21 Anti-Histamine Foods

21 ANTI-HISTAMINE FOODS THAT FIGHT INFLAMMATION AND STABLIZE MAST CELLS

September 22, 2014 10:00 pm

If you have histamine intolerance, mast cell activation disorder, or any other inflammatory disorder, then here are 21 anti-histamine foods that fight inflammation and stabilize mast cells naturally.

 

 

Vegetables

 

watercress, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

1. Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale)

Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable with a peppery, tangy taste similar to arugula. It is considered one of the most nutrient-dense plants commonly available. A study showed that watercress inhibits 60% of all histamine released from mast cells.

Study: Goda, Hoshino K, Akiyama H, Ishikawa T, Abe Y, Nakamura T, Otsuka H, Takeda Y, Tanimura A, Toyoda M, “Constituents in watercress: inhibitors of histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells induced by antigen stimulation”, Biol Pharm Bull. 1999 Dec;22(12):1319-26.

 

 

pea sprouts, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

2. Pea Sprouts (Pisum Sativum)

Pea sprouts contain a high concentration of diamines oxidase (this enzyme degrades extra-cellular histamine) during the cotyledon phase. All the Fabaceae family contains DAO, but it is exceptionally high in pea (Pisum sativum), lentil (lens culinaris), and chickpea (Cicer arietinum) seedlings. They have a higher DAO degrading capability than commercial DAO (porcine-derived) supplements.

Study: Masini, Emanuela, et al. “Pea seedling histaminase as a novel therapeutic approach to anaphylactic and inflammatory disorders.” The Scientific World Journal 7 (2007): 888-902.

Comas-Basté, Oriol, et al. “In vitro determination of diamine oxidase activity in food matrices by an enzymatic assay coupled to UHPLC-FL.” Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry (2019): 1-8.

 

onions. antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

3. Onions (Allium Cepa)

The humble onion (including the spring onion) is incredibly nutritious and an important prebiotic. Onions have been shown to inhibit histamine release, stabilize mast cells, and even lower histamine levels extra-cellularly in blood plasma.

Study: P. Kaiser, M.S. Youssouf, S.A. Tasduq, S. Singh, S.C. Sharma, G.D. Singh, V.K. Gupta, B.D. Gupta, and R.K. Johri, Anti-Allergic Effects of Herbal Product from Allium Cepa (Bulb), Journal of Medicinal Food. April 2009, 12(2): 374-382.

 

garlic, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

4. Garlic (Allium Sativum)

Like onions, garlic is incredibly nutritious, rich in antioxidants, and a prebiotic. Garlic has also been shown to inhibit histamine release from mast cells.

Study: Hogberg, Bertil. “Inhibitory action of allicin on degranulation of mast cells produced by compound 48/80, histamine liberator from ascaris, lecithinase A, and antigen.” Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 44.2 (1958): 157-162.

 

Herbs

moringa, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

5. Moringa (Moringa Oleifera)

Moringa is a “super-food” that has found its way onto health food shelves. It is so nutrient-dense that it has historically been used to treat malnutrition. A study has shown that Moringa inhibits 72% of all histamines released, making it almost as effective as Ketitofen.

Study: Mehta, Anita, and Babita Agrawal. “Investigation into the mechanism of action of Moringa oleifera for its anti-asthmatic activity.” Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine 8.1 (2008): 24-31.

Choi, Eun-Ju, et al. “Topical application of Moringa oleifera leaf extract ameliorates experimentally induced atopic dermatitis by the regulation of Th1/Th2/Th17 balance.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 84 (2016): 870-877.

 

holy basil, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

6. Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum)

Holy basil is a herb in the basil family. It has a subtle, minty, mildly floral flavor and a natural sweetness. It is an adaptogen with anti-anaphylactic, antihistamine, and mast cell stabilizing properties. While dried teas are readily available, there is nothing like the taste of fresh herbs, which are easy to grow.

Study: G Sridevi, P Gopkumar, S Ashok, C Shastry. Pharmacological Basis For Antianaphylactic, Antihistaminic And Mast Cell Stabilization Activity Of Ocimum Sanctum. The Internet Journal of Pharmacology. 2008 Volume 7 Number 1.

 

thyme, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

7. Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris)

Thyme is a nutrient-dense herb. It has exceptionally high levels of Vitamin C, combined with flavonoids, that stabilizes mast cells. It also has anti-microbial benefits.

Study: Watanabe, Jun, Hiroshi Shinmoto, and Tojiro Tsushida. “Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 cells.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 69.1 (2005): 1-6.

 

tarragon, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

8. Tarragon (Artemesia Dracunculus)

Tarragon has a pleasant anise flavor. It is one of the highest anti-oxidant food sources amongst herbs. A study shows that it stabilizes mast cells.

Study: Watanabe, Jun, Hiroshi Shinmoto, and Tojiro Tsushida. “Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 cells.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 69.1 (2005): 1-6.

 

chamomile, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

9. Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita)

Chamomile is typically consumed as tea. Fresh flowers are frequently available and are preferable to dried flowers. A study found that chamomile inhibited histamine release from mast cells in a dose-dependent manner.

Study: Chandrashekhar, V. M., et al. “Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in mast cell-mediated allergy model.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 137.1 (2011): 336-340.

 

nettle, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

10. Nettle (Urtica Diocica)

Nettle is typically consumed as tea. It is a potent antihistamine (working at the H1 receptor) and mast cell stabilizer.

Study: Roschek, Bill, et al. “Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis.” Phytotherapy research 23.7 (2009): 920-926.

 

peppermint, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

11. Peppermint (Menta Piperita)

The flavonoids in peppermint have been found to have a potent inhibitory effect on histamine from mast cells. It was particularly effective for allergic rhinitis and has traditionally been used as an H2 antagonist.

Study: Inoue, Toshio, et al. “Antiallergic effect of flavonoid glycosides obtained from Mentha piperita L.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 25.2 (2002): 256-259.

 

nigella satvia, black cumin seed, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

12. Black Cumin Seed and Oil (Nigella Sativa)

Nigella Sativa is also called fennel flower, black cumin, Roman coriander, and onion seeds. It has a slightly bitter herbal flavor similar to oregano. It acts as an antihistamine and antioxidant, protecting the gastric mucosal layer. It can be consumed either as a seed or as oil.

Study: M Kanter, O Coskun, H Uysal, The antioxidative and antihistaminic effect of Nigella Sativa and its major constituent, thymoquinone on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage, Archives of toxicology, 2006 – Springer.

 

Rhizomes

galangal, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

13. Galangal (Aplinia Galanga)

Galangal is also called “Thai Ginger” and is readily available at Asian grocers. It has a subtle, delicate flavor with a gingery, lemongrass, and lightly floral flavor. A study shows it is extremely effective at stabilizing mast cells and preventing anaphylaxis.

Study: Hisashi Matsuda, Toshio Morikawa, Hiromi Managi, Masayuki Yoshikawa, Antiallergic principles from Alpinia galanga: structural requirements of phenylpropanoids for inhibition of degranulation and release of TNF-alpha and IL-4 in RBL-2H3 cells, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters Volume 13, Issue 19, 16 October 2003, Pages 3197–3202.

 

ginger, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

14. Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

Ginger is a rhizome that inhibits allergic reactions. It has traditionally been used as an H2 inhibitor, but a 2009 study shows it also acts as a mast cell stabilizer.

Study: Chen, Bing-Hung, et al. “Antiallergic potential on RBL-2H3 cells of some phenolic constituents of Zingiber Officinale (Ginger).” Journal of natural products72.5 (2009): 950-953.

 

lotus root, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

15. Lotus Root (Nelumbo Nucifera)

Lotus roots are available in most Asian supermarkets. They have an immune-modulating effect with mast cell stabilizing properties, and a study found they inhibit the release of histamines by up to 70%.

Study: Mukherjee, Debajyoti, et al. “Exploring the potential of Nelumbo nucifera rhizome on membrane stabilization, mast cell protection, nitric oxide synthesis, and expression of costimulatory molecules.” Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology 32.3 (2010): 466-472.

 

turmeric, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

16. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its color, and on its own, it has a savory, almost cheddar-like taste.  The fresh rhizomes are increasingly available and can be frozen and grated over most savory dishes as a condiment. Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study found that it inhibited mast cell activation.

Study: Lee, Jun Ho, et al. “Curcumin, a constituent of curry, suppresses IgE-mediated allergic response and mast cell activation at the level of Syk.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 121.5 (2008): 1225-1231.

 

Fruit

pomegranate, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

17. Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Pomegranates taste sweet but tart and are used in savory and sweet foods. They contain polyphenols, such as tannins and anthocyanins, and are higher in antioxidants than green tea. A study showed that they act as mast cell stabilizers.

Study: Rasheed, Zafar, et al. “Polyphenol-rich pomegranate fruit extract (POMx) suppresses PMACI-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the activation of MAP Kinases and NF-B in human KU812 cells.” J Inflamm (Lond) 6 (2009): 1.

 

apple, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

18. Apples (Malus Domestica)

The nutrients of apples are concentrated in the skin. Apples are not so rich in one nutrient but have a wide range of flavonoids and polyphenols. A study has shown that they inhibit the release of histamines from mast cells.

Study: Kanda, Tomomasa, et al. “Inhibitory effects of apple polyphenol on induced histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells and rat mast cells.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 62.7 (1998): 1284-1289.

 

capers, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

19. Capers (Capparis Spinosa)

Capers add a tangy, peppery taste to dishes. They are one of the richest sources of quercetin. Capers have antimicrobial, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. A study also found them to be anti-histaminic. The study was performed with fresh capers (not preserved in vinegar but preserved in salt*).

Study: Trombetta, Domenico, et al. “Antiallergic and antihistaminic effect of two extracts of Capparis spinosa L. flowering buds.” PTR. Phytotherapy research19.1 (2005): 29-33.

* I have received several questions about the preservation of salt. There is strong scientific evidence that preservation in salt prevents histamine formation.

Study: Chong, C. Y., Abu Bakar, F., Russly, A. R., Jamilah, B. Mahyudin, N. A., MiniReview; The effects of food processing on biogenic amines formation, International Food Research Journal 18(3): 867-876 (2011).

 

mangosteens, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

20. Mangosteens (Gardinia Mangostana)

Mangosteens are a tropical fruit the size of small apples. Their flesh consists of creamy white segments with a delicate, sweet taste and melts in the mouth. They are increasingly available in supermarkets. Studies show that they lower the c-reactive protein inflammation marker, act as an antihistamine (H1), and inhibit mast cell degranulation.

Study: Itoh, Tomohiro, et al. “Inhibitory effect of xanthones isolated from the pericarp of garcinia mangostana L. on rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cell degranulation.” Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 16.8 (2008): 4500-4508.

Chairungsrilerd N, Furukawa K, Ohta T, et al. Histaminergic and serotonergic receptor blocking substances from the medicinal plant Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med 1996;62:471-2

 

peaches, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

21. Peaches (Prunus Persica)

Peaches are summer fruit that is sweet and juicy. A study found that they inhibited mast cell-derived allergic inflammation.

Study: Shin, Tae-Yong, et al. “Anti-allergic inflammatory activity of the fruit of Prunus Persica: Role of calcium and NF-?B.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 48.10 (2010): 2797-2802.

 

chinese quince, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

22. Chinese Quince

Pseudocydonia Sinensis, the Chinese quince, is a fruit in the Rosaceae family and native to China.  The fruit has diverse bioactive components with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching activities.

Study: Osawa, K., et al. “Inhibitory effects of Chinese quince (Chaenomeles Sinensis) on hyaluronidase and histamine release from rat mast cells.” Natural Medicines 53.4 (1999): 188-193.

 

Other Foods

black rice, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

23. Black Rice

Black rice is believed to have many notable health benefits. Researchers have found that a 10% diet of black rice reduced inflammation and inhibited histamine release from mast cells by about 32%. Brown rice did not have the same benefits.

Study: Sun Phil Choi, Sung Phil Kim, Mi Young Kang, Seok Hyun Nam, Mendel Friedman. Protective Effects of Black Rice Bran against Chemically-Induced Inflammation of Mouse Skin. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (18): 10007 DOI: 10.1021/jf102224b

 

mung bean sprouts, antihistamines, histamine intolerance, alison vickery, health, Australia

24. Mung Bean Sprouts

A recent laboratory study found mung bean sprouts (after 48 h of growth) to protect significantly against mast cell degranulation and histamine release due to their high flavonoid content.

Study: Li, Li, et al. “Anti-allergic effects and related active constituents of mung bean (Vignaradiatus Linn) sprouts.” Food Science and Biotechnology 25.2 (2016): 553-559.

 

histamine intolerance, elimination diet, Alison Vickery, Health, Australia

Conclusion

These 21 (now 24!) foods with anti-histamine properties. Some are even proven as effective as commonly used mast cell stabilizing medication.

Despite some foods being problematic, I still believe that whole foods provide many natural anti-histamines and mast-cell stabilizing nutrients our bodies need.

Far from being our enemy. Food can be our salvation too.

To learn more about how food handling affects our histamine levels, check out my blog post,  Easy Protein Swaps: That Lower Histamine Without Cutting Foods.

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