Health Topics

Foods High in Histamine

What is Histamine?

Histamine is a substance your cells produce to help your immune system respond to allergy triggers. 

Histamine is a chemical your body naturally makes and that’s present in some foods. Certain foods that are high in histamine or that cause your body to release histamine can give you an upset stomach, headache or allergy symptoms.

What Foods are High in Histamine?


  • All alcoholic beverages, especially red wine, are high in histamine

Fermented foods

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso


  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Salami
  • Pre-packaged minced meat
  • Pork


  • Mackerel 
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Herring


  • Aged cheeses 
  • Yogurt


  • Eggplant
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Tropical fruits

  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Papaya
  • Citrus fruits

Other foods

  • Chocolate
  • Peanuts
  • Egg whites

If the body can't break down the histamine in these foods, this could be a histamine intolerance. 

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance symptoms happen when your body can’t break down histamine. Histamine intolerance usually causes symptoms like headache, upset stomach or allergy-like symptoms after you eat certain foods.

What are the symptoms of histamine intolerance?

The symptoms of histamine intolerance are different from person to person. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Itching
  • Rash or hives
  • Flushing
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Irregular or fast heart rate (arrhythmia)
  • Painful periods (menstruation)
  • Swelling of your lips, tongue or throat

How Can You Treat Histamine Intolerance?

Treatment usually involves avoiding foods or beverages high in histamine that cause your body to release histamine. Stop eating any possible triggers for a few weeks. If you haven’t had symptoms during that time, start adding the foods back in one by one. You don't need to avoid all foods that are high in histamine - just the foods that give you a reaction. 

Speak to your physician if you are concerned about a histamine intolerance.