How To Reintroduce Nutritious Higher Histamine Foods

February 5, 2015  |  Blog, Histamine Intolerance

I find one of the most widely misunderstood areas with histamine intolerance is how to reintroduce nutritious higher histamine foods. Here are some common misunderstandings and how to reintroduce nutritious higher histamine foods:

Elimination Diet

Elimination diets are a diagnostic tool not a life sentence. A low histamine elimination diets should only be done for 2 – 4 weeks to confirm a food intolerance. Then the aim is to keep as many nutritious foods in your diet with as high a variety of foods as possible. It is not to only eat only low histamine foods as this is not an allergy it is a threshold issue.

Nutritious Foods

If a food is nutritious it is not necessarily tolerated. If a food is not tolerated it is not nutritious to you. The aim is not to eat nutritious food despite a reaction and hope it some how heals us. The aim is to eat nutritious food to you to support your body to heal itself.

Starvation

It is not necessary to starve yourself to tolerate new foods. This is not how we eat foods and it is not kind on our bodies. Starvation itself puts our body under stress and causes it to release histamines. We need to introduce new foods as part of our overall diet.

Breadth of Diet

The body needs a broad range of foods to be healthy and retain our tolerance. One of the biggest misunderstandings is to rely on a handful of “safe” foods, which can see those handful of foods eaten in high quantities, to the point that sensitivity to even the safe foods is lost. A rotation diet is particularly helpful to keep foods in our diet.

Sensitivity

Histamine intolerance is also a sensitivity issue. So when foods are re-introduced, we need to go small, be kind and gentle with our bodies, and build the food into our diet slowly. When I say slow I mean really slow.

If you do not have my low histamine food list then you can download it for free. Using this list, to determine your sensitivity on that scale, you can reintroduce foods using the following as a guide.

Amounts to Eat 

Week Mildly Sensitive Moderately Sensitive Very sensitive Highly sensitive*
1 & 2 1 serve* daily ½ serve* every 3rd day 1 tsp every 3rd day ¼ tsp once a week
3 & 4 2 serves* daily ½ serve* every 2nd day 1 tsp every 2nd day ¼ tsp twice a week
5 & 6 3 serves* daily ½ serve* daily 1 tsp daily ¼ tsp every 2nd day
7 & 8 3-5 serves* daily 1 serve* daily 2 tsp daily ¼ tsp daily
9 & 10 3-5 moderates or
1 high daily
2 serves* daily 1 Tabs daily ½ tsp daily

The Threshold

Histamine intolerance is first and foremost a threshold issue. Most histamine sensitive people are able to tolerate:

  • Any amount of low histamine foods,
  • 1 serve (1/2 cup) daily of a MODERATE histamine foods or 1/10 serve of a HIGH food daily, and
  • VERY HIGH histamine foods are tolerated rarely (if at all).

This is also why it is always advisable to start at around 1/10th of a normal dose of supplements and work your way up to the full dosage.

Minor Reactions

Minor reactions do not necessarily mean that you have reached your threshold. Often reactions settle with time and it is safe to just continue with that threshold level.

It is important to know your body and know what its minor and a major reactions are like. My minor reaction is mostly arousal. My major reactions are unmistakably major!

Cumulative Reactions

Histamine as a threshold issue can be cumulative. You may only begin to react adversely after several days of exceeding your threshold and a rotation diet can also be helpful to keep more foods in your diet. If there are no adverse effects after 2 weeks at a particular threshold then go onto the next level.

Definitive Reaction

If you get a definitive reaction return to the previous level for a few more weeks. Often you do not need to go back to a low histamine list.

Highly Sensitive

Start with ¼ teaspoon of the moderate histamine food once per week. If you are unable to tolerate this amount, enjoy feeling well at this lower level, and wait a few months and try a small amount again.

Medical Condition

I believe it is also important to rule out other medical conditions prior to commencing an elimination diet  If you cannot eat more than a handful of foods and cannot introduce new foods then it is important to obtain medical advice. It is my experience that this is caused by an underlying treatable medical condition.

My Experience

Prior to getting really sick, following a CT Scan, and adverse drug reactions, my life-long tolerance was fairly much around the moderate/high level.  I could rarely if ever tolerate very high foods.

When I was put on medication, my threshold went through the floor, and now it has risen to being high again. It is absolutely possible to recover your tolerance of foods.  The key in my opinion is to listen to your body and work to find out what is the cause.

Enjoyed This Post?
Sign up for Monthly Updates. Its FREE!
Print This Post Print This Post

  • Becky

    On your histamine intolerance food list, you have four categories: low, medium, high, and very high histamines. Do these equate with your mildly, moderately, very, and highly sensitive levels? Also, is it fine to reintroduce multiple foods at a time as long as they are done so in the portions recommended? Per my doctor’s orders, I have been on the elimination diet for three months (too long! I have stopped seeing her; she was doing so many things wrong), and I have to get variety in my diet. She has had me following this list, http://www.mastzellaktivierung.info/downloads/foodlist/21_FoodList_EN_alphabetic_withCateg.pdf, and though I tolerated it well and symptoms cleared early on, I believe I am developing sensitivities to some of these foods. It’s list of lows to highs is so different from yours.

    • Hi Becky yes three months is too long to be on an elimination diet. The aim of an elimination diet is to find a baseline and then start challenging to thresshold. I reintroduce foods one at at time initially to get the rate of introduction and once we understand what the body will tolerate then in portion sizes by category of foods. In my experience if you are getting increased sensitivity to foods then it can be due to 1) loss of minerals (derived from our diet and integral to the function of the cells – so I pick this up on either a hair mineral analysis or spectra-cell test) or 2) some other health condition e.g. h. pylouri, SIBO etc that can cause widespread issues. I hope that helps.

  • Becky

    Very helpful, thank you. One more question. How many days do you wait to introduce the next food?