Low Histamine Recipes (vegetarian)

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53 thoughts on “Low Histamine Recipes (vegetarian)

  1. Whillowhirl

    Thank you for posting these recipes – I am just now realizing high histamine foods are a problem for me (only took 54 years).

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Glad you’re finding the blog helpful Whillowhirl and hope you like some of the recipes. I think many of us are middle aged when we finally figure out what’s been going on with our health (I’m 45) – I do hope you start to feel better on a low histamine diet and, if it’s a mast cell issue some H2 antihistamines x

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  2. Sonia Johnson

    Thank you for your posted information as with Whillowhirl I am 51 and been suffering for years currently labelled with hempaplegic migraine which has taken over control of my life but having read all the information about HIT truly believe I have found the answer to the problems. As from today I am taking back control of my life !!

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Sonia

      I think people with EDS and MCAD often have multiple diagnoses before either they, or their doctor, join the dots and finally realise what’s been going on with their health for years. I’m glad my Blog has, at least in part, helped you fit another piece of the puzzle in place and I wish you luck in your HIT journey.

      Jak x

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  3. Sonia Johnson

    Hi Jak, just to update you. Armed with printed off copies of your Blog on MCAD I have just returned from my GP who agrees that we may at last have found the answer and is arranging an urgent referral to the right department at Southampton hospital 🙂 I am so grateful for the information on your blog.

    Forever grateful and now feeling so much more positive
    Best wishes
    Sonia x

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Oh wow Sonia, that’s brilliant news – I’m so chuffed for you, and it’s also fantastic that your GP is on board 🙂

      Not all doctors are great at diagnosing or dealing with MCAD though as it’s such a new and emerging disease, so if you find your Southampton appointment disappointing (as I did with mine at Preston) please get back in touch and I’ll try and find an expert for you to see (Dr Clive Grattan in London is the top Mast Cell guy in the country by all accounts). On the other hand, if your appointment goes really well and the consultant is good let me know so that I can inform others in your area who they can be referred to!

      Do keep me posted as to how it goes. And if you get a mast cell diagnosis please think about joining the UK Mastocytosis Society support group – really lovely and knowledgeable bunch of people.

      Jak x

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  4. Sonia Johnson

    Hi

    I will keep you updated of my journey. I got my copy of the “What HIT me ? today and have had my head in it reading all about low histamine diet and gained a lot more knowledge and understanding about it.

    How are you feeling today ?
    Best wishes
    Sonia x

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Sonia

      It’s a good book and so easy to read and understand. My arm/shoulder/back and neck are blummin killing me, so I’m self-medicating with ice cream and carob sauce lol! Just about to go for a soak in the bath to see if that’ll help!

      Jak x

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      1. Sonia Johnson

        Hi   Self medicating with Ice cream sounds good to me !!!   You take care Sonia x

        ________________________________

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  5. Annamaria

    Hi!

    I found your blog very helpful. Next week I’m going to have the blood test to find out if I have this histamine intolerance. Honestly, hope I do have it, because from 6 months I’m making all kind of tests and have given different medication but the doctors still don’t know what causes the urticaria. So far my symptoms says is a DAO problem. I’ll try reflexotherapy and the diet. Hope it will help!

    Thank you and waiting for other recipes.

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Good luck with the tests Annamaria. Just remember though that Histamine Intolerance and Mast Cell Activation Disorder are different things. Histamine intolerance is an excess of histamine from our foods due to low DAO in the gut. MCAD is over-reactive mast cells anywhere in the body and these over-reactive mast cells can be triggered by *anything*, eg. drugs, heat, exercise, chemicals, foods, stress. They need different treatments, but both are often helped by a low histamine diet. Glad you like the recipes 🙂 Jak x

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      I know – who would have thought the humble tomato could be missed so much! Do try the Red Pepper sauce too though, so long as you’re not nightshade-free. The tomato-free sauce is good for replacing the liquid that a tin of tomatoes gives but is quite bland. The red pepper sauce on the other hand tastes just like a Marinara sauce, although it is a pain to make! Jak x

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Deb, I’ve never claimed to be an expert. This is a personal blog – I’m not offering anyone advice. It does say in my blog that I’m not following a strict low histamine diet – I’m only cutting out really obvious high histamine foods. I’ve also stated that there is much confusion regarding low histamine foods – what is allowed on one list is not allowed on another list. I eat small portions of fish, mildly fermented cheeses and citrus fruits – but as I state all the time if you don’t want to, don’t! I eat mushrooms and Quorn – some low histamine lists allow mushrooms, others don’t. There is no definitive list – I’ve stated this already in my blog too. This blog doesn’t tell other people what to do – I’m just blogging about what *I* do. I’ve never claimed to be perfect – I’m dealing with much more than histamine issues (I have 3 other chronic diseases too). Maybe you’d prefer to read the low histamine chef’s website as she’s much stricter and more knowledgeable than me on all things histamine related, although if you buy her On-the-go cookbook you’ll find she also uses lemon juice, salmon, yoghurt, blueberries, pomegranates & blackberries which are usually all considered histamine containing foods. There’s a reason for this – we’ve both independently come to the conclusion that the benefits of these brilliant foods outweigh the negatives (eg blueberries are very high in mast cell stabilizing quercetin and plain organic yoghurt is full of gut protecting probiotics), plus neither of us react to them so can’t see the point of cutting them out of our diets.

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  6. Racheal

    Thankfully I have found this blog, I am laid up in bed after not watching what I have been eating and drinking since Christmas and new year at this moment in time I can’t move the list is too long to go into but it has given me time to really study histamine and the effects. Your recipes have given me a broader range of ideas which hopefully will keep me from straying and ending up in bed for three days

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Racheal

      Sorry to hear you’re suffering so much 😦 We’re all different and react to different things, but I’m glad my recipes have given you some ideas of things you can try or adapt to suit your own needs. Hope you feel better soon.

      Jak x

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  7. Tanya Ferguson

    I have mastocytosis that is familial. I have studied both this site, the Low Histamine Chefs’ site, and books, coupled with the copious amounts of research I have done over many years. I also have an identical twin with the disease, a grandmother, 2 aunts and 4 cousins and a daughter. Let’s just say, I have my own test subjects available for experimenting on 🙂 I can tell you from experience that each of us reacts to different things, some are the same too. For example we all react to stress and alcohol. Our food challenges are different too as is the course of the disease. Our reactions change based on the other triggers in our lives.

    In defense of your recipes almost every group of recipes that I have seen written for this disease contains at least some foods that are high in histamine. Remember that the people who write these recipes are other people with the disease. They are kind to give us the products of their trials and errors over time. They add to our learning at the same time.
    I believe that it is up to each of us to become WELL INFORMED about the disease(s) we have. I have another rare, progressive illness called Syringomyelia (in short it is a neurological condition where my spinal cord is destroyed from the inside out as a result of a fluid filled cyst there is no cure) and I make it my business to learn all I can about that also.

    I use each of these recipes and many others as a spring board for new ones that work for me and my other family members. I thank-you very sincerely for saving me some of the work and adding spurring my creativity in the process.

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Tanya

      I really appreciate this, thank you 🙂 Your thoughts are exactly how I feel myself about eating low histamine, ie. that it’s a very personal journey and each of us will need to take a slightly different path. I was sick to death of people telling me to go gluten free, so I went gluten free and it made me feel absolutely horrendous! Now I’m back eating wheat (and not eating gluten free buckwheat) I’ve had the best week I’ve had in a year health-wise. I knew instinctively I didn’t have a problem with gluten but because gluten is a problem for other people they think you will be the same as them.

      I’m so pleased you’re using the recipes as a spring board and then adapting them to suit your own restrictions – that’s exactly how they should be used 🙂

      Thanks again for your common sense and for taking the time to comment.

      Jak x

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  8. Karen

    The ideas are helpful….finally went to an allergist and spent 6 hours with him….problem is severe chronic exzema….he suggested avoiding histamines in addition to several other treatment plans….I am trying to eliminate the worst triggers, for me tomatoes and salad dressings and go from there. Discouraged that my fav foods, yogurt and chocolate may be culprits but glad that peanut butter is not!

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  9. Maxine Shuman

    I have been suffering from chronic urticaria angioedema for about 8 months. Have been to a dermatologist and now am under the care of an immunologist…..I do have a high EOS count but all the blood work tfhat has been taken is negative…diagnosis : unexplained chronic urticaria angioedema…Have done my own research and put myself on a self-imposed histamine diet…with medication and this diet I have finally found relief this week!!!! Will start reintroducing foods in about three weeks but if this diet works I will stay on it for life!!!! Maxine Shuman

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  10. Holli

    Thank God I found this site. I thought I was going crazy. About 12 years ago I “suddenly” became allergic to fingernail polish (on my wedding day!) Trouble breathing, itching, pins and needles, foggy brain, dizzy..etc. This past November I thought I was reacting to work stress as i had a chronic headache that would wake me out of a sleep and hives. In December I turned 48 and experienced increase hot flashes and more symptoms. anxiousness, foggy unclear thinking, facial itching, joint pain. I LOVE researching what interests me and so I began Iresearching everything from rosacea, menopausal symptoms, allergies and stumbled upon (after 4 months) histamine sensitivities. I started removing foods and keeping a food log. AND much to my surprise my symptoms started to decrease and then i found this blog! I AM SO RELIEVED to finally get some help. I am very nervous about incorporating anything on the restricted list to my diet and what makes matters worse is that, like you have mentioned, many of the lists are not the same, as they are based upon individual tolerances. I do not want to become food phobic..I am wondering if anyone who has histamine sensitivities share this concern? I have read that there is a link between histamine and anorexia ( I was anorexic for about 14 years)..I am so thankful for your generosity to share, I deeply appreciate your efforts to inform others and share your thoughts, knowledge, recipes and experiences. Its a blessing to read the experiences of others as well. Thank you. Holli

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Holli

      Thanks so much for your kind comments 🙂 It’s such a relief to finally figure out what’s going on isn’t it?! I know how validating it was when I found other people who shared my symptoms – like you say, you feel like you’re going nuts! So pleased a low histamine diet is helping. I totally understand your concerns about re-introducing foods, or trying foods on the forbidden list – none of us want to have reactions that make us feel rubbish. But it’s also *really* important to eat as widely nutritious a diet as possible because lacking in vitamins and minerals etc. can affect your health too especially during the menopause.

      I react to things that are super low histamine, like buckwheat and apples! And yet can eat foods that are supposedly forbidden, like fish. It really is so individual no two people are going to be the same. At least now I know that if I try a food and have a reaction I can take some antihistamine and it takes the edge off the symptoms – it really helps to know exactly what’s happening, whereas when I was reacting before I knew I had MCAD I was just petrified as I had no clue what was going on.

      Remember that, on the whole, histamine is a build-up. So now you’ve lowered your histamine burden trying one food shouldn’t affect you too much. When I tried buckwheat I felt generally rubbish, but didn’t have some huge reaction or anything. Same when I tried cashew nuts and bananas.

      Good luck with it all. Jak x

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  11. d

    Among many other foods, I am unable to tolerate onions and garlic at the moment. I was making a beet soup recipe the other day and by accident found that if you use a parsnip (peeled, diced and sauteed as you would sautee onions or garlic) it adds a nice spicy/peppery flavour to the soup.

    I also have not been able to find a good ready made stock or stock cube that I can tolerate where I live. Having said that I find that plain old water works great, with a couple of tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to give the soup a bit of body (this works best with pureed soups).

    Here is a recipe to give a little extra flavour to soups, that I think would be fairly easy to scale down:

    Rosemary Oil (Canadian Living)
    1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary (approx. 1 sprig)
    In a small saucepan, heat oil and rosemary over med-high heat just until fragrant, about 3 mins. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl. Refrigerate in an air tight container up to 3 days. Makes approximately 1/4 cup.

    The recipes on this site, allow you to scale the recipes according to portion sizing, which is helpful if you are cooking for one or two people.

    Thanks for your recipes. When first confronted with a low histamine diet, it seems like there are so few options left. It has been a great help to me to have your recipes.

    d

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  12. d

    Hi Jak

    I have been meaning to try mango but I am not sure when it is ripe vs over ripe. Do you have any tips? I have loads of food intolerances that seem to go beyond just histamine so I am a bit anxious about trying it. In my previous life I know I ate it once or twice with no issues, but that doesn’t mean anything these days!

    Thanks
    d

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Wish I had an easy answer for you d but I don’t. I’d go for ripe rather than over-ripe – the older/more aged a food is the more histamine it generates regardless of what the food item is. Mango is considered a very safe food on a low histamine diet, but as you say we all react to things differently so it really is just a case of trying a small amount and noting how you react. Jak x

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      1. d

        Is there an easy way to tell if it it overripe, other than eating it and reacting? I noticed mangoes tend to get more orange-red as they ripen…

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        1. bertieandme Post author

          I can’t really help d, as my supermarket tells me how ripe the mangos are I buy, ie they state whether they are ‘perfectly’ ripe (which means eat straight away) or if they’re not labelled it usually means they’re a bit green/under-ripe. Once you’ve bought one, if they’re very ripe they will often twist away from the kernel inside once cut in half.

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  13. Nicole

    Thanks for sharing the great recipes! So helpful!
    I read mushrooms are a problem as well for HIT, but you use them quite a lot. How come?

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      1. Nicole

        OK, thanks. It’s been only a couple of weeks that I come to realise I have HIT or something similiar that you describe in your journey. It’s depressing, but I guess the trial and error within a low-histamine diet will give a clearer idea.
        I also read in many sources that pulses are a no-go. I am so worried about that, because I just love lentils and chickpeas, and they are my only source of protein (as I have a dairy allergy as well). I couldn’t find anything on your list. Can you eat them without problems? Or just limited doses? And what’s your experience with tomatoes? I feel sometime I can eat them (or just particular cans/fresh types?), and some I can’t.

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        1. bertieandme Post author

          I know, it’s a minefield when you first start looking into low histamine foods. Did you check out the Diet page? There is a section on legumes (ie peas, beans & lentils):

          Allowed:

          All plain legumes, except those on the restricted list.
          *Pure peanut butter.

          Restricted:

          Soy beans, including miso and tofu.
          Kidney beans (also known as red beans)

          I use all and any peas, beans and lentils in my recipes, except red kidney beans and obviously soya beans as soy is not allowed. No problems with them at all.

          Tomatoes are a definite no no on a low histamine diet, though some people do OK on unripe green tomatoes.

          Histamine is not a food allergy or intolerance. Think of histamine like a bucket which fills up. You might be OK eating tomatoes immeditately, but keep eating them regularly and they will fill up your histamine bucket until one day it will just overflow and you’ll get symptoms.

          Jak x

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  14. Nicole

    Dear Jak,
    Thanks, that is very kind, and in a way consoling. It feels exactly like you describe it: you can eat and fill it up, and the body compensates as long as you’re in a low stress, healthy environment. But at some point the bucket is full and overflows. I have had this horrible histamine shock two weeks ago, and ever since I am extremely sensitive to almost all food.
    Thanks for sharing the details on the food. I did check your entire website yesterday, it is helpful.
    Have you ever tried any homeopathic treatment? I did it for my dairy allergy (and sugar intolerance) last year. It was great, I was free of symptoms for 9 months, but then, once I ate dairy regularly (and some sugar and some high histamine food), it all came back. 😦 Too bad, and lots of money down the drain…

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  15. Maria

    This is crazy, how can recipes with mushrooms, chilli and lemon ever be considered ‘low histamine’? I know, everybody is different and tolerates different things but it doesn’t change the fact that these aren’t low histamine foods. Come on, hot chilli?!

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    1. Jak Post author

      As a last remark, if you’re happy to criticize my blog I’d be happy for you to produce the research your remarks are based on please. I’ve Googled extensively and I can find barely any research on the histamine content of ANY food, but if you’ve found the research which shows mushrooms or fresh chilli is high in histamine I’d be happy to read it.

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  16. Letitia Halvorsen

    I am 90 years old, only because I realised at 50 that my body was seriously letting me down and since then have been a sort of semi-invalid, allergic to just about everything on God’s earth – foods, environment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals. Despite everything, I have sought help from natural health practitioners and sorted out the very best of them. Became an active member, doing research of a health organisation, until our committee wore themselves out and now aged, have no one to follow on. Regardless I still maintain my interest in health and presently use homeopathics/acupuncture, reflexology, chiropractic, follow FODMAP diet (unsure about the benefits of the latter) the list goes on and as you will realise the past 40 years has been mainly spent in keeping my head above water. All I want to say just now is that through these years it has been found that I have heavy metals and can remember the exposure to them in my childhood, living amongst coalfields during the 1930’s in the West Riding of Yorkshire. I find no one who really understands the impact heavy metals has on the system, until I came across the naturopath/homeopath practitioner who alerted me to the added complication of MOULDS. This is all I am saying at present but wanted to alert you to the subject. My own theory is that it is seriously related to histamine and the Lord knows what else. When my heavy metals reduce, it is noticed that the mould increases! (as if in competition!) I should mention that I came to live in Sydney at 50 years old (menopausal at the time) and for past 40 years have been unwell. Nevertheless I must have been doing something right to get this far! I love to research any subject which has any benefit to health. ii am grateful for finding your blog but am not very good with computer skills and if you do answer me, will I be able to find it?

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    1. Jak Post author

      Hi Letitia

      I received your comments fine 🙂 So long as when you comment you check the ‘notify me of new comments via email’ box you will receive any reply directly to your email inbox.

      Jak

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  17. Letitia Halvorsen

    Have already left a new comment. Not too good with computer skills but I have replied and thanked you for your advice – to tick the notification box ‘ notify me of new comments via email’.
    Awaiting a reply and thank you so much.

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    1. Jak Post author

      The site became so big I had to re-do the menus, so if you hover over the Low Histamine Reicpe tab in the menu at the top of the page you’ll now see all the recipe sections listed – click on any one of those for the recipes in that section, eg lunch, main courses etc.

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