Low-Histamine AND Lectin-free Combined Food List {Grocery List with Printable!} + Chicory Breve Latte recipe! #lowhistamine #histamines #lectinfree #lowlectin #chicory #foodlist #herbalcoffee #chicorycoffee

Low-Histamine AND Lectin-free Combined Food List {Grocery List with Printable!} + Chicory Breve Latte recipe!

I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor; please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.

A sometimes discouraging challenge arises for many of us when health circumstances lead us to adopt two restrictive diets at the same time. This post combines two diets: low-histamine and lectin-free (or low lectin), to help those who need to navigate grocery shopping and cooking (and eating!) with many new restrictions. This article is meant to free up your mind a bit on the subject, reduce stress and help you make one more big step toward wellness.

This article also includes one very special recipe, by way of encouragement: Chicory Breve Latte! (Find it toward the bottom of this post.)

(Scroll down to get the low histamine & low lectin diet printable! 🙂 )

My Story

For those of you who are curious, this is the diet I am doing right now! I had a recklessly healthy summer, and I exercised too much (because I felt great)! One day I went for a long jog (for me) when there was smoke in the air from nearby fires. The lymph nodes behind my ear swelled up, a rash broke out, my energy tanked … and I have never been the same since! I am doing SO much better now, but it took me tens of hours of research to understand what happened to my body. Now I will plod on to get well again. I should have been more careful. Now I know two triggers to be more careful of in the future!

Usually there is a silver lining, and in my case there is one too: My belly has never felt so good. All those years on the GAPS diet weren’t enough, because Dr. Natasha didn’t share about lectins. While it’s no walk in the park to eliminate them, my gut is healing in new ways, and for that I am grateful!

Low Histamine, Lectin-free Diet

Because of the work of Dr. Steven Gundry and his book, The Plant Paradox (find it here), knowledge about lectins and their link to leaky gut has spread. This news can be empowering when it leads to improved health. The work of Dr. Ben Lynch (here’s his book Dirty Genes) has helped many of us to find reprieve from onerous histamine intolerance symptoms. But ultimately, the two are related: Lectins can induce mast cell reactions, which cause histamine intolerance symptoms.

The key message to understand in reading about histamine intolerance is this: Look beyond it to the root cause, which is always leaky gut, an imbalanced gut microbiome, diet and usually additional factors like stress or environmental factors. With a low-histamine diet and this goal in mind, a lectin-free diet is the logical next step, sometimes and often paired with a healing diet like GAPS or AIP; (AIP already emphasizes the omission of lectins from one’s diet but GAPS does not). Healing the gut for many means … needing to remove lectins!

The work of Dr. Moneret-Vautrin also supports this conclusion. She is a professor of medicine in France and specializes in immunology and allergies. Although less well known in America, Dr. Moneret-Vautrin’s histamine studies link the healing of the gut and the reduction of one’s histamine threshold with eliminating legumes and grains, essentially lectins!

I have not included foods prohibited on these diets. Find lists for what not to eat on a lectin-free diet here and those to avoid for a low-histamine diet here. Over time, some of the prohibited foods may be reintroduced, by trial and error, one at a time, while other foods will remain triggers and should be avoided long term.

To read more about both of these diets and to find additional resources scroll to the bottom of this post.

In short and by way of introduction, lectins are proteins often found in foods containing seeds, with some exceptions. Lectins are also found in some roots and in early stage leaves. High histamine foods are usually aged. Foods that are not high in histamines themselves but that encourage mast cells to release histamines are also ones to avoid, as they may cause the same symptoms. Unfortunately these foods include favorites like cocoa and shellfish. But remember, oftentimes these foods may be added back into one’s diet after a period of regaining balance or healing leaky gut.

Ultimately that’s the goal with histamines: We should re-test our threshold regularly and keep a small to moderate amount of histamines in our diet, according to what our bodies can handle, always trying to keep food diversity.

Additional Note: A minority of patients who struggle with histamine overload or a sensitivity to lectins are also sensitive to salicylates. While this post won’t go into that arena, I have noted in the lists below in parenthesis when a food approved for being low in lectins and histamines has a high salicylate content, as it may provide good insight for some of you, as you track down your unique sensitivities.

The Combined Food List (Yes! Foods)

Low-Histamine AND Lectin-free Combined Food List {Grocery List with Printable!}

Oils

Algae Oil (This one was new to me, but it’s so good! Find it here. Use it like you would avocado oil, especially if you can’t have avocado oil.)
Avocado Oil
Coconut Oil
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
MCT Oil (Find it here.)
Perillo Oil (Find it here.)
Red Palm Oil
Sesame Oil
Walnut Oil
Virgin Cod Liver Oil (Find it here.)

Acceptable Nuts and Seeds in Moderation

No more than half a cup per day is recommended. Nuts and seeds (not including chestnuts which are already cooked) should always be soaked in salt water to make them more digestible. Learn how to soak nuts and larger seeds here. Learn how to “predigest” smaller seeds (like flax and hemp) here.

Macadamia
Pistachios
Pecans
Chestnuts
Flax seeds
Hemp seeds
Hulled Sesame Seeds
Psyllium
Brazil nuts
Coconut
Blanched Almonds

Seafood

FRESH fish only: any wild caught, up to 4 ounces per day (no shellfish)

Condiments & Miscellaneous

Sea salt (very important natural anti-histamine!)
ACV (safe for some and not for others)
Or use ascorbic acid + water to make a safe vinegar-like solution (Find great non-GM AA here.)
-Mix 5-1/2 teaspoons water with 1/2 teaspoon AA; stir to dissolve. (source)
Baking soda
Baking powder
Gelatin (may cause a histamine response for some)

Fruit

Blueberries in season (sometimes high level of benzoates) and blackberries in season

Dairy

A2 raw milk, preferably pasture-raised, must be very fresh (I find I tolerate it well for the first 5 days after milking.)
French or Kerrygold butter

Non-dairy Beverages

Unsweetened coconut milk
Chicory Herbal Coffee (Recipe here. [Scroll down for Chicory Breve Latte recipe!] Learn about prebiotics here.)

In support of enjoying chicory:
… mast cells are a source of histamine that could be preventing a low histamine, or histamine restricted diet, from working. Allergens, bacteria, viruses, parasites, stress, chemicals, pressure, vibration, heat, cold, all trigger the release of histamine from mast cells. So while minimizing histamine intake from foods might work in the short term, preventing mast cells from releasing histamine, and other inflammatory agents that compound the symptoms of histamine, is paramount (source)

However, if you are sensitive to salicylates, it may be best to avoid chicory. Yasmina Ykelenstam, now deceased, but founder of HealingHistamine.com cautions those with histamine intolerance or MCAD to balance our plates: not too many foods with salicylates, some but not too many foods high in oxalic acid, not too many histamines etc. Balance is key long term. So chicory may be better for some than for others (source).

In other words, try out a small cup of chicory coffee, and see how you do! If your body can tolerate chicory coffee, it may be a true health food for you. I am thankful it’s a food my body loves, so it’s a treat I can have! We need to find those treats, so we’re content while we heal. Chicory is also a great prebiotic food and good for colon health.

Sweeteners

Coconut sugar
Maple sugar
Maple syrup
Honey
Yacon

Low Carb Sweeteners

Stevia
Monk fruit
Hardwood-derived xylitol
Erythritol
Luo han guo

Prebiotics

Green plantains
Green bananas
Baobab fruit
Cassava
Sweet potatoes or yams (anti-histamine but high amounts of salicylates)
Rutabaga
Parsnips (high amounts of salicylates)
Celery root
Glucomannan
Persimmon
Jicama
Jerusalem Artichokes
Taro roots
Turnips
Tiger nuts
Green mango
Millet/Sorghum (thyroid suppressing effects, should not be eaten too often or if thyroid, adrenal or low energy issues are present)
Green papaya

Vegetables

Broccoli (high amounts of salicylates)
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower (anti-histamine)
Bok choy
Napa cabbage
Chinese cabbage
Swiss chard
Arugula (anti-histamine)
Watercress (high amounts of salicylates)
Collards
Kale (anti-histamine)
Cabbage
Red Cabbage (anti-histamine)
Radicchio
Nopales cactus
Celery
Onions (some people have a histamine response to onions)
Shallots
Leeks
Chives
Scallions
Carrots
Carrot greens
Artichokes
Beets (high amounts of salicylates)
Radishes
Daikon radishes
Jerusalem artichokes
Hearts of palm
Okra (natural lectin blocker)
Asparagus (anti-histamine)
Garlic (anti-histamine)
Leafy greens
Romaine
Red and green leaf lettuce
Kohlrabi
Mesclun
Endive
Dandelion greens
Butter lettuce
Fennel
Escarole
Mustard greens
Mizuna
Parsley (anti-histamine)
Basil (high amounts of salicylates)
Mint
Cilantro
Lemon Verbena
Marjoram
Rosemary (high amounts of salicylates)
Sage (high amounts of salicylates)
Tarragon (high amounts of salicylates)
Thyme (high level of benzoates [only an issue for some people] and high amounts of salicylates)
Oregano (high amounts of salicylates)
Purslane
Perilla
Ginger
Mushrooms

Fresh Meat: Grass fed and grass finished, 4 ounces per day

Bison
Wild game (venison, elk, boar etc.)
Pork
Lamb
Beef
Chicken
Turkey
Other Fowl (duck, goose, quail etc.)
Pastured or omega-3 eggs (make sure whites are fully cooked)

Did I miss anything? Let me know! This was quite the list to assemble!

Briefly, while we’re on the subject, if you’re struggling with a histamine sensitivity, keep in mind that this state is not a diagnosis, but rather a symptom of mast cell activation disorder. While many of us can obtain relief from symptoms by reducing histamines in our diet, ultimately we should address the underlying cause. Nutrients and foods known to stabilize mast cells include prebiotics, probiotics, selenium, vitamin C, quercetin, bromelain, nettles, butterbur, peppermint, ginger, thyme, turmeric and holy basil (source).

As always, it’s also important to reduce stress, get enough sleep (if you can) and see a practitioner if you suspect heavy metals in your system.

Additional Resources

I spoke above about mast cells releasing histamines and that certain foods encourage this to take place. Conversely there are some supplements that discourage histamines from being released, which is certainly one of the broader goals in rebalancing the body after histamines have gotten out of control. Personally I have found one supplement to be the most helpful in reducing the release of histamines! It’s quercetin. (Find it here.) I take one capsule with each meal, and that supplement alone has made a huge difference for me.

Another great option is this supplement by Seeking Health (created by Dr. Ben Lynch) which adds additional similar support with nettles, bromelain and broccoli seed extract added to the quercetin. (I don’t take this one because my body doesn’t digest coconut oil well, and this pill contains a coconut derived product; otherwise I would.)

Vitamin C is also a great mast cell regulator. (Here’s a preferred source from Camu Camu berries. We take 1 teaspoon daily, minimum, which is about 700 mg. Vitamin C is flushed from the body quickly, so if it doesn’t cause loose stools, it may be ideal to take this dose twice daily. Consult your doctor for dosage.)

Need a best source for DAO?? DAO is the enzyme that breaks down histamines. I wouldn’t go without this supplement, what a blessing it has been to me! And I’m excited to share it with you because it’s 100% food-based, with just one ingredient: grass-fed kidneys (which are naturally very high in DAO). I LOVE this supplement. Find Ancestral Supplements Kidneys here. I take 6 capsules daily. LOVE. (All other DAO supplements I’ve found contain many unneeded additives.)

I may write another post on overcoming histamine issues and fully healing leaky gut with lectin elimination. But for now I hope you find this article helpful. Honestly, cutting out so many foods was hard for me too!! (Especially cheese!, she said weeping … ) But alas, regaining our health is worth it!!

Much love, recovery of balance and wellness to you! ~ Megan

I’d love to hear your experiences too! Tell me about your process of diagnosing or recovering from lectin and histamine issues!

Here’s your Grocery List Printable! Or Pin it!

Lectin-Free, Low-Histamine Food List with Printable: This post combines two diets: lectin-free and low-histamine, to help those who need to navigate grocery shopping and cooking with many new restrictions. This article is meant to free up your mind a bit on the subject, reduce stress and help you make one more big step toward wellness. #lowhistamine #lectinfree #lectins #histamines #grocerylist #infographic #list #diet #leakygut #healing

Ready for a healthy treat?! Here’s the Chicory Breve Latte recipe! Enjoy.

Low-Histamine AND Lectin-free Combined Food List {Grocery List with Printable!} + Chicory Breve Latte recipe! #lowhistamine #histamines #lectinfree #lowlectin #chicory #foodlist #herbalcoffee #chicorycoffee

Low-Histamine & Lectin-free Grocery List AND Chicory Breve Latte Recipe {AIP, Paleo, Keto}
Prep Time
10 mins
 

{Low-Histamine & Lectin-free Grocery List} + This cup of herbal coffee is absolutely delicious!! Chicory Coffee brews up dark and bitter, just like real coffee. Dairy version: Adding homemade A2 half and half is the perfect creamy embellishment. A2 milk and cream need to be pasture raised to be healthful. See if you can find a local farmer near you who provides this fresh health food. Otherwise, use unsweetened coconut milk. I prefer my cup unsweetened. But for an extra treat, I give the option below of adding raw honey or pure maple syrup (over the top yummy and special!)

Servings: 1 16 ounce serving
Author: Megan
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces hot chicory coffee see Recipe Notes for recipe link
  • 4 ounces raw A2 milk or OR unsweetened coconut milk
  • 4 ounces raw A2 cream OR unsweetened coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey or pure maple syrup, optional! (I prefer no sweetener.)
Instructions
  1. In small saucepan combine milk and cream.

  2. Heat gradually over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until piping hot and steamy, but not yet simmering.

  3. Pour chicory coffee and half and half into large mug. Add optional honey or maple syrup, to taste. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Find Chicory Coffee recipe HERE.

Find bulk chicory root HERE.

Additional Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

 

Lectin-free AND Low-Histamine Combined Food List {Grocery List with Printable!} #leakygut #lowhistamine #lectins #lectinfree #printable #grocerylist #list

Have you already adopted a low histamine and low lectin diet? I’d love to hear about your wellness journey.

Comments 24

  1. Hello, thanks so much for this info. I have high histamine levels and have been struggling with the diet because I have a reaction to meat, fowl and fish. I buy grass fed, range free, organic etc, but I still react. Either I just can’t eat it or I need a source where I can buy really fresh. Do you have a source for fresh meat and fish? Also, I thought blueberries were a big no no for histamine?

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      Author

      Hi Amy, you’re welcome and thanks for your comment and question. Regarding berries, they’re naturally high in benzoates, and benzoates release histamine. Berries that are higher in benzoates tend to be strawberries, raspberries and cranberries (the red ones). Blueberries won’t be a problem for most people, but certainly as with all histamine releasing foods, it does vary person to person. Regarding meats, I’m so sorry for that inconvenience!! I do like U.S. Wellness Meats. Perhaps order one pound of frozen meat from them, and see how you do. Best wishes!

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        Author

        One more detail about blueberries from Dr. Janice Joneya is this: it depends on the species, the ripeness of the blueberries and other factors. She says that in most cases blueberries are fine, but to proceed with that awareness.

  2. I bought the book The Plant Paradox, but it’s been sitting since I bought it. I never got around to reading it but I did implement the diet for a short period of time. It might be something to revisit for me at a later time. I’m so glad you’ve found something that’s working well for you right now. I’m so sorry to hear about that flare – those nasty fires this summer. I love that you’re so in tune with your body and what you need. Lovely chicory latte too!

  3. Oye! I could have really used this about 3 years ago when I was struggling with histamines! This is a lot of info, but is going to be so helpful for so many! Going off histamines for a period of time really helped me! That drink looks fabulous – definitely want to try that!

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      Author

      Thanks Renee! Me too: Years ago, going off of histamines temporarily was enough, but then this summer the issue got worse. Life can be full of setbacks! So happy your histamine levels are where they need to be, and may they stay there!! 🙂

  4. Megan, this is such a great post! I have been having issues with histamine foods for a while (I believe), although I never got a verdict from the doctors. I had been focusing on healing the gut and moderating the obvious triggering foods, and my symptoms had improved quite a bit. Now, you are amazing for putting together this list! Pinning it and I am going to refer back for shopping. I never knew squashes are problematic, and it’s going to be hard to live without avocados. I LOVE and eat a little too much of the foods on the no-go list sometimes, and I can definitely limit the amount in my diet.

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      Author

      Hi Yang, thank you! I agree, so hard (and unexpected) to go without squashes and avocados! My sons both had symptoms that improved just going off of squashes, and I’ve been able to keep them on avocados occasionally. For me, no. As you probably know, we want to keep some level of histamine foods in our diet, kind of the limit of what our bodies can tolerate. I admire your health journey so much! Glad to be alongside you as we continue the process.

  5. Yummy breve! And such a helpful list! In scrolling through it, I learned that rutabaga and parsnips are high in resistant starch, and I didn’t know that before! Good thing I just ordered 10 pounds of parsnips! I’m so glad you’re feeling better on this new diet!

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      Author
  6. How do you use the Acerola powder? And how often? I am thinking it would be a great addition for the upcoming cold/flu season that seems to already be in full force in my neck of the woods.
    Thanks for another great article!

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      Author

      Hi Jana, thanks and you’re welcome! 🙂 I’m going to add some additional Vitamin C links as well, actually, because I found a study where one sensitive person had an allergic reaction to it due to latex cross contamination. So while that was extremely rare, I’m going to add another two options. But, with acerola powder, it is great in a beet (cooked fully, then frozen or chilled) + blueberry smoothie! 🙂 You can also just stir it into some water and swallow! 🙂 Or it could be stirred into a millet porridge. Their scoop makes it confusing, but it seems that 3/4 teaspoon gives you 750 mg which is the recommended daily dosage for Vitamin C by many holistic doctors.

  7. WoW. So sorry that you have had more issues/challenges. What a fabulous post. I will definitely pin and share ~ Remembering the first time I heard about lectin – so interesting. So pleased that you are feeling better + better! xo
    I made parsnips soup yesterday and Jerusalem artichokes last weekend.. Yum.

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      Author

      Thank you Carol!! Much love! Mmm, your veggie foods sound lovely!! (I have been eating SO many more veggies on this diet.)

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      Author
  8. Wow this is really incredible! Also so sorry to hear you’ve not been feeling well, I really struggled through a bad fire season as well and I’m just now starting to pull out of it – something about no fresh air for 6 weeks really affects your body!

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      Author

      Thank you Kari! I know, right? Boy am I going to be super intentional in all future years when smoke sweeps into our valley! I’m glad you are improving now! xo!

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