Allergy-Prone? Foods to Avoid

by on March 5th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Spring weather has hit parts of the US already, and if you’re sensitive to pollen and other allergens, your eyes and sinuses may already be feeling the change in season and responding with unpleasant watering, itching, and sneezing.  However, for people sensitive to food allergies, “season” could be any time you indulge in certain foods.

Some foods are known histamine triggers, which cause the body to go into allergy-mode, producing antibodies to fight the “invader”. According to the British Allergy Foundation, some people have a higher intolerance to histamine due to lower production of diamine oxidase. Side effects can include coughing, diarrhea, headache, rash, wheezing, hives and itchy skin. While not everyone is affected to the same degree, if you notice symptoms after eating the following foods, you may want to cut back and see if you feel better.

NOTE: In extreme cases, food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions. Seek immediate medical care in situations where there is constriction of airways or other violent allergic reactions.


Mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna have been identified by researchers from the University of Bonn as containing high levels of histamine, according to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Meat & Cheese

Fermentation tends to be bad news, according to the Michigan Allergy, Sinus and Asthma Specialists (MASAS). Limit intake of pepperoni, bologna, salami, sausage, ham, hot dogs, deli meats and cheeses like parmesan, gouda, cheddar, swiss and brie.

Alcoholic Beverages

While all alcohol has histamine, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes fermented varieties such as beer, ale and wine contain some of the highest levels.

Fruits & Veggies

Unfortunately, even fresh produce can be off limits (or restricted) to those sensitive to histamine. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges and veggies like tomatoes are naturally high in histamine. Be especially watchful of pickled and preserved varieties as well, such as pickles and olives, according to the British Allergy Foundation.

Dairy Products

Again, fermentation is a key term here and foods that are processed in this way should be avoided, including flavored milk, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk and other fermented milk products (such as cheeses mentioned above).

AllergiClearHelps keep histamine levels in the normal range for optimal respiratory health


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