Histamine is a naturally formed chemical found within our body and in foods that we eat. When our body is not correctly breaking it down, it can be a root cause of a lot of inflammatory skin conditions, such as- eczema, rosacea and flushing. It can also cause sensitivity by compromising the integrity of our skin barrier.
A lot of foods that are healthy and good for us are high in histamine, and most of us have natural enzymes that break down histamine internally- so the goal here is not to cut out all histamine. The goal is to be aware of our histamine threshold, especially when we are dealing with inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and redness.
Have you ever had a skin treatment or laser session where your skin produces more inflammation, or you present more hives/swelling than usual? This could be a result of too much histamine production in your body. If you have a response that you don’t usually have, ask yourself – have I drank more alcohol than usual lately? Have I had more caffeine today? Have I been eating spicy foods, soy, or lots of fruit? If so, it may just be the case that your body is having a histamine response.
If we are histamine intolerant or our body isn’t breaking down our histamine it can come down to a deficiency of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and/or Magnesium. Gut health also plays a role as we need bacteria to break down histamine for us, so people with poor gut lining may be more effected. Some probiotics can cause histamine flare ups whereas some prebiotics will reduce inflammation and produce bacteria that will break down histamine.
Again, we don’t need to avoid histamine foods, but with inflammatory skin conditions is will pay off to manage and reduce the amount of histamine that your body is producing.
High histamine foods include:
- Canned foods
- Alcohol especially red wine
- Spicy food
- Chocolate, cacao
- Citrus fruits
- Aged meats
- Aged cheeses
- Any left overs- (the longer food sits there the more histamine its produces. Eating food fresh is much better for histamine levels)
- Apple cider vinegar