If you ever suffer from inexplicable rashes, headaches, or upset stomach, you may have an intolerance to histamines. Eating meats low in histamines, like wild game, lamb, and some cuts of beef, may help reduce inflammation and allergy symptoms from high histamine levels. But which meats are safest? And how do you incorporate them into a low histamine diet? This article will explore it all.
Why Follow a Low Histamine Diet?
Histamines and the Immune System
Histamines are compounds released by immune cells during an allergic reaction or inflammation. They help fight invaders by increasing blood flow or tightening junctions between cells. Usually h,istamines are vital for good health. But some people produce too many or can’t break them down fast enough. This histamine intolerance causes numerous unpleasant symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance
The most common signs of intolerance are hives, headaches, upset stomach, anxiety, eczema flares, asthma attacks, changes in blood pressure, and more. It depends on where excess histamines accumulate. Following a low histamine diet reduces immune triggers and lowers baseline levels. Then when histamines spike occasionally, you handle it better.
The Best Low-Histamine Meat Options
Wild Game Meats
Game meats like venison, bison, elk, rabbit, boar, and ostrich are all fantastic low-histamine options. As wild animals, their stress and histamine levels are lower compared to domestic livestock.
Game animals eat a natural anti-inflammatory diet high in omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid that helps reduce baseline inflammation. Venison, bison, and elk offer lean red meat protein while still being tender. Rabbit and boar provide unique savory flavor. Ostrich has a rich beef-like taste with leanness closer to poultry. Game meats are also very nutrient-dense with higher iron, zinc, and B12 than conventional meats. Just be sure to eat them fresh before histamines accumulate. Opt for a game caught in the wild over farmed.
Lamb and Mutton
Grass-fed lamb and mutton are better than old beef in terms of low histamine levels. Look for fresh lamb that is organic, local, or comes from New Zealand or Australia. Lambs raised entirely on mother’s milk and grass have higher anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats that reduce histamine production compared to conventionally raised lambs. The meat is tender and mild flavored, perfect for marinating overnight in lemon juice to break down additional histamines.
Mutton takes well to slow, moist cooking methods perfect for tenderizing the less tender cuts from older sheep. Curries, braises, and stews made with mutton shine thanks to long cook times. Choose mutton from responsible harvests, not factory farming.
Of all beef cuts, tenderloin, top sirloin, 93% lean ground beef, and lean short ribs are the lowest in histamines. Choose fresh organic grass-fed whenever possible. Grass-fed cows eat a natural anti-inflammatory diet high in CLA and omega-3s from fresh pasture that reduces their inflammation and histamine levels compared to grain-fed cattle.
Grass-fed beef also contains higher antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene to protect against inflammation and allergic reactions. Always cook beef medium-rare to break down histamines without making it tough and dry. Lightly marinate sensitive cuts in apple cider vinegar before cooking.
Fresh White Meat Chicken and Turkey
The leanest poultry portions like skinless, boneless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets or tenderloins are the healthiest. Opt for free-range and organic. Quick cooking with gentle seasoning maintains moisture while avoiding potential irritants from high-heat charring or spice mixes with paprika or peppers.
While pastured chicken and turkey contain more inflammation-lowering nutrients than conventionally raised, even standard supermarket varieties are better histamine-wise if very fresh. Just skip the skin which concentrates histamines and allergens.
Of all pork cuts, tenderloin is leanest with the fewest histamines. Choose certified organic, free-range, or pastured to reduce livestock inflammation and allergens. Let marinate overnight in apple cider vinegar to break down histamines before cooking. Pair with gentle spices like sage, thyme, and black pepper that soothe mucus membranes. Avoid smoked ham or sausage with preservatives that provoke reactions. Instead, opt for homemade sausage with the freshest possible cuts of pork.
Organ Meats Like the Liver and Heart
Grass-fed organ meats like beef liver and heart contain inflammation-lowering nutrients lacking in muscle meat. The liver offers high vitamin A for skin health and vitamin B12 to regulate histamines. The heart provides CoQ10 for energy production within cells to combat fatigue. Just consume them occasionally, not daily, due to their high-dense nutrition. Pair with healing herbs like turmeric and let marinate in lemon before cooking. Soak in milk or broth if texture sensitivities demand gentle preparation.
Peter’s Tips To Follow a Proper Low Histamine Meat Diet
Get Meat Fresh, Avoid Aging
Minimizing meat histamines relies on consuming it as fresh as possible. Whole-aged roasts or cold cuts have higher histamine content from bacteria growing over time. Instead choose steaks, chops, tenderloins, ground meats o, or whole birds and use them mediately. Never eat spoiled or questionable meat.
Freeze and Thaw Properly
If you can’t use meat immediately, freeze it for short-term storage. Portion into meal sizes so meat defrosts faster for use later. Avoid slow defrosting in the fridge which allows histamine production. Thaw sealed packages submerged in cold water until fully defrosted and ready to cook immediately.
Watch Out for Other High Histamine Foods
Remember histamine intolerance goes beyond meat. Many aged foods and ferments like cheese, wine, and vinegar are high in histamine. Favor fresh, low-histamine fruits and vegetables instead along with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices to flavor food without intolerable compounds.
With some adjustments, you can customize your diet to enjoy histamine-free versions of flavorful favorite recipes.