Low and High Histamine Foods Lists

Hi! Welcome to the Low and High Histamine Foods List.

This list is to give you a place to start in working on eating low histamine. There are many different histamine lists online. Some were created by listing every food someone reacted to. But those reactions may not have been due to histamines. Some lists include a lot of processed, packaged foods. But processed foods can make Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance worse over time.

I wanted this list to be as reliable as possible. So I took the best research available about histamine foods to make this list. I recommend including lots of high nutrient foods from this list. Foods like cauliflower, onions, and blueberries have anti-histamine properties. So load up on the anti-histamine foods!

Remember that histamine levels work like a bucket. 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 bucket might overflow.

Your histamine bucket can be more full due to exposure to seasonal allergens, mold, fluctuating hormones, dehydration, stress, etc. So keep this in mind when making food choices.

There are other types of foods that people with MCAS or Histamine Intolerance may react to. These include lectins and oxalates. So try new foods slowly and cautiously until you know how your body will respond. This list is meant to be a starting place for you to make your own personal list. If you seem to be reacting to a lot of foods that are low histamine, you may have additional food sensitivities. If this is the case, you can reach out to me for help. I can help you customize this list to your own list.

The long term goal is to support histamine pathways to work correctly and reduce mast cell over-reactivity so that we can include more foods over time. Many higher histamine foods have great nutrients. So we want to try to bring many of those back on board at some point when it is safe. I was once down to a very small number of safe foods. It has taken a lot of work to get foods back in my diet. But it isn’t healthy to be on a very restricted diet long term. I can now eat everything on the low histamine list below. I can also eat small amounts of firm avocado and dried cranberries. I want this for you too!

Just let me know if you need my help by emailing us.

Sending the best for your health!

Beth O’Hara, Functional Naturopath

Key to the Mast Cell 360 Low Histamine Diet 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, Emphasize these

![Food Name] = High in pesticide residue – 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.

Important Notes for Mast Cell 360 Low Histamine Diet
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 Foods 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.
  2. Avoid packaged and processed foods.
  3. Freeze all leftovers after cooking. Bring your own properly prepared meat to restaurants during Phase I Elimination
  4. Be sure to follow the Meat Handling tips here.
  5. Emphasize nutrient dense herbs and vegetables that are histamine lowering.
  6. Follow this phase for 6 months
  7. Keep a food diary of foods and symptoms so you can track if you may have other food sensitivities or intolerances beyond Histamine. This is common to have.
  8. 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
  9. Once your Histamine 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 need to address. 
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Grains & Carbs - Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine

Lower Histamine Foods

Any Gluten free grains:

  • Amaranth – O
  • Buckwheat – O, L
  • Crackers – Gluten-free- likely O, L
  • Millet – O 
  • Oats– O, L 
  • Pasta – Gluten-free- likely O, L
  • Quinoa– O, L 
  • Rice, black – O, L 
  • Rice, brown – O, L 
  • Rice, white – L 
  • Sorghum, Black – O 
  • Sorghum, Popped– O (limit to 1/2 cup popped for lower oxalate)
  • Sorghum, White – O 

Resistant Starches to feed good gut bacteria

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

Foods made with:

  • Anise
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Baking mixes
  • Bleached flour
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coconut Flour
  • Cocoa
  • ![Corn]
  • Dessert mixes
  • Gluten
  • Hydrolyzed Lecithin / BHA, BHT – Any food made with or cooked in these oils  
  • Jams, Jellies (some)
  • Margarine
  • Pasta meals – packaged
  • Pie, pastry, and fillings – Commercial
  • Preservatives
  • Restricted fruits
  • Rice meals – packaged

Vegetables - Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine

Lower Histamine Foods

All pure fresh and frozen vegetables and juices except those listed to the right

Especially:

  • Artichokes – O 
  • Arugula 
  • Asparagus 
  • Basil 
  • Beets – O (very high oxalate)
  • Bok choy 
  • Broccoli 
  • Broccolini 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Butter lettuce 
  • Butternut squash – L
  • Carrots 
  • Cauliflower 
  • ![Celery]
  • Chinese cabbage 
  • Chives 
  • Cilantro 
  • Collards 
  • Cucumber – L 
  • Daikon radishes 
  • Dandelion greens 
  • Endive 
  • Escarole 
  • Fennel 
  • Garlic 
  • Green and Red cabbage 
  • ![Kale] – Curly – O 
  • ![Kale] – Lacinato or Dinosaur 
  • Kohlrabi 
  • Leafy greens 
  • Leeks 
  • Mesclun 
  • Mint 
  • Perilla 
  • Mizuna 
  • Mustard greens 
  • Napa cabbage
  • Nopales cactus – O 
  • Onions – any kind 
  • Parsley, curly – O 
  • Parsley, flat 
  • Parsley Root
  • Parsnips – O
  • ![Peppers, bell or hot] – L 
  • Purslane – O (very high oxalate) 
  • ![Potatoes] – O, L
  • Radishes 
  • Red and green leaf lettuce 
  • Rhubarb – O (very high oxalate) 
  • Romaine
  • Rutabaga 
  • Scallions 
  • Squash, Winter – L 
  • ![Squash, Summer]– L 
  • Swiss Chard – O (very high oxalate)
  • Turnip 
  • Watercress
  • ![Zucchini]– L 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

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

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Fruits - Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine

Lower Histamine Foods

  • ![Apple]
  • Apricot – fresh
  • ![Blackberry] – O
  • ![Blueberry]
  • ![Cherry]
  • ![Cranberry], fresh
  • Currant, fresh
  • Cantaloupe (rock melon)
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Figs, fresh
  • Fruit dishes made with allowed
    ingredients
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi – O
  • Lemon – 1/2 tsp (not always
    tolerated in elimination)
  • Lime – 1/2 tsp (not always
    tolerated in elimination)
  • Mango
  • ![Nectarine]
  • ![Peach]
  • Persimmons / Kaki
  • Pomegranate – O
  • ![Pear], Bartlett or Bosc
  • ![Pear], other variety-
  • Plantain – O
  • *![Raspberries] (limit to 1/4 cup – not always tolerated in elimination)
  • Watermelon

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Dates
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit dishes, jams, juices
    made with restricted
    ingredients
  • Grapefruit
  • ![Grapes] (often have mold)
    Loganberry
  • Orange and other citrus
  • ![Papaya] – O
  • Pawpaw- O
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • ![Strawberries]

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

Lower Histamine Foods

Be sure to follow the meat handling tips in this post.

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

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

**Try farmer’s markets or US Wellness Meats * for pastured chicken, turkey, and rabbit 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 and 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 have run an Egg Zoomer test, you should avoid them in the Elimination phase.

Lower Histamine Foods

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

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

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

Legumes - Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine

Lower Histamine Foods

  • Beans – Dried – Soak overnight in water and pressure cook. Freshly cooked (kidney, black, navy, garbanzo/chickpeas, etc.)
    (pressure cooked is best) – L, O
    Garbanzo/chickpeas are medium oxalate
  • Lentils, especially black (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 Meat, Fresh
  • Coconut Milk, 100% Coconut Milk 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)
  • Pumpkin Seeds – L
  • Sesame Seeds – O
  • Sunflower – L

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

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

Fats & Oils - Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine

Lower Histamine Foods

  • Avocado Oil – Cold Pressed (use cautiously if DAO levels are very low)
  • Butter – Grass Fe
  • Coconut Oil – Extra Virgin 
  • Flax Oil – Cold Pressed 
  • Ghee from Grass Fed Cows
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin (use cautiously if DAO levels are very low)
  • Palm Oil – Extra Virgin (unprocessed)
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Meat drippings – Fresh
  • MCT Oil
  • Salad dressings  – Homemade with allowed ingredients
  • Sesame oil

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
  • Chives
  • Cardamom
  • Caraway
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin – O
  • Curcumin powder can replace turmeric if oxalates are a
    concern
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Lemongrass
  • Oregano
  • Peppercorns, Pink – O
  • Peppermint
  • Turmeric – O
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Saffron
  • Spirulina – O
  • Salt – unrefined like Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt

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- Prepared
  • Flavored syrups
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Icing & Frosting – Prepared
  • Molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • Pure jams, jellies, marmalades, conserves made with allowed ingredients
  • Spreads with restricted ingredients
  • Sugar

Miscellaneous - Lower Histamine and Higher Histamine

Lower Histamine Foods

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa butter (white chocolate with no additives)
  • Cream of tartar
  • Homemade relishes with allowed ingredients
  • Leftovers – freeze right after cooking

 

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

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

Additives:

  • Calcium Chloride
  • Carrageenan
  • Citric Acid
  • Food colorings
  • Lecithin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malic Acid
  • MS
  • 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*
  • Herbal teas, except those listed to the right
  • 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
  • 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.
    Best tolerated alcohol: top shelf plain vodka, gin, white rum, silver tequila – avoid until Phase II due to blocking of histamine degrading enzymes

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.

  • A2 milk – plain
  • Cream (from grass fed cows)
  • Cream cheese (from grass fed cows)
  • Ghee from grass fed cows
  • Goat milk
  • Grass fed butter
  • Ricotta cheese (from grass fed cows)
  • Sheep milk

Higher Histamine Foods – Limit These!

  • All prepared dairy products made with restricted
    ingredients
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt

Schedule Case Review including your Mast Cell 360 Root Cause Analysis

References for the Mast Cell 360 Low Histamine Diet Foods List

de Wild-Scholten, Mariska. Understanding Histamine Intolerance & Mast Cell Activation

Environmental Working Group. 2019 Clean 15, Dirty Dozen List

Gibb, James L. Is Food Making You Sick?

Kullman, Pamela. Privately Compiled Notes

Joneja, Janice. Histamine Intolerance The Comprehensive Guide for Healthcare Professionals

Ykelenstam, Yasmina. www.Healinghistamine.com

*Some links in this document are affiliate links, which means I may make a very small commission if you purchase through the link. It never costs you any more to purchase through the links, and I try to find the best deals I can. I only recommend products that I love and use personally or use in my practice. Any commissions support providing these types of resources to those in need with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance for free. 

Thank you for your support!