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Cynthia Sillars

Histamine is present in certain foods. Are you making your hayfever worse?

Posted by Cynthia Sillars

1371 Days Ago

I became convinced about natural therapies when I experienced a summer without hayfever. For most of my life, summer had been a season to survive, not to enjoy, as I stayed in doors to avoid the pollen. My 'A' levels were a nightmare of streaming nose and watering eyes. It was a hot summer and the windows were left open for cool air to circulate. I was in the minority, so I had to put up with it. There were no concessions in those days!

To experience a summer's day with a clear head was an absolute joy! This happened for the first time about ten years ago, and I have never looked back or thought much about it since then. That is, until now! For the first time in ages I went into the garden and started to sneeze.

Histamine is responsible for hayfever. It is always present in blood plasma. The levels go up and down during the day in a rhythmic variation. It's important to have histamine. It regulates gastric acid secretion in the stomach, it determines how easily substances pass through blood vessels, it regulates muscle contraction and is part of the immune response. Put simply, we need it! Histamine is also present in foods, especially fermented foods. When it goes wrong is when we have too much of it. The body can release histamine in vast quantities, either as a response, or as a cumulative effect. It is the only substance scientifically proven to cause itching, swelling, watering eyes, headaches and all the symptoms normally associated with hayfever. If histamine has a cumulative effect, one of the ways to reduce it is to cut out foods that are high in histamine.

For those of you who may be experiencing hayfever I've listed the foods that are high in histamine. Remember, histamine has a cumulative effect. You may have to eliminate just some of the food listed to reduce the reaction you have to pollen to enjoy the summer! Foods with high histamine content include:

  • Milk and Milk Products All fermented milk products including cheese of any kind including cheddar, blue cheese, Brie, Camembert, feta, Romano. Cottage cheese, yoghurt, buttermilk, Ricotta. Especially avoid processed cheeses.
  • Fruits Oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime. Cherries, grapes, strawberries, apricots, avocados, raspberries, pineapple, cranberries, prunes, loganberries, dates, raisins, currants.
  • Vegetables Tomatoes, tomato sauces, ketchup. Soy and soy products. Spinach, red beans, aubergine, olives in vinegar or brine, pumpkin, pickles, relishes and other foods containing vinegar.
  • Food Additives Tartrazine and other artifical food colours. Preservatives, especially benzoates and sulphites (remember sulphites are in wine)
  • Seasonings Cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, chilli powder, anise, curry powder, nutmeg.
  • Miscellaneous Fermented soy products(like soy sauce, miso), fermented foods like sauerkraut, tea (regular or green), chocolate, cocoa, and cola drinks, alcoholic beverages of all types, de-alcoholized drinks like beer, ale, wine.
  • Medication and vitamin supplements Tartrazine is in some medications and some vitamin supplements.

For more information on managing your allergies and intolerances, please telephone Cynthia on 07599520406. Please leave a message if I can't answer the phone straight away.

Cynthia Sillars

Article written by Cynthia Sillars - Darlington

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