histamine load, too.  

When mast cells are triggered, they can release histamine. 

So, you may need to work on calming the mast cells to help get your Histamine Intolerance under control. 

Another reason you may still be having reactions to low histamine foods is that , you may have additional food sensitivities or food intolerances.  

There are other types of foods that people with MCAS or Histamine Intolerance may react to as well. 

These include lectins and oxalates. I’ve noted them on this low histamine foods list to make it easy.

Tips for Success

But before you start removing foods, here are 2 things I want you to remember. 

  1. Don’t remove foods unnecessarily. Work with your practitioner to make sure you are supporting your health in the best way possible. 
  1. Think about replacing foods rather than removing foods. For example, don’t think of just removing spinach. Think about what you can eat in its place. I like arugula. 

The long-term goal is to support histamine pathways to work correctly. And you want to reduce mast cell over-reactivity so that you can re-introduce more foods over time.  

Why is this? 

Many higher histamine foods have great nutrients. So, you want to bring those back on board when it’s safe. 

In the meantime, I recommend including lots of high-nutrient, low-histamine foods from this list. 

And be sure to consider anti-histamine foods. That’s right! Some foods aren’t just low histamine. They have anti-histamine properties. So, include foods like cauliflower, onions, and blueberries where you can! 

Take It One Step At a Time 

When I was at my sickest point, I was once down to a very small number of foods I could tolerate. It‘s taken a lot of work, but I can now eat everything on the low histamine list below.  

I can also eat small amounts of some higher histamine foods from time to time, too.

I’ve been known to enjoy some strawberries and firm avocado on special occasion! I want this for you too! 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, slow down and take some deep breaths. Then look at just a few foods you can start replacing. Then next week, work on a few more.  

You’ll get there! 

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.  

Important Notes for Mast Cell 360 Low Histamine Foods List 

Phase I: Elimination – usually 6 months 

Think of this phase as going back to basics. You’ll take out all High Histamine foods, Histamine Liberating foods, and Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blocking foods. 

  1. Start with the Phase I tips in the blog post The Mast Cell 360 Starter Low Histamine Food List & Why you Shouldn’t use Most of the Online Histamine Foods Lists if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.  I recommend at this phase you avoid all dairy (except ghee), eggs, fish (even frozen Wild Alaskan salmon), and all high histamine foods. 
  1. Avoid packaged and processed foods. 
  1. Freeze all leftovers after cooking. Bring your own properly prepared meat to restaurants during Phase I Elimination. 
  1. Be sure to follow the Meat Handling tips here. 
  1. Emphasize nutrient-dense herbs and vegetables with histamine- lowering nutrients. 
  1. Follow this phase for 6 months. 
  1. Keep a food diary of foods and symptoms so you can track if you may have other food allergies, food sensitivities, or food intolerances beyond Histamine Intolerance.  
  1. Follow the other Low Histamine Diet Tips in these 2 posts: How to do a Low Histamine Diet Part 1: Identifying High Histamine Foods and How to Do a Low Histamine Diet Part 2: What to Eat 

Phase II

Once your Histamine Intolerance symptoms are significantly improved, you can go on to Phase II. If you HAVE NOT significantly improved within 6 months, there are other factors you may need to consider, like supplements (such as a DAO enzymes) or nervous system work.

Key to the Mast Cell 360 Low Histamine Foods List: 

  • * = Has been noted as higher histamine, but contains high amounts of histamine lowering nutrients that can balance 
  • Italics = particularly high in histamine lowering nutrients so emphasize these 
  • ![Food Name] = high in pesticide residue so buy organic 
  • – L = Lectin: may trigger those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome 
  • – O = High Oxalate: may trigger those with Oxalate issues, quantities given after the O are for those watching oxalates. DO NOT go low oxalate cold turkey – this can make you very ill. If you have oxalate issues, be sure to work with a qualified Heath Care Practitioner who is very experienced in this area to guide you. 

Grains & Carbs – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

Any gluten free grains: 

  • Amaranth – O 
  • Arrowroot Flour – O 
  • Buckwheat – O, L 
  • Buckwheat Flour – O, L 
  • Buckwheat Noodles – O, L 
  • ![Corn] – L (If tolerated) 
  • ![Corn] – L – Popped (fresh if tolerated) 
  • Crackers – Gluten-free – likely O, L 
  • Millet, grain soaked overnight, rinsed and boiled 
  • Millet – O  
  • Oats– O, L  
  • Pasta – Gluten-free – likely O, L 
  • Potato Starch – L 
  • Quinoa– O, L  
  • Rice, Black – O, L  
  • Rice, Brown – O, L  
  • Rice, White – O, L  
  • Sorghum, Black – O  
  • Sorghum, Popped– O (limit to 1/2 cup popped for lower oxalate) 
  • Sorghum, White – O  
  • Tapioca Starch or Flour 
  • Teff – O 

Resistant Starches to feed good gut bacteria 

*Otto’s Cassava Flour was tested as 17mg soluble oxalates per 1/4 cup. That is considered a high oxalate level. But with oxalates, the amount you eat can also be a determining factor when considering if it is high, medium, or low. So when using cassava flour, if one portion of a recipe comes out to 1/4 cup of flour per serving, that recipe would be considered high oxalate. If it came out to 1/8 cup or less, that could be considered moderate. But if someone is on a kidney stone diet and counting total oxalates, then the total oxalates at 53.8mg per 1/4 cup would be too high. It depends on how you are counting and what your limit is. 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

Foods made with: 

  • Baking Mixes 
  • Bleached Flour 
  • Coconut Flour 
  • Dessert Mixes 
  • Gluten  
  • Pasta Meals – packaged 
  • Pie, Pastry, and Fillings – commercial 
  • Rice Meals – packaged 

Vegetables – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

All fresh and frozen vegetables and juices except those listed in the high histamine column below.  

Especially: 

  • Artichokes – O  
  • Arugula  
  • Asparagus  
  • Basil  
  • Bean Sprouts – L 
  • Beets – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Bok Choy  
  • Broccoli  
  • Broccolini  
  • Brussels Sprouts  
  • Cabbage – Chinese  
  • CabbageGreen and Red  
  • Cabbage – Napa 
  • Carrots  
  • Cauliflower  
  • ![Celery] 
  • Celeriac or Celery Root 
  • Chives  
  • Cilantro  
  • Collards  
  • ![Corn] – L (If tolerated) 
  • Cucumber – L  
  • Daikon Radishes  
  • Dandelion Greens  
  • Dill 
  • Escarole  
  • Fennel  
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger 
  • Green Split Peas – L 
  • Jicama 
  • ![Kale] – Curly – O  
  • ![Kale] – Lacinato or Dinosaur  
  • Kohlrabi  
  • Leafy Greens  
  • Leeks 
  • Lettuce – Butter 
  • Lettuce – Endive 
  • Lettuce – Leaf Green & Red 
  • Lettuce – Iceberg 
  • Lettuce – Radicchio – O 
  • Lettuce – Romaine 
  • Mesclun  
  • Mint  
  • Mizuna  
  • Mustard Greens  
  • Nopales Cactus – O  
  • Okra – O 
  • Onions – any   
  • Parsley, Curly – O  
  • Parsley, Flat or Italian 
  • Parsley Root 
  • Parsnips  
  • ![Peppers, Bell or Hot] – L  
  • Perilla  
  • Purslane – O (very high oxalate)  
  • ![Potatoes] – O, L 
  • Radishes  
  • Rhubarb – O (very high oxalate)  
  • Rutabaga / Swede 
  • Sage 
  • Saffron 
  • Scallions / Green Onions 
  • Shallots 
  • Squash, Butternut – L 
  • Squash, Spaghetti – L 
  • ![Squash, Summer] – L  
  • Squash, Winter – L  
  • Squash, Yellow – L 
  • Sweet Potatoes – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Swiss Chard – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Turnip  
  • Watercress 
  • Yellow Split Peas – L 
  • ![Zucchini] – L  

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • All vegetables prepared with restricted ingredients 
  • Eggplant – L, O 
  • Fermented Foods 
  • Green Beans, String Beans – L 
  • Kimchi  
  • Mushrooms 
  • Peas – L 
  • Squash, Pumpkin – O 
  • Sauerkraut 
  • ![Spinach] – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Soybeans / Edamame 
  • ![Tomato] and all tomato products – L 

Fruits – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Note: All fruits should be fresh, not dried. Dried fruits are not only high histamine but can also carry mold.  

Lower Histamine Foods 

  • ![Apple] 
  • Apricot  
  • ![Blackberry] – O 
  • ![Blueberry] 
  • Cantaloupe (rock melon)
  • ![Cherries] 
  • ![Cranberry] 
  • Currant  
  • Dragon Fruit 
  • Figs 
  • Fruit dishes made with allowed ingredients 
  • ![Grapes] (often have mold) 
  • Guava – Ripe – O, VERY high oxalate 
  • Honeydew – L 
  • Kiwi – O 
  • Lemon – 1/2 tsp (not always tolerated in elimination) 
  • Lime – 1/2 tsp (not always tolerated in elimination) 
  • Loquat 
  • Mango 
  • ![Nectarine] 
  • Passion Fruit 
  • ![Peach] 
  • ![Pear]
  • Persimmons / Kaki – O 
  • Plantain – O 
  • Pomegranate – O 
  • *![Raspberries] (limit to 1/4 cup – not always tolerated in elimination) 
  • Watermelon  – L 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Avocado 
  • Banana 
  • Dates 
  • Dried Fruit 
  • Fruit dishes, made with restricted ingredients 
  • Grapefruit 
  • Jams, Jellies, Preservatives, Juices made with restricted ingredients 
  • Loganberry 
  • Orange and other citrus fruits 
  • ![Papaya] – O 
  • Pawpaw – O 
  • Pineapple 
  • Plums 
  • Prunes 
  • Raisins 
  • ![Strawberries] 
  • ![Tomato] and all tomato products – L 

Meat, Poultry, & Fish – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Note: All refrigerated and fresh meats are high histamine unless they’ve been immediately frozen upon catch or slaughter.  

Lower Histamine Foods 

Be sure to follow the meat handling tips in this post

All organic, freshly cooked, un-aged meat or poultry (not ground): 

  • Beef (only if unaged and not ground)
  • Bison (only if unaged and not ground) 
  • Chicken 
  • Duck 
  • Eggs, if tolerated 
  • Goose 
  • Lamb 
  • Liver 
  • Ostrich 
  • Pork 
  • Quail 
  • Rabbit 
  • Scallops – shucked and frozen within 30 minutes of catch (like Vital Choice’s Scallops
  • Salmon – gutted and frozen within 30 minutes of catch (like Vital Choice’s King Salmon
  • Turkey 

Try your local farmer’s market or Northstar Bison or White Oak Pastures for pasture raised meats that are frozen right after slaughter. 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Beef – Aged (99% of all beef is aged) 
  • Bison – Aged (99% of all bison is aged) 
  • Cured Meats:
    • Bacon
    • Salami
    • Pepperoni
    • Luncheon Meats
    • Hot Dogs  
  • Fish – All other 
  • Ground Meats 
  • Leftover Cooked Meats 
  • Processed Meats 
  • Shellfish 

Eggs – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Many people don’t tolerate eggs. Unless you’ve run an Egg Zoomer test and know they won’t be an issue, you should avoid them in the Elimination phase. 

Lower Histamine Foods 

  • Pasture Raised Organic Eggs – All plain, cooked eggs (if tolerated)  

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Eggs prepared with restricted ingredients 
  • Raw egg white (as in some eggnog, hollandaise sauce, mayo, milkshakes) 

Legumes – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Note: Canned foods are high histamine so all beans and legumes should be cooked fresh.  

Always soak overnight and pressure cook to reduce lectins and make them easier to digest.  

Lower Histamine Foods 

  • Beans – Dried – Soak overnight in water and pressure cook. Freshly cooked (kidney, black, navy, etc.) 
    (pressure cooked is best) – L, O 
  • Garbanzo / Chickpeas – medium oxalate 
  • Lentils (legumes are higher lectin, use in moderation) – soak overnight in water and pressure cook – L, O 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Beans – Canned – L, O 
  • Lentils – Canned – L, O 
  • Peanuts – L, O 
  • Soybeans / Edamame 
  • Tofu 

Nuts & Seeds – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

  • Almonds – Blanched – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Almonds – with Skins – L, O (very high oxalate) 
  • Brazil Nuts (only 3-4 nuts/day max) – O 
  • Chia Seeds – O 
  • Chestnuts (fresh) O 
  • Coconut Cream 
  • Coconut Meat (fresh) 
  • Coconut Milk 100% Pure only (no additives) 
  • Flax Seeds 
  • Hazelnuts – O 
  • Hemp Protein Powder – O 
  • Hemp Seeds – O 
  • Macadamias – O (if over 1/4 cup) 
  • Pecans – O (if over 1/4 cup) 
  • Pine Nuts – O 
  • Pistachios – O (if over 1/4 cup) 
  • Poppy Seeds – O 
  • Pumpkin Seeds – L 
  • Sesame Seeds – O 
  • Sunflower Seeds – L 
  • Tiger Nuts (not an actual nut, but a tuber) 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Cashews – L, O 
  • Coconut – Dried 
  • Coconut Butter 
  • Peanuts– L, O 
  • Walnuts – O 

Fats & Oils – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Fats and oils with color and/or preservatives 
  • Hydrolyzed lecithin 
  • Margarine 
  • Salad dressings prepared with restricted ingredients 
  • If DAO levels are very low: Olive Oil and Avocado Oil 

Spices & Herbs – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

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

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Allspice 
  • Anise 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Chili Powder 
  • Cloves 
  • Curry powder 
  • Cayenne 
  • Foods labeled “with spices” 
  • Foods labeled “natural flavors” or “artificial flavors” 
  • Mace 
  • MSG 
  • Mustard 
  • Nutmeg 
  • Paprika 
  • Peppercorns – Black, Green, White – may need to limit to small amounts – O 
  • Seasoning packets with restricted ingredients 

Sweeteners – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Stevia, Monk fruit, and Inulin are your best choices. Anything that raises your blood sugar will increase histamine levels. So sugar and related items will raise histamine levels. Limit your sugar intake. 

Lower Histamine Foods 

These don’t affect blood sugar: 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

Anything that raises your blood sugar will increase histamine levels: 

  • Artificial Sweeteners 
  • Cake Decorations 
  • Candies 
  • Confectionary 
  • Corn Syrup 
  • Desert Fillings 
  • Flavored Syrups 
  • Honey 
  • Icing Sugar 
  • Icing & Frosting 
  • Molasses 
  • Jams, Jellies, Marmalades, Preserves made with restricted ingredients 
  • Spreads with restricted ingredients 
  • Sugar 

Miscellaneous & Additives Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos 
  • Bone Broth 
  • Carob – L, O 
  • Chocolate and cocoa – O 
  • Coconut Aminos 
  • Collagen 
  • Gelatin 
  • Gherkin pickles 
  • Ketchup  
  • Leftovers not frozen immediately after cooking 
  • Mincemeat 
  • Miso 
  • Nutritional Yeast / Nooch 
  • Relishes and Olives – prepared 
  • Soy Sauce / Tamari 
  • Vinegars, including white, champagne, and balsamic; apple cider vinegar is lowest and tolerated by some at 1tsp 

Additives – Avoid These!

  • Artificial Colors 
  • Artificial Flavors 
  • Calcium Chloride 
  • Carrageenan 
  • Citric Acid 
  • Food Colorings 
  • Hydrolyzed Lecithin / BHA, BHT – Any food made with or cooked in these oils   
  • Lecithin 
  • Maltodextrin 
  • MSG 
  • Potassium Sorbate 
  • Potassium Triphosphate 
  • Smoke Flavoring 
  • Sodium Benzoate 
  • Sodium Nitrite 
  • Sodium Triphosphate 
  • Xanthan Gum 
  • Yeast and Yeast Extract 

Beverages – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

  • Coconut Water (fresh) 
  • 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 those listed below 
  • Juice – Pure freshly squeezed juices of allowed fruits and vegetables – limit fruit juice due to sugar 
  • Mineral Water – Plain and carbonated 
  • Water – with fresh squeezed lemon or lime (if tolerated) 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These! 

  • Beer 
  • Carbonated Drinks 
  • Cider 
  • Cocoa 
  • Coconut Water – packaged 
  • Drinks with “flavor” or “spices” 
  • Flavored Milks 
  • Fruit Juices and Cocktails made with restricted ingredients 
  • Kombucha
  • Tea – All black, green, white, rooibos tea 
  • Wine 
  • **All other alcoholic beverages.  

The best tolerated alcohol: top shelf plain vodka, gin, white rum, silver tequila – avoid until Phase II due to blocking of histamine degrading enzymes.

Here are the best lower histamine wines I’ve found.  

Milk & Dairy – Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine 

Lower Histamine Foods 

***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. 

Choose products sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.

  • A2 milk – plain 
  • Butter 
  • Cream
  • Cream Cheese 
  • Ghee 
  • Goat Milk 
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Sheep Milk 

If you’d like us to make a printable low histamine foods list, please tell us in the comments below!

More Mast Cell 360 Low Histamine Resources

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References  

Environmental Working Group. (2022). #DirtyDozen Fruits and Vegetables with the Most Pesticides – @EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in ProduceTM. EWG. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php 

Gibb, J. L. (2014). Is Food Making You Sick?: The Strictly Low Histamine Diet (Illustrated ed.). Leaves of Gold Press. 

Kullman, Pamela. Privately Compiled Notes. 

PhD, J. J. V., & Lawrence, H. (2018). Histamine Intolerance: A Comprehensive Guide for Healthcare Professionals. Berrydales Books. 

Wild-Scholten, M. D. (2013). Understanding Histamine Intolerance & Mast Cell Activation. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 

Ykelenstam, Yasmina. Healing Histamine | Histamine Intolerance Research & Recipes. (2022). Healing Histamine. https://healinghistamine.com/