You may feel that the list of foods you react to is never-ending and you maybe taking foods out one by one until you have a very small rotation of foods that you think you can eat. This may not be the case. It may be that you are histamine intolerant.
What is histamine intolerance?
Histamine is naturally present in all foods to differing levels, but our bodies also produce it when stressed. Raised histamine levels cause inflammation within the body as a normal immune response, but some people, including some individuals with eczema can have inflammation triggered by eating foods with high histamine levels.
Which foods contain high histamine?
Foods which contain high histamine levels include: aubergine, tomatoes, bananas, strawberries, matured cheeses, preserved meats, chocolate, citrus fruits, egg whites, canned fish, nuts, pork, preservatives, food additives and food colourings, vinegar and spinach.
There's a catch...
Whilst the food above highlight foods that contain naturally high histamine levels, the histamine levels of ALL foods rise the longer they are left. Very basically, the longer a food is around and begins to naturally mature, ripen and degrade (eg. your roast beef left to cool for your lunchbox the next day) the more histamine is produced.
So, what can I eat?
The rule of thumb is, for someone who suspects a histamine intolerance, to eat foods as fresh as possible and to avoid fermented or matured foods. For example, a lightly yellow, almost green banana may be tolerated by someone with a histamine intolerance, but a ripened banana with black spots may not.
Don't forget, if you suspect that you have a food allergy, sensitivity or intolerance it is always best to consult your healthcare practitioner and to be accompanied by a registered nutrition practitioner.