Are you experiencing a lot of unexplained headaches recently? Does your face puff up or do your eyes get red and swollen for no reason at all? Do you also experience heart palpitations, or get an itchy tongue after you have consumed foods like bananas, eggplant or avocados? This must be the reason for high histamine in your body, otherwise known as “histamine intolerance“. In such cases, it is vital to have specific foods that does not trigger further problems. So, here is the best list of low histamine foods. But before, here is a quick introduction.
What Is Histamine?
Histamine is a chemical that is a neurotransmitter, which is responsible for communicating messages from your body to your brain. It also involves in the functioning of the central nervous system, digestion, and the immune system. It also forms the component of the stomach acid, which helps majorly in the digestion process.
Histamine is connected to the immune system on a major level. It is like the red flag of the immune system. It’s role in the body is to cause an immediate inflammatory response. It is like telling the white blood cells of an attack of foreign bodies.
The job of the histamine is to:
- Dilate the blood vessels or
- make them swell up so that the white blood cells can find a way and easily attack the foreign bodies.
But when there is too much histamine in the body, it leads to headaches often and you end up miserable and itchy. Though this is a part of how the body reacts, it is required that the histamine is broken down properly. If this does not happen, then it can lead to various problems which can affect the lungs, brain, cardiovascular parts, skin etc.
This maybe the reason why & when you would have had this before, you would have felt better with allergy relieving medications.
Symptoms of Histamine
- Difficulty sleeping
- Abdominal Cramps
- Headaches or Migraines
- Vomiting or Nausea
- Difficulty in regulating your body temperature
- Nasal Congestion
- Difficulty in breathing
- Accelerated Heartbeat
- Abnormal menstrual Cycle
- Swelling in the tissues
The tolerance level of each person depends on their genetics. Various physical abnormalities, or hormonal imbalances especially in women, like irregular menstrual cycles, menopause can also be the reason for low levels of intolerance.
How Is Histamine Broken Down?
After the histamine is formed in the body, it is either stored or broken down by some particular chemical. Sometimes, the histamine is stored in the central nervous system. This will be broken down by an enzyme called histamine N-methyltransferase (HMT). It is otherwise stored in the digestive tract, where it is broken down by a compound called diamine oxidase (DAO). Though both are essential, diamine oxidase (DAO), is majorly responsible for the breakdown of histamine. In case you have DAO deficiency, this might also lead you to have Histamine Intolerance.
Causes Of Histamine Intolerance
The main cause is the improper breakdown of the histamine which is stored. There are two compounds that are responsible for the breakdown of histamine. The histamine N-methyl transferase and the diamine oxidase (DAO) enzymes. But the major part of the breakdown process is carried out by the diamine oxidase (DAO). So if there is a deficiency of this enzyme, your histamine intolerance will be low.
There is a list of low histamine foods that you can include in your diet. You can also look at how to increase the diamine oxidase (DAO) in your body which may help your histamine tolerance to rise. You can maybe have a food diary, where you can note down which foods are not suitable for you. This might help you notice a pattern, and it will also be useful when your doctor sees you. It might help him understand what kind of foods suit you better. It is better to always choose foods that you know is safe for you, rather than trying out new ones each time.
Stay safe, be in good health!