Having said in my weekly roundup that I’m totally over talking about food I thought I’d totally contradict myself and do a post about what I currently eat in a day as I know that problems with histamine are the main reason people visit my blog. As I say quite clearly in the food section, this diet works for me but may not work for you – we’re all very different in the way our bodies react and I know I’m lucky in that I’m still able to eat a fairly wide variety of foods.
I haven’t eaten meat for 25 years but occasionally eat frozen fish having checked that the Salmon I use is gutted and frozen on board the ship which reduces histamine formation. I do still drink black tea which may, or may not, be high in histamine. I have had so much taken from me that I am willing to add to my histamine bucket by having my favourite brew and make no apologies for that. There is no proof that black tea is high in histamine as it’s never been tested as far as I’m aware. There is a theory that all fermented foods (and black tea is fermented) are high in histamine but this hasn’t so far been born out by the limited research available. Yes, some fermented foods such as sauerkraut, when tested, are high in histamine but Kefir which is also fermented tested low in research so the honest answer about tea is that no-one knows. If you want to drink white tea, which isn’t fermented, be my guest – I can’t stand it. I do drink herbal teas such as ginger and peppermint but for me they will never take the place of a decent builder’s brew! I eat Quorn because I’ve never had any issues with it. Again, it’s never been tested so I’ve no clue as to its histamine content.
Here is a typical daily menu:
Toast made from organic, yeast free bread plus organic Yeo Valley spread and Bonne Maman blueberry conserve or home-made rhubarb jam. There is no research to back up the assumption that baker’s yeast is high in histamine but I prefer this bread to regular yeasted bread when toasted. If I have a sandwich I eat regular yeasted bread.
Tea, either peppermint with honey or black with milk.
Gaviscon liquid for my rampant GERD.
Mid morning snack
Herbal tea with home-made ginger biscuits if I’m hormonal and cashew nuts if I’m not 😉
Pear juice with Spatone iron water as I tested low for ferritin.
Many of the main course meals listed here on my blog, most of which I make in bulk then freeze. I have my main meal at lunchtime as not eating a large meal in the evening helps with my reflux.
Yesterday I had frozen Salmon, noodles tossed in home-made chilli dipping sauce and stir-fried veg. Today I’m having a home-made Quorn shepherd’s pie.
Home-made smoothie of coconut milk, mango, passion fruit, blueberries and cantaloupe melon. I make 7 smoothies at the start of the week and freeze them, defrosting one each day.
As it’s currently hot and sunny I’m having a salad of raw cauliflower, raw broccoli, cooked beetroot, freshly shelled peas, black beans (tinned) & cooked cooled quinoa tossed in Mary Berry’s salad dressing. I’ve no idea the histamine content of the dressing but I can’t eat a plain raw salad with no dressing so I’m happy to take the risk. I’ve also no idea of the histamine content of tinned black beans, but they are supposed to be a good source of quercetin which is supposed to help block histamine – all I know is I don’t have the energy to soak and cook beans from scratch!
Peppermint or ginger tea.
2 x Rennie tablets.
Since I’m now in the late stages of peri-menopause my blood sugar and appetite are all over the place, so I sometimes have a cup of warm milk and a biscuit before bed which I feel helps.
I have had to cut out many favourite foods from my diet, such as cheddar cheese, parmesan and aubergienes as they are high in histamine but I substituted them with foods of similar nutritional value – this, if you can do it, is hugely important. So, for example, I no longer each hard cheeses but I still eat mozzarella and ricotta. I have to be honest and say I still feel deprived because I loved cheese on toast and Aubergine Parmigiano (I swear I salivate just thinking about it!) but nutritionally I’m no worse off so that’s the main thing, along with not passing out every time I eat obviously 😀
For the most part I have zero reactions after food these days, however when my hormones are playing up, or I’m really stressed, or I’m injured, or it’s birch pollen season, or my M.E. is bad, or I’m over-tired I will still react after I’ve eaten even if the food is low in histamine. That’s because for people with mast cell issues it’s not just food that causes mediator release and when my mast cells are twitchy I will react to the very act of eating and digesting food (which necessitates histamine release from stomach mast cells) regardless of the type of food. It’s a sod but it’s just one of those things – you can’t control every aspect of your environment and all sorts of triggers can cause my mast cells to have a hissy fit, overburdening my body with histamine and other chemicals.
I do ‘cheat’ on the diet and eat things I know are high in histamine. Chocolate is a prime example. It gives me migraine but when I’m hormonal I would offer a kidney for a chocolate biscuit so I eat one and suffer the consequences. For me high histamine foods are a bucket effect, so if I know my overall histamine levels are low I can eat something naughty now and again and it won’t cause my bucket to over-flow into a reaction. At other times, however, when my bucket is already full I know cheating would not be wise!