Histamines are chemicals released by the immune system as an early response to an allergic reaction in the body. The histamine works to contain inflammation by suppressing white blood cell accumulation in the muscle tissue. Antihistamine drugs block the receptor points in the body so that they cannot transmit the chemical message that makes our body produce an allergic reaction. Many foods have antihistamine properties and can be used to control hay fever and other seasonal or situational allergic reactions.
Vitamin C contained in whole, fresh foods has a strong antihistamine effect. The fresher the food product, the more effective it is at combating an allergic reaction. Foods that are rich in vitamin C and effective at treating allergies include citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, pineapple, lemons and limes. Also, dark green vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach and mustard greens are rich in vitamin C.
Histamines are amino acids and can be released by the break down of foods rich in protein. Eating a low protein diet while battling allergies can limit histamine attacks. Limit animal proteins so that no more than 10 per cent of your daily caloric intake is in the form of meats. Also monitor your intake of soybean products, nuts, legumes and dairy products which contain a high level of proteins which must be broken down.
Taking in a significant amount of liquid during the day can limit histamine production. One of the primary functions of histamines is to prevent fluid loss. If you insure that you get enough liquid during the day your body will automatically produce less histamine. Consume no fewer than eight, 236ml. glasses of water a day for proper hydration.
Flavonoids, like the chemical Quercetin, are responsible for the bright coloured pigments in fruits, flowers and vegetables and are also powerful natural antihistamines. Flavanoids stabilise the body's mass cells which both manufacture and distribute histamines. Foods with a rich colour and scent, like tea, wine, berries, apples, tomatoes and garlic are full of flavanoids.
Omega-3 Fatty acid has a strong anti-inflammatory property which is useful in limiting the swelling that results from a histamine attack. Salmon and walnuts are the two foods most commonly consumed for their Omega-3 stores. Using flax seed oil and canola in your cooking and increasing the amount of dark leafy greens like dandelion sprigs also increase your dietary intake of Omega.
- "Canadian Journal of Dietiec Practice and Research; Benefits of a Histamine-Reducing Diet for Some Patients with Chronic Urticaria and Angioedema"; W. King, et al.; Spring 2000
- Nutra Med: Histamine and Antihistamines
- Restore Unity: Natural Method Antihistamine
- "The Allergy Bible: The Conventional And Alternative Guide..."; Linda Gamlin, et al.; 2001
- " New Medicine: Complete Family Health Guide"; David Peters, et al.; 2007