Popped Sorghum Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Mast Cell 360

The Absolute Best Low Histamine, Low Lectin Popcorn Alternative for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance: Popped Sorghum Recipe

My clients with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance often tell me they don’t know what to do for Low Histamine snacks. 

And it feels even harder for those following Low Lectin and Low Oxalate diets in addition to a Low Histamine deit.

I have noticed that many of my clients with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance are eating popcorn. But popcorn is probably making their symptoms worse!

Why would that be?

Why Popcorn isn’t a good option for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

I used to love popcorn. But even with using very fresh, organic popcorn kernels and popping it myself, I would still get a lot of reactions. I didn’t know at the time about lectins wreaking havoc with mast cells and histamine levels. Corn and popcorn are both lectins.

Lectins are a type of protein in certain plants, like wheat, corn, quinoa, and even some vegetables like squashes and tomatoes. It is one of the major causes of wheat sensitivities. And one reason why many people sensitive to wheat also react to corn.

You can read more about Lectins in this post:
Do you need to worry about Oxalates and Lectins with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance?

Sadly, Corn and popcorn are both lectins.

How can you know if you shouldn’t be eating Corn or Popcorn?

I ran a Lectin Zoomer test and a Corn Zoomer test on myself recently. The Corn Zoomer is the best test on the market to check for corn sensitivities. And the Lectin Zoomer checks for lectin sensitivity across a number of lectin foods.

My Corn Zoomer results showed I definitely shouldn’t eat Corn or Popcorn.

Mast Cell 360 Corn Zoomer

I especially like the Food Zoomers for people who need to be careful about removing more foods due to a limited diet. That way we can be more sure whether or not a specific food is an issue. My Lectin Zoomer and Corn Zoomer showed I have major immune reactions to corn and popcorn. So, both corn and popcorn are clearly out for me.

But I did gain back some other foods by taking these tests like rice. So the Food Zoomer tests are definitely worth it.

Do you want some help with figuring out what is triggering your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance?

You can schedule a case review by clicking the button below.

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In the meantime, I’ve really been missing popcorn. Especially on movie nights. I tried subbing chopped apples with a little salt on top for a sweet, crunchy snack. It’s pretty good. And apples are histamine lowering. But it isn’t popcorn. If you are a popcorn lover…you know what I mean.

So what to do??? Well, I started looking into sorghum recently. And here are some of the things I found out. Let’s start with the health benefits.

Health benefits of Sorghum for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Sorghum is the 5th most common grain in the world. It is commonly used in Africa, Asia, and Central America. Sorghum is also a low lectin grain. It is one of the very few low lectin grain options. This is a plus in my book, already.

I was even more excited when I started looking up health benefits of sorghum. This study showed that white sorghum reduces IgE production, which is involved in significant allergic reactions. A different study on sorghum flour showed it helped manage inflammation and weight in overweight rats.

Black sorghum is a little harder to find. But is worth it because it is loaded in antioxidants. A study on black sorghum demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity, particularly on 2 mast cell mediators: pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α. Another study on black sorghum showed significant antioxidant activity.

The bottom line: any form of sorghum may have good health benefits for those with mast cell issues. And black sorghum has even more anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties!

Want some help calming down your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance?

Schedule a Case review here: 

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The low down on Oxalate Levels of Sorghum for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

If you haven’t heard of oxalates yet, here is a little info for you. Oxalates are in many types of plants. They look like tiny razor blades under a microscope. Oxalates are made by plants to protect themselves. Some foods are much higher in oxalates than others. For example, spinach, sweet potatoes, beets, and most nuts and grains are high oxalate.

Why does this matter if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance? Oxalates can lead to a lot of mast cell degranulation. They can also cause muscle pain, urinary pain and burning, joint pain, and other issues in those who are sensitive.

You can read more about Oxalates in this post:
Do you need to worry about Oxalates and Lectins with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance?

The Oxalate Levels in Sorghum varies, depending on what kind of Sorghum you are using and how much

Here are some examples:

Medium Oxalate:

  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum flour
  • ½ cup Authentic Foods superfine sorghum flour
  • ½ cup Sorghum grains cooked overnight

Very High Oxalate:

  • ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum flour
  • ½ cup Sweet White Sorghum berries, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed

So, you can see the oxalate content depends even on which brand of flour you use. For sorghum flour, Authentic Foods brand tested lower than Bob’s Red Mill.

How about oxalate levels in Popped Sorghum? We just don’t know because it hasn’t been tested yet. I recommend if you don’t have serious oxalate issues, limiting popped sorghum to ¼ cup the first time and see how you do. If you are ok the next day, then you might try ½ cup max.

Another trick: think about oxalates like a bucket, just like we think about histamines working like a bucket metaphor. If you’ve eaten other high oxalate foods that day, you won’t have as much room in your oxalate bucket for popped sorghum. So, only enjoy lower oxalate foods when you are having popped sorghum.

It can be a little hard to limit how much popped sorghum you eat if you are used to eating several cups of popcorn. But just measure it into a bowl and eat it slowly savoring every bite. Maybe mix in some chopped apples to slow yourself down.

Do you have major oxalate issues? If so, I would wait until your oxalate issues are improved before enjoying in popped sorghum.

The Absolute Best Low Histamine, Low Lectin, Popcorn Alternative: Popped Sorghum Recipe for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

I felt a little deprived after I stopped eating popcorn. But I just landed on my all-time favorite. Oh my gosh, popped sorghum is so good! And I don’t know why I didn’t try it sooner.

I’ve been reading for a while about popped sorghum. But it seemed difficult to do. And I didn’t think it would taste much like popcorn. I was so wrong! If you like popcorn, this is definitely worth a try.

Popped sorghum is fairly easy to make. Below is a recipe you can try. But make sure you follow this 1 important trick…

The Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Popping Lew Lectin Sorghum

I tried a different sorghum brands and popping methods while researching this post. I ended up with a lot burned sorghum while experimenting for this post. But not to worry, I perfected the technique of popping sorghum. And I’m sharing my all my popped sorghum secrets with you below!

One of the most important things I found out is that not all sorghum will pop! Shiloh Farm’s sorghum definitely didn’t pop – I think it is made for cooking and not popping.

(Some links in this website 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 help support the newsletter, website, and ongoing research so I can continue to offer you free tips, recipes, and info. Thank you for your support!)

Nature Nate’s and Bob’s Red Mill sorghum grain popped well. These are the one’s I recommend you try. I noticed Nature Nate’s and Bob’s Red Mill sorghum is more round. While Shiloh Farm’s sorghum is more flat. I think they are different varieties.

Also, you want to know that with sorghum, you will have 1/3 of the grains that don’t pop. That’s ok. It is just the way it goes with popping sorghum. It won’t pop as much as popcorn. You can eat the unpopped grains. Just make sure to chew them really well.

Last tip: Popped sorghum is small. About ¼ the size of popcorn. But it still tastes awesome.

I like Nature Nate’s Organic Popping Sorghum the best because it is Organic and Non-GMO. 

(Remember, even though sorghum is a low histamine food, people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance can react to even low histamine foods for various reasons. If you’ve never had sorghum before, try just a bite or two first to make sure you tolerate it. If you don’t notice any reactions after 2 days, then you might experiment with ¼ cup, popped.)

So let’s get on to the recipe!

Low Lectin Popped Sorghum Recipe for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

I played with different methods of making popped sorghum. I found that the Stovetop method is a little tricky to get the heat just right. But it worked pretty well. The Popcorn Popper (NOT air popper) method was the most reliable. I used a West Bend StirCrazy Popper.

The Microwave method was also easy. But it is even trickier to get the heat right without burning. And I don’t like being in the kitchen when the microwave is running because of the EMFs that can cause problems in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance. EMFs are Electromagnetic Fields from microwaves, cell phones, cordless phones, computers, WIFI routers, etc.

I don’t have an air popper. I’ve read online that use can use an air popper for sorghum. But I don’t have the technique down for that one yet.

So if you want to experiment, you can try all 3 methods. If you want the easiest method, get a Popcorn Popper with a flat stirring rod like WestBend Stir Crazy and let it do most of the work.

Popcorn Popper Method – Easiest Method:

Tips: Just do ¼ cup at a time for best popping. Don’t heat butter or extra virgin olive oil in the popper for this method. They will burn and turn rancid.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat ghee or avocado oil in popcorn popper like the WestBend Stir Crazy until hot.
  2. Add Nature Nate’s Organic Popping Sorghum.
  3. Swirl the sorghum in the popper to coat grains with ghee or avocado oil. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands in case the hot oil or grains come out of the pan.
  4. Cover the popper. Continue cooking shaking the popper every 30 seconds or so. This step is key with popping sorghum so it doesn’t burn. Make sure to really shake it well.
  5. Continue cooking until popping slows to 1 or 2 pops every 3-4 seconds. Note: Up to 1/3 of the grains may not pop, so don’t let it burn.
  6. Then remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and let cool slightly. You can also top with melted ghee, grass fed butter, extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil, if desired.
  7. You can eat the unpopped grains or pick them out – whichever is your preference.
  8. Remember: Don’t over consume if you have oxalate issues

Stovetop Method:

Tips: Just do ¼ cup at a time for best popping. No oil is used for this method.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup popping sorghum (I recommend Nature Nate’s Organic Sorghum)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine, unrefined sea salt
  • Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Avocado Oil for topping (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot – 1 to 2 minutes, depending on if you have gas or electric burners. If you flick a couple drops of water on the surface of the pan, it should sizzle. Don’t wait too long or it will be too hot and burn.
  2. Add Nature Nate’s Organic Popping Sorghum.
  3. Cover the pan. Continue cooking over medium heat, shaking the pan really well every 30 seconds or so.
  4. Continue cooking until popping slows to 1 or 2 pops every 3-4 seconds. Note: Up to ½ the grains may not pop, so don’t let it burn.
  1. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and let cool slightly.
  2. You can also top with melted ghee, grass fed butter, extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil, if desired.
  3. You can eat the unpopped grains or pick them out – whichever is your preference.
  4. Remember: Don’t over consume if you have oxalate issues!

Microwave Method:

This is my least favorite method because of the EMF exposure. EMFs can cause major issues in Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance. I do occasionally use a microwave for heating my frozen leftovers. But I always leave the room when the microwave is running.

Apparently my microwave is really strong. The first time I tried this method, it burned the sorghum so badly I had to open the windows! I only ran the microwave for 2 minutes. So you might try 1 minute at first. And then build the time from there if needed. That way you can perfect the amount of time you need without being accused of trying to burn the kitchen down!

You will need:

1 brown paper bag – lunch sack size.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup popping sorghum (I recommend Nature Nate’s Organic Sorghum)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine, unrefined sea salt

Directions

  1. Add Nature Nate’s Organic Popping Sorghum to paper bag. Fold the end of the bag over 2 times, about 1 inch for each fold.
  2. Put in the microwave for 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes on medium. Continue cooking until popping slows to 1 or 2 pops every 3-4 seconds. (I strongly recommend you be out of the room while a microwave is running. This does make it hard to stop the microwave at the right time.)
  3. Then remove from microwave. Sprinkle with salt and let cool slightly.
  4. You can also top with melted ghee, grass fed butter, extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil, if desired.
  5. You can eat the unpopped grains or pick them out – whichever is your preference.
  6. Remember: Don’t over consume if you have oxalate issues!

Need an on-the-go Low Lectin option for popped sorghum?

If your Histamine Bucket is lower, you may be able to enjoy pre-popped Sorghum on occasion. Just keep an eye on your histamine levels. 

There are a few Pre-Popped Sorghum options available. Many use extra-virgin olive oil. The problem is Extra-Virgin Olive Oil becomes inflammatory when heated. It really should just be used for very low heat cooking or added on after cooking. Others use refined Avocado Oil or refined Coconut Oil – those refined oils aren’t good for you.

For healthy, higher heat cooking, you want to stick with:

  • Grass fed ghee
  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The good news is I found 1 really good Popped Sorghum product on Amazon. It is made with organic sorghum, organic ghee, and Himalayan Sea Salt. This is the only already popped sorghum I can recommend at this time:
Nature Nate’s Popped Sorghum Organic Ghee Butter

I would pair pre-popped Sorghum with histamine lowering foods like in this post to keep your histamine bucket low:
How to do a Low Histamine Diet for Histamine Intolerance and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Part 2: What to Eat

Are you just starting on lowering your histamine levels? If so, then I’d wait to enjoy any packaged foods until you have more room in your histamine bucket. Keep this option saved to try down the road and use the recipe above to pop your own sorghum fresh.

You can get more Low Histamine meal and snack ideas here in this post:
14 Healthy Low Histamine Meal Ideas for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance + Dessert Options! (Also Low Lectin, Low Oxalate)

Need help with figuring out what is triggering your Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance?

You can schedule a case review by clicking the button below.

Schedule Case Review including your Mast Cell 360 Root Cause Analysis

References on Sorghum for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Anthocyanins from black sorghum and their antioxidant properties

Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Select Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Brans

Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] Genotypes with Contrasting Polyphenol Compositions Differentially Modulate Inflammatory Cytokines in Mouse Macrophages

 Extruded sorghum flour (Sorghum bicolor L.) modulate adiposity and inflammation in high fat diet-induced obese rats

White Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) Bran Extracts Suppressed IgE Production by U266 Cells

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