The best natural antihistamines
21. July 2017
In recent years, I focused intensely on educating myself about nutrition, especially since I was diagnosed histamine intolerant. I get a lot of questions on Instagram how I´ve managed to incorporate foods with higher histamine levels into my diet.It´s been a long journey with lots of trail and error as I learned to listen to my body more carefully and include natural antihistamines into my meals. Especially the last point can be very helpful when it comes to compatibility.
There are certain nutrients and methods that can help the body reduce, lower or delay the release of histamine and boost the immune system. The more often we incorporate them into our meals and our lives, the easier it is to keep our histamine levels low. In this post I´ve put together what in my opinion are the most important natural antihistamines, and in sticking with the tradition to safe the best for last, you can find my personal favorites at the end. If you have additions or your own experiences, please let me know in the comments.
An important antioxidant that can alleviate allergy symptoms, has a histamine lowering effect and helps boost the immune system is the all mighty vitamin C. It supports the enzyme DAO (diamine oxidase) in the destruction of histamine. Everyone knows about the positive effect of vitamin C especially when you get a cold, but also with food intolerances it´s important to make sure your getting lots of this vitamin.
The best-known sources are citrus fruits, which aren´t tolerated well with a histamine intolerance. Better are:
Red bell pepper
Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme for the synthesis of DAO and has to be present in sufficient quantity to counteract DAO deficiency and to ensure optimal histamine destruction. It also strengthens the immune system and nerves. In case of the supply only with plant based foods, you have to consider that vitamin B6 is present there in a bound form and can´t be absorbed so easy from the body.
Good sources for vitamin B6 are:
Green leaf vegetables
Quercentin belongs to the group of bioflavonoids and is one of the most effective natural antihistamines. It reduces the secretion of histamine, accelerates the destruction and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is contained in a lot of foods, but these are partly very rich in histamine.
Nevertheless, there are some possibilities for a good supply with low histamine variants:
Green leaf vegetables
Zinc can curb the histamine release of the mast cells, increase the sensitivity threshold, strengthen the immune system and appeals as a natural antihistamine. I suffered from a zinc deficiency a time ago, which has increased the susceptibility to allergic reactions. Especially in the vegan diet it is important to pay attention to the supply, since the plant zinc can´t be absorbed not so well from the body. In combination with a histamine intolerance it becomes more difficult because good sources such as soy products and most legumes are not always well tolerated.
Low histamine foods that containing larger amounts of zinc are:
Whole grains especially oats
Green leaf vegetables
Water (lots of water!)
We know that drinking a lot is important. With a histamine intolerance it is even more important. Histamine is water soluble and can be better degraded in the body by sufficient drinking. The opposite results in an increased distribution and the producing cells would be encouraged again. So make sure you drink at least 35 ml of still water per kilogram bodyweight a day. It also helps me a little to drink during my meals.
Relaxation and Meditation
A histamine reaction is not only triggered and amplified by diet, but also by a variety of other factors like sleep deficiency, exertion, cold, heat and stress. I personally respond to all of these factors especially to stress and I recognize every time that I feel much worse when I do to much or don´t listen to my body.
During a 5 week stay in India, I began to integrate meditation into my life and intensified my awareness of relaxation. It´s not always possible in normal everyday life, but it is very important for us allergy sufferer to remain in balance.
It is scientifically proven that meditation and gentle yoga can reduce histamine levels in the body, when practiced regularly. So definitely a reason to start today!
My favorite recommendations
Coriander – stabilizes the mast cells
Black cumin (seeds and oil) – increases the immune defense and helps against allergic reactions
Turmeric – is anti-inflammatory, stabilizes mast cells and reduces histamine release
Sweet potato – contains a lot of quercentin and has an anti-inflammatory effect
Pomegranate – anti-inflammatory and lowers histamine levels
Blueberries – contain histamine-lowering quercentin
I hope you could take some helpful information with you and please send me a message about your experiences if you like.
Note: the information given here are based on my personal experiences and I don´t guarantee the effect on other people. Please consult your doctor before implementing any new foods into your diet.