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Histamine: what it is and what food to avoid in case of intolerance

Histamine: what it is and what food to avoid in case of intolerance

Let’s see what histamine is, how its intolerance works and which foods contain it.

People suffering from allergies definitely know histamine, that is produced by our body when it comes into contact with a substance which causes an allergic reaction. This substance is an allergen and can be a food, a plant or mites. When the histamine level rises, it causes an allergic reaction. Let’s see what it is and which foods contain it.

Histamine: what is it?

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Histamine is a chemical mediator that our body produces when it comes into contact with an allergen. Its goal is to warn the organism of the presence of something potentially dangerous. When the level of this substance is very high, there is an allergic reaction. A healthy person that has no allergies can perfectly manage its presence, thanks to DAO, the di-amine oxidase, which avoids its absorption.

How does the intolerance work?

It happens when the DAO enzyme does not work properly. That is, when it does not hinder this substance to be absorbed in our intestine. The main intolerance symptoms are: belly cramps, stomachache, flatulence, diarrhea, headache, asthma, respiratory deficit, hives and hitch.

Usually, the reaction happens after about 40 minutes from the ingestion of some foods or other substances containing high quantities of histamine. However, in some cases it can happen even with substances which contain a lesser amount.

Foods containing histamine

Seasoned and fermented foods contain high quantities of this substance. For example, yeast, red wine, champagne, cheese, speck, sauerkrauts, seafood, some fish (sardins, tuna, anchovies and other canned fish).

There are also some foods that contain fewer amounts of histamine, but promote its release in our body. They are strawberries, chocolate, mushrooms, walnuts, pineapple and alcohol.

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