When it starts to become clear that histamine is troublesome for you, it can get overwhelming.
Looking up lists online? Figuring out which foods are tripping your symptoms?
It feels like a monumental task.
What about those gut supportive foods. You might be thinking, if histamine can sometimes be due to gut trouble, won't the gut-lovin foods be of benefit to me? How come I can't tolerate the bone broths, the fermented foods? And please don't tell me bacon or avocados have to go.
It can get seriously overwhelming.
So what are you supposed to do?
Start with these beginning tips today to not only reduce the overwhelm, but also work at reducing histamine coming in through those foods you bring to the table. It's a very good place to start.
STEP 1: EAT FRESH
The longer a food is from being alive and fresh, the higher the potential that histamine can develop.
For example, think of an apricot. If I make my way to an orchard mid-August, I can pick an apricot straight from the tree and revel in this low histamine fruit without any troubles. If I head to the store and purchase a dried apricot in the dead of winter and eat that, the histamine count will be sky high!
Further to this point, the higher the food is on the food chain, the faster it can develop histamine. When comparing a steak to a leek, the steak will have the potential of being higher in histamine.
Your to-do list:
buy local, seasonal produce or buy frozen
purchase meat, fish or seafood that is frozen right after butchering or catch
STEP 2: FREEZE LEFTOVERS
Now that you understand that the development of histamine increases the longer a food is away from being alive, they also tend to increase at a faster rate once foods are cooked.
How to beat this? Freeze any leftovers soon after making them.
Your to-do list:
freeze portions in individual sized containers soon after cooking
makes it easy to grab & go for meals down the road
This is a secret weapon in reducing the amount of histamine coming in to your system.
In the coming months, we'll be exploring here on the blog the concept that when histamine are troublesome, it's not the histamine themselves that are the issue but rather that you are having troubles clearing them out.
Your first steps to help reduce those woes are to do what you can to bring down the amount of histamine you are ingesting through foods. In the early stages of doing this work, freezing leftovers soon after the cooking time is one of those kitchen hacks to reduce histamine right away. Even if it means you'll be having that leftover stew for lunch tomorrow.
STEP 3: REPLACE THOSE HIGH HISTAMINE FOODS
Take a look at this list of foods:
chocolate (like the real deal chocolate – cacao)
fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt
What if I told you these foods can make histamine issues worse?
How many of these have been in regular rotation for you as of late?
Omitting them for a short time is a good first step, never meant to be a forever step.
Allow us to offer you low histamine alternatives for some of these for the short term.
spinach: choose chard, collards, kale, lettuce, and arugula
tomatoes: use cubed & boiled or roasted butternut squash in your recipes
citrus: choose mango, apple, pears and blueberries for fruit
bacon: try pork belly
bone broth: try meat stock
And hey, missing chocolate? Most cacao products are high histamine, save for cacao butter. Make sure to download our recipe book to access a low histamine White Hot Chocolate recipe – the star ingredient is cacao butter! Sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.
Know this: when histamine is an issue, it is different from one person to the next. It's important to read those cues your body is sending. Working with a good practitioner to help you decipher those cues is a solid place to start, in order to help you find your way out of what may very well feel like a deep, dark and long tunnel.
Omitting or replacing some of these higher offenders is only meant to be for a short time, while you work to reduce those histamine coming in. Doing the work to get at the root of possible histamine issues is a necessary piece of the puzzle, while putting in those foods that will help support + deeply nourish those organs and systems deeply impacted by histamine mediated woes.
Doing this work sets you up to move through your days with a bit more ease.