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Forks, Knives, and Histamine: The allergy battle begins with a fresh approach this spring.

Updated: Mar 4



Daffodils and cherry blossom trees are the first signs that spring is just around the corner. It’s about this time that people may start experiencing mild allergic symptoms like a runny nose and itchy or burning eyes. Some people I’ve talked to take allergy medications year round and yet still struggle. Let’s freshen up the allergy approach before the season is in full swing.


The Histamine Tale: Your Body's Security Guard

Histamines are the part of our immune system that’s always on the hunt for invaders from the environment. They don’t hunt for viruses or bacteria but other substances instead. These can include grass and tree pollens, pet dander, food proteins, and even chemicals from our food or drugs. Unfortunately, histamines can get out of hand and overreact to the environment causing people to feel ‘sick’ seasonally or all year round.

Here are your options to tame the histamine response:

  1. Hush Histamine: Traditional allergy meds keep histamines at bay by blocking their production and actions. While these can work short term, this aren’t the best long term solution.

  2. Immune Conditioning: Allergy shots or gentler alternatives like NAET technique train your immune system to be less reactive to the environment by teaching histamines that certain substances are not bad.

  3. Holistic Harmony: Balance the entire immune system so histamines do their job responsibly.

  4. Clear the Decks: Enzymes break down histamine, and certain foods either increase histamine toxicity or block histamine clearance.

Histamine-Heavy Culprits: The Hit List on Food


Research dives deep into foods that increase or decrease histamines in the body. A peer review journal found 10 different “low histamine” diet protocols; all varying in what food to remove. What foods were at the top of the list across all 10 approaches? Dry fermented sausage, cured cheeses, beer, wine, fish, tomatoes, sauerkraut, and fermented soy. These culprits contain biogenic amines, including histamine, triggering allergy fireworks.


The Culprit: Biogenic Amines Explained


Biogenic amines are sneaky chemicals formed during the fermentation process of certain foods. Some of the more researched BA’s are Putrescine, Cadaverine, Tyramine, Spermidine, and Spermine. These substances are inflammatory byproducts found in dry sausages, cured cheeses, beer, wine, and smoked or canned fish. They compete with the same enzyme used by histamine to get broken down and cleared out.


Essentially, the body will choose to clear out alcohol and these biogenic amines before clearing histamine, thus keeping histamine elevated. This viscous cycle of more histamines in the body cause people to become more reactive and their need for over- the-counter allergy meds increase.


The Solution: A Fresh Plate, A Fresh You


Fresh, non-packaged foods are your allies in this battle. Say no to histamine-heavy culprits found in cured, fermented, and packaged delights. Eating fresh all the time with a busy lifestyle can be challenging, but the benefits outweigh living with allergy meds that may or may not be working.


Reclaim your springtime vitality!


Eat fresh, feel fresh.

Energetically,


Dr. Lexi

 

Resource:


Sánchez-Pérez S, Comas-Basté O, Veciana-Nogués MT, Latorre-Moratalla ML, Vidal-Carou MC. Low-Histamine Diets: Is the Exclusion of Foods Justified by Their Histamine Content? Nutrients. 2021 Apr 21;13(5):1395. doi: 10.3390/nu13051395. PMID: 33919293; PMCID: PMC8143338.


Doeun D, Davaatseren M, Chung MS. Biogenic amines in foods. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2017 Dec 13;26(6):1463-1474. doi: 10.1007/s10068-017-0239-3. PMID: 30263683; PMCID: PMC6049710.

 

 

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