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Histamine Food List: The Best Low and High Histamine Foods

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Histamine intolerance means your body isn’t breaking down histamines fast enough, and it may be possible to lessen those effects by avoiding foods that trigger histamine responses.

While there are some broad categories of foods to avoid, such as fermented and processed foods, there is no golden rule for knowing what is and isn’t low histamine — you just have to reference a list and/or work with a nutritionist to create a diet plan that works for your body.

What are histamines and low-histamine diets?

Histamines are little proteins in our bodies that carry chemical messages. They’re the things that tell you to sneeze, your eyes to water, or your cheeks to get red, and they are part of your defenses against allergies [*]. You may have heard of antihistamines. Those drugs help block histamine messages.

Sometimes, when we have poor gut health or other issues, our bodies can’t rid ourselves of histamines fast enough, creating a state of chronic inflammation. This is what low-histamine diets are designed to help. By lowering foods that create histamine responses, we can reduce inflammation and feel better.

Histamine diets are related to a broader trend in diets known as elimination diets. These diets champion an analysis of how your unique body responds to certain foods.

Because we all have our own triggers, allergies, and bodily responses to foods, carefully cutting out certain foods under the direction of a nutritional professional can give us valuable insights into our own health. These are often structured by doing 3-4 weeks of eating a restricted diet and then reintroducing foods one at a time while recording how you feel in a food journal.

General tips for choosing low-histamine foods

Accurate analysis of histamines in food is impossible, but we do have a broad range of high to low we can experiment with [*]. While unprocessed and fresh foods tend to be lower-histamine, that rule is not an absolute.

In general, high-histamine foods tend to be fermented, soured, dried, aged, or processed. Before we dig into our specific list, here are a few guidelines:

  • Eat fresh, unprocessed foods. Preservatives, additives, and other fillers can increase histamine responses. Aim for simple ingredients from high-quality sources.
  • Eat your fresh food as soon as possible. The longer meat, fish, and other food sit out and age, the higher their histamine response becomes. Eat things quickly, avoid aged products, and only buy what you need!
  • Avoid fermented foods and drinks. Fermented foods across the board are a no-go. Skip the kombucha, pickles, kimchi, and so on.
  • Always read your labels. The shorter the list, the better. Plus, high-histamine foods can hide in foods you thought were low-histamine.
  • Skip dried foods. Dried foods, similar to fermented foods, are a method of preparation that increases histamine response.
  • Be able to name every ingredient you eat. If you don’t know what you’re eating, skip it!
  • Boil instead of grilling and frying. There is evidence that frying or grilling foods may increase histamine levels, while boiling could reduce them [*].

Low-histamine foods

Remember that you should only conduct strict elimination diets under the eye of a professional to ensure you do not accidentally eliminate critical vitamins and minerals.

The following is a list of foods that are typically low in histamine – this is not an exhaustive list, the science is ongoing and creates conflicting opinions about the histamine levels of some of these foods, and your response to these foods will depend on your individual tolerance level — but this is still a great starting point!

Here’s what you can start eating on your low-histamine diet:

Low-histamine fruits

  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Blackberries
  • Apples
  • Mangos
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon

Low-histamine vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Tapioca
  • Artichokes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Parsnips
  • Watercress

Low-histamine meat and fish

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Beef
  • Bison
  • Lamb
  • Cod
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Redfish
  • Zander

Note: We really explored low-histamine meat and fish in an earlier post!

Low-histamine dairy

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Cream cheese
  • Mascarpone
  • Mozzarella
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Other fresh cheeses
  • Pasteurized milk

Low-histamine grains

  • Corn
  • White rice
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa

Low-histamine seeds and nuts

  • Almonds
  • Pili nuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chestnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hazel nuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Macadamia
  • Pecans

Low-histamine drinks

  • Water
  • Apple juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Other non-citrus fruit juices
  • Herbal tea
  • Nut-based milk

Low-histamine seasonings and oils

  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Other dried herbs
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt

High-histamine foods

And here are the high histamine foods to avoid/monitor on your diet:

High-histamine fruits

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pineapples
  • Dried dates
  • Avocados
  • Papaya
  • Tomatoes
  • Dried fruits in general
  • Chocolate
  • Kiwi

Note: While foods like chocolate and kiwi aren’t necessarily high in histamines, they have other chemicals that promote the release of existing histamines into the bloodstream. These are known as histamine liberators. Other drinks such as energy drinks and alcohol block the enzyme responsible for breaking down histamines. The point? Even if something is low in histamine, it could be creating responses that feel like high-histamine foods.

High-histamine vegetables

  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Spinach
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Green beans
  • Anything pickled like sauerkraut or kimchi
  • All other legumes including peas and soybeans

High-histamine meat and fish

  • Beef jerky
  • Hot dogs
  • Ham
  • Aged meat
  • Dried meat
  • Sausages
  • Deli meats
  • Bacon
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Shellfish
  • Anchovies
  • Liver
  • All smoked meats and fish
  • All canned meats and fish

High-histamine dairy

  • Hard cheeses like parmesan and romano
  • Stinky cheeses like limburger
  • Blue cheeses and any others aged with bacteria
  • Yogurt
  • Keifer
  • Eggs in large amounts
  • Processed cheese

High-histamine grains

  • Bleached wheat flour
  • Fermented breads like sourdough
  • Products with barley malt

High-histamine nuts and seeds

  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts

High-histamine drinks

  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Other citrus juices
  • Coffee
  • Kombucha
  • Beer
  • Red wine
  • White wine
  • Liquor
  • Black tea
  • Lemon water
  • Lime water

High-histamine seasonings and oils

  • Vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Chili crisp
  • Processed oils

A sample low-histamine food plan for 1 week

Eating a low-histamine diet can be a bit overwhelming, so here’s a week’s worth of food ideas to help get things going. We kept it simple


  • Breakfast: Poached eggs and asparagus
  • Lunch: Chicken tenderloins and sauteed onions with cucumber salad
  • Dinner: Roasted salmon with broccoli and carrots


  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and sweet potato hash
  • Lunch: Cauliflower with leftover salmon and asparagus
  • Dinner: Chicken breast, broccoli, and brown rice


  • Breakfast: Oats with blueberries and chia seeds
  • Lunch: Chicken and rice noodle soup (make your own broth)
  • Dinner: Roasted trout and parsnips


  • Breakfast: No Yeast Bread and salted butter with an apple
  • Lunch: Blackberries, unsalted pecans, and cottage cheese
  • Dinner: Roasted zucchini with ricotta and roast lamb


  • Breakfast: Eggs with homemade sweet potato bread and onions
  • Lunch: Roasted squash, beets, and turkey
  • Dinner: Mashed cauliflower, cod, and watercress apple salad


  • Breakfast: Three egg ricotta omelet
  • Lunch: Sliced cucumbers, pecans, and chicken breast
  • Dinner: Carrots, white rice, and fresh steak


  • Breakfast: Zucchini bread
  • Lunch: Homemade rice bread and chicken sandwich
  • Dinner: Coconut “curry” with chicken and veggies

The bottom line on eating a low histamine diet

Eating low histamine is an intense elimination diet that should be conducted under professional supervision to avoid malnutrition. It is also helpful to have accountability and a second party as you reintroduce foods you cut out to test your body’s response to them. Some people report amazing results from lowering histamines, others don’t notice a difference. Only you can find out!

Eating unprocessed, unaged, and fresh food is a good start to eating low-histamine foods. If your shopping cart is mostly full from the fresh vegetables and fruits section, you are on the right track. Not all fresh foods are fair game as we covered, though!

Try the best low-histamine meat money can buy

Grass-fed and grass-finished meat is the only type of meat you can trust to not have added antibiotics and irritants. Plus, it tastes better! We work exclusively with farmers who care about what they’re making and turn their back on the industrial practices that have ruined so much of this industry and its heritage.

So if you’re serious about trying to eat a low histamine diet, pick up some grass-fed and grass-finished bison or lamb (we age our beef) so you know your elimination diet’s results are clean.


Nathan PhelpsNathan Phelps

Nathan Phelps owns and writes for Crafted Copy, a boutique copywriting shop that finds the perfect words for interesting products. He is also an ethical foodie, outdoors-aficionado, and hails from Nashville, TN. He splits his time between helping sustainable businesses find new customers and managing his ever-increasing list of hobbies, which include playing guitar, baking bread, and creating board games.