Histamine levels in foods

This article is intended to serve as an overview. For more detailed histamine levels have a look at the histamine table. Or take alook at the table with foods ranked by their tolerability.

We have been asked many times why these histamine levels do not correspond to those levels on other websites. The answer is pretty simple: The histamine levels are – contrary to levels shown, for example, for lactose -  subject to fluctuation (depending on storage, age,...). This means that the levels given in the tables can only serve as points of reference.


Fresh fish – low in histamine
The same fish, not stored in a cool place, an hour later: higher histamine levels
The same fish, not stored in a cool place, four hours later: very high histamine levels

Foods which contain high levels of histamine

  • wine_cheese_2Pickled, tinned, canned, preserved foods
  • Cheese: especially matured and hard cheese – the more matured the more histamine 
  • Smoked, cured meat, cured ham, salami
  • Most fish products (all shell fish), especially preserved fish products
  • Beans and pulses/legumes (especially chickpeas and soy beans, also peanuts))
  • Soy products (soy milk, soy cream, tofu, soy sauce,...)
  • Products from wheat
  • Sauerkraut and other pickles
  • Ready meals
  • Some fruit varieties (banana, pears, aubergines, oranges, kiwi, strawberries)  
  • Alcohol, especially wine and beer
  • Yeast (better: products produced with yeast)
  • Black and green tea
  • Chocolate, cocoa, savoury snacks/biscuits, sweets with preservatives and/or food colourings 
  • Wine vinegar
  • Nuts, walnuts, cashew

Foods which have a histamine liberating effect (histamine liberators):

  • Pulses/legumes
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus fruits (new studies show that they are sometimes tolerated)
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwi
  • Nuts
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya (new studies show that they are sometimes tolerated)
  • Cocoa and chocolate

Foods that block the DAO:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocoa
  • Black tea
  • Green tea
  • Mate tea
  • Energy drinks

You are advised to always consult with a registered dietician and work out a detailed dietary plan with them!

Foods that have lower histamine levels:

Please be aware that, because of any other food intolerances or cross-allergies that may also be present, the low-histamine level of a particular foodstuff alone says nothing definite about whether or not the patient can tolerate it.

  • potatoesCream cheese
  • Fresh meat (fresh, cooled, frozen)
  • Freshly caught fish and seafood
  • Fresh fruit: melon, blueberry, cranberries (lingonberries), litchi, mango, khaki, rhubarb, cherries red currants, apricot, apple
  • Fresh vegetables: lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, pumpkin, onion, radishes, lamb’s lettuce, paprika, carrot, broccoli, potato, cucumber, leek, zucchini (courgettes), sweet corn, asparagus, garlic,
  • Grains, pasta: spelt-, corn-, rice noodles; yeast-free rye bread; corn-, rice crisp bread; rice; rolled/porridge oats, oat flakes; puffed rice crackers; corn-, rice-, millet flower.
  • Substitutes for milk: rice-, oat-, coconut milk
  • All fruit juices except citrus fruits and/or juices without added tomato, all vegetable juices (except Sauerkraut)
  • Herbal teas (except those mentioned above)
  • Egg yolk


Sources include:
nmi Portal
Jarisch, R.,2004: Ärztemagazin 08/2004, Histamin-Intoleranz
Jarisch, R. "Histaminunverträglichkeit", Thieme Verlag TB 2. Auflage
Schmutz Helmut (Autor); Abbot, G.; Lieners C.; Mayer, I.;; "Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeit (Histamin Intoleranz)", Sachbuch, Wien 2006


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The information provided on the Food Intolerance Network website is no substitute for a visit to a registered dietician, nutritionist or a doctor. The information that you will find here may not be used as a substitute for professional advice and treatment by a medical professional or approved and registered dieticians. The content of the Food Intolerance Network website may not be used as a basis or means for any form of self-diagnosis.

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