7 TIPS FOR A LOW DIET IN HISTAMINE (AND OTHER AMINES ...)
Before explaining how to make a histamine elimination diet, let’s clarify some concepts. Biogenic amines such as histamine, spermidine, cadaverine, putrescine, tyramine and tryptamine, are formed with the bacterial breakdown of proteins during the processes of maturation, fermentation, freezing, curing, or any other preservation process that extends the life of the product or food. So we must not only think of a diet that excludes foods that contain histamine but also those that may contain and generate other biogenic amines during storage as well.
There are many tables or listings published with foods that have more and less histamine and if you have investigated a little you will notice many differences between some listings or others. This is because it is very difficult to measure the amount of histamine in a particular food since the concentration depends on the degree of maturation, storage time or processing.
My recommendation is that you make this guideline or the one you choose and do not stress yourself trying to know with certainty which food you can go wrong, since you will not be able to reach a real conclusion and instead you will be activating another histamine increase route: the stress!
So, get the idea that it is practically impossible to exclude 100% amines from the diet, but we can reduce the amount ingested by following the following tips:
- Eliminate foods high in histamine and other biogenic amines for 4 weeks strictly. (See food table below).
- Ideally, keep a diary of symptoms to see how they change or reduce while doing the strict diet and also check if by gradually introducing foods high in histamine, the symptoms remain controlled or if they manifest again. This will allow you to measure your degree of tolerance to certain “trigger foods” and this information will help us guide dietary changes in the medium and long term.
- Eat fresh animal protein, that is, do not buy frozen or cured meats.
- Eat meat, fish and seafood with little freezing time, that is, you can buy fresh on the weekend, freeze if necessary and consume these foods in the next 5 days so that the conservation is short and does not increase excessively the content of amines.
- Studies indicate that cooking food reduces its concentration in histamine, for example, boiling spinach and discarding water can be good advice.
- Do not buy frozen vegetables such as those used in salads, soups, peas and others, not canned, fermented or in brine. Consume fresh and freshly made vegetables.
- Do not perform the diet indefinitely and either without the supervision of a qualified nutritionist since the exclusion of several foods contemplated in this diet, can cause significant nutritional deficits, as well as loss of bacterial diversity.
In short, you must regain the balance of the intestinal microbiota to return normal activity to the DAO enzyme and the HNMT enzyme to resolve histamine intolerance.
- Maintz L, Novak N, Histamine and histamine intolerance. Am J Clin Nutr.2007 May;85(5):1185-96.
- Mušič E, Korošec P, Šilar M, Adamič K, Košnik M, Rijavec M. Serum diamine oxidase activity as a diagnostic test for histamine intolerance. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2013 May;125(9-10):239-43. doi: 10.1007/s00508-013-0354-y. Epub 2013 Apr 12.
- Sònia Sánchez-Pérez ,Oriol Comas-Basté,Judit Rabell-González,M. Teresa Veciana-Nogués,M. Luz Latorre-Moratalla and M. Carmen Vidal-Carou,Biogenic Amines in Plant-Origin Foods: Are they Frequently Underestimated in Low-Histamine Diets? Foods 2018, 7(12), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7120205