Hayfever and Histamines

June 26, 2017

food

I suffer from hayfever and it kills me for 4-5 months of the year. It's got to the stage where my current max dosage of fexofenadine isn't enough. One of the best suggestions is a change in diet. Easier said than done, right? But before I give you the list, here are what histamines are and what they do:

Histamines are neurotransmitters that can cause inflammatory responses when your immune system feels an imminent attack. As you may know, histamine can cause swelling in your blood vessels, allowing for white blood cells to find and attack the source in your body. This can lead to headaches, a flushed feeling, itchiness and miserable. Sound familiar?

If you want to keep the symptoms down, try cutting down or cutting out the following histamine-rich foods:

  • Fermented alcoholic beverages: beer, wine (including champagne), cider, mead, and sake
  • Fermented foods and sauces: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, and yogurt
  • Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats, and hot dogs
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Most citrus fruits
  • Aged cheese including goat cheese
  • Nuts: walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
  • Vegetables: avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Smoked fish and certain species of fish: mackerel, tuna, anchovies, and sardines

There are also these foods and rinks that can release histamines:

  • bananas
  • cow's milk and products containing cow's milk
  • strawberries
  • wheatgerm

Now, I'm not a doctor and don't profess to be one so consulting your doctor would be the best solution. All diets are different and some foods are more important for your health than others so always check with a professional first. This is merely a list of foods for consideration. There are foods that can help reduce the symptoms due to their lower levels of histamines:

  • green herbs
  • apples
  • cucumbers
  • fresh meat and fish
  • fresh fruit and veg (not on the lists above)
  • grains like rice, yeast free bread, oats
  • gluten-free pasta
  • milk substitutes – coconut milk, rice milk, and almond milk
  • herbal teas – except green tea

It's also worth mentioning to avoid ready meals and foods containing preservatives. In a nutshell (but not literally of course), fresh food cooked from scratch is your best bet to avoid histamines. Again, easier said than done in this day and age but it can really help you cope through a tough season. You don't want to stay indoors all summer, right?

(Information obtained from mindbodygreen and Histamine Intolerance. To reiterate, always consult a medical professional before undertaking changes in diet and take particular care of other allergies you may have.)