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A collage of histamine foods

Some foods are naturally high in histamines; others — like cured and smoked foods — produce them as they’re prepared. Functional physician Gregory Plotnikoff, MD, created this “rough guide” to histamine foods, though he emphasizes the great variability in how people react to individual items. If you suspect histamines are causing allergy-like symptoms, keep an eye on your reaction to the following.

Histamine-Releasing Foods

  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Black and green tea
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Eggplant
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Olives and pickles
  • Some fruits, including citrus, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, and dried fruits

Histamine-Rich Foods

  • Leftovers, especially leftover meats
  • Aged cheeses
  • Fermented foods, including yogurt, sauerkraut, soy sauce, kefir, kombucha, and others
  • Fish, especially fish that is not extremely fresh
  • Cured meats, including bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats, sausages, hot dogs, and others
  • Tomatoes, including ketchup
  • Chocolate

DAO-Blocking Foods

  • Alcohol
  • Energy drinks
  • Tea, including black, green, and mate

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