Amine Foods List / Low Amine Grocery List

Low Amine Grocery Shopping

Low amine recipes start at the grocery store.

Amine allergies and amine sensitivities make grocery shopping an overwhelmingly difficult task. All the foods you would normally grab are now on the “can’t have it” list. When you’re first starting to do food shopping with an amine allergy, it’s helpful to have this amine foods list printed as a quick reference.


Grocery shopping was daunting without a list, and the one I had was a word document and a nightmare to use, so I created this low-amine spreadsheet to make it easier. Remember, the lower in amines, the better. The higher in amines, the more careful you should be about intake.

Note: Amine Food List Ingredients in italics are guesses based on related items and personal experience.

Note: Foods marked with H or T correlate with Histamine and Tyramine. For instance, a “T” in the “low” column but “H” in the high column would mean that food item is low in Tyramines, but high in Histamines. Information on histamines and tyramines is difficult to find, so forgive the incomplete nature of the information regarding this.

Note: If you test an ingredient that isn’t on my list, please let me know your results. I would love to add it to my list to share with others in the amine allergic community. Unfortunately, my own sensitivities are not reactive enough to do reliable amine tests on my own.

Important General Guidelines for Amines (not listed on the spreadsheet):
  • The fresher the food is, the better it is. If you have two cucumbers, and cuke #1 is a day older than cuke #2, cuke #2 will be higher in amines. Because amines are annoying that way.
  • Almost everything preserved (dried, canned, frozen, aged, or fermented) is going to be very high in amines. In order of bad to worse, from what I understand: fresh food that’s old, frozen, dried, canned, aged/fermented/pickled.
  • MSG is high in amines, and it’s a synthetic chemical. Yuck. Just avoid it, folks.
  • Muscle meat of most animals (high in amines: all pork, tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel) is okay, so long as it’s very, very fresh.
  • Processed foods are generally no good. The more processing ingredients go through, the older they are and the higher in amines they will be.
  • For a trustworthy low-amine diet, start with fresh, whole, low-amine ingredients and produce. That said, I do not eat every meal freshly made that day. I plan in advance and try to mentally schedule my meals somewhat. For instance, I might make low-amine burritos for a week’s lunches and freeze them for a short period of time. These burritos will me MUCH better for me than frozen burritos purchased at the store that have already been processed, frozen, transported, and stored for an unknown length of time.
  • Juice is tricky. Drink only fresh juices from trusted sources. Many commercially prepared juices have been sitting around in storage much longer than you ever would want to think about.
Foods to avoid? Processed foods are often highest in amines.

Keep high-amine processed foods out of your diet (I know… You’ll probably miss the cat food most of all. Mao mao!).

Published on August 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm  Comments (145)  

145 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I cant wait to learn more about it, I have also added raw food and I have started taking dairy out of my diet as well. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2010 and I also have 3 other autoimmune diseases.

    • Three other autoimmune diseases on top of Celiac? Goodness! I got “lucky” myself… I have an amine allergy, but my gluten intolerance is tolerable. I have problems with it, but I have so many other problems with my amine allergy that I don’t even worry about gluten anymore. I buy gluten-free for the house, but don’t care at all when I’m out and about. Too many other issues “on my plate.” What autoimmune diseases are you dealing with?

      • My apologizes for this being so very late. I have had a bad year and was recently in the hospital for a small bleed in my brain. 2012 cant come fast enough.
        I have a form of Lupus that affects my skin, so far only my head, I suffer from small bald patches here and there. The medication has caused me many issues and I can no longer take it. I also have Sjogren’s Syndrome, which is when a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Dry eye’s and mouth are common but it can effect kidney and the liver. I have been having liver issues but my team of doctors are keeping an eye on everything.
        My body just doesn’t like itself any more. Again I am so sorry I didn’t see that you responded back to me. I would love to add a link to your blog and do a write up about Low Amine Foods & Recipes. Let me know if you would be Ok with that. Thanks

        I have tried a few of your dishes and really like them, in fact I am making your Cajun Spiced Beef Skewers for New Years Eve

        • I would absolutely love that – thank you so much! And I’m glad you’ve been liking the recipes so far. If you ever have suggestions or ideas (or think a recipe could be tweaked), I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’m all ears – it’s all about the food, and the better it tastes, the better it is for everyone! Lately, I’ve been on a mission to recreate people’s favorite foods (now off limits due to food allergies), so if you have any to suggest, please do!

          Goodness, though, I’m sorry to hear you have such health issues. Do you end up having to take a lot of oils to help with that? I will have to do some reading up on Sjogren’s Syndrome, I see. Here’s to hoping you have a healthful and happy New Year!

        • Any autoimmune problem may have an identifiable cause and that could be food. As a doc I have fixed 5 people with rheumatoid arthritis and one with lupus. If you google Sjogrens and gluten there is an association. For your docs who think this is tripe print off the review article Modulation of Immune Function by Dietary Lectins in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Cordain et al, British J. Nutrition 2000;83:207-17. Lectins in grains(wheat rye oats barley rice corn and milk and legumes being the main ones.. As
          Of now we have no test for these problems so the doc must be aware of the possibility and clinical pattern which is my specialty in allergy.

          • I have juvenile arthritis and my trigger is carrots, I get dismissed by everyone, but I leave pain free as long as I don’t eat them and can’t move if I do.

    • Check out BCM7 mucus and gluten behaviour. Coeliac is just a small end of the spectrum of illnesses from gluten. DR M

  2. I found your website fascinating! I look forward to perusing the recipes and perhaps tweaking one or two for my own silly allergy list. Its long. rofl I react to gluten, per oxides and peroxides, the entire mustard family, all meats, poultry and other foods.

    Just a note about Gluten. Gluten actually burrows holes in intestines when you have Celiac Disease. You will then leech vitamins and minerals, which in turn, can cause even more health issues like auto-immune disorders. Its thought that gluten attacks other parts of the body too. I do understand how eating out GF is nearly impossible and don’t blame you for not worrying about GF then.

    Some people I’ve talked to, have found that a Raw Foods diet has improved their health immensely, gave them more energy and reversed previous health issues. I don’t have very many raw food or low-amine recipes on my website yet, but do plan on creating these recipes in the next few months. So, my website won’t be very useful to you yet. Sorry about that!

    I’m bookmarking your site and adding it to my “Special Diets” section so people can find you. Feel free to add my website to your blog if you want to.

    • Pardon the barrage of questions that are about to happen, but…

      Are your allergies ingredient specific, or are they tied to something in particular?

      What are per oxides and peroxides?

      I Googled the mustard family and found: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Canola (rapeseed), Cauliflower, Celery Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Collard, Colza Shoots, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kraut, Horseradish, Mustard, Mustard Greens, Radish, Rutabaga, Turnips, Watercress. What about bok choy? Celery? Celery root / celeriac?

      Gluten burrows holes into your intestines if you’re Celiac? Well that’s rude. Good grief! I didn’t know that. I am definitely gluten intolerant. If I keep it in my diet as much as is recommended in a “part of a normal American diet,” I end up… hm, let’s just say I become a very frequent and very efficient pooper. Since I’m not Celiac, I buy gluten-free for the home, but don’t worry about it when I’m out or eating at friends houses. I just try to keep it out of the house if possible. With my amine allergy, it is hard enough to eat out (I have to go online, look at menus, call, and then interrogate the poor kitchen staff when I get there (20 minutes early, to make sure I can ask them before we’re seated)). My gluten intolerance tends to take the back burner. Readers – please do not take this as a suggestion for what to do with your own allergies. If you are Celiac, you’re Celiac.

      I could not do the raw foods diet, though I have known several people who went on it and had tremendous success. I have tried in the past, when more ingredients were available to me, even, and wasn’t able to keep it up (though a large portion of foods was good raw). Now, with the loss of so many ingredients, it would be very tricky. Amine allergies are not very conducive to the raw foods diet, low carb / slow carb diet, or paleo diet.

      If you have suggestions for recipes or tools, I’d love to hear them! Thanks for taking the time!

      Michelle F
      Low Amine Recipes

      • m gluten dairy intolerant 40 years but can have both now (if I add lactase to the milk -preferably A2. Dr m

  3. I’ve found that my allergies are all over the place. With the Mustard Family, its protein that is similiar in all of the mustard family that I react too. In the other families where I react to things here and there, its ingredient specific.

    I can’t explain it, as its complicated chemistry. However, it means that I react to zinc oxide, hydrogen peroxide, anything with peroxide as part of the name. Its the Oxide sub3 that I react to, as well as the peroxides, O2. A google insists that I mean peroxide and not the “per” oxides. The difference is whether the oxide is sub2 (peroxide) or sub3 (per oxide). One of my doctors says that it is very rare to react to O3 as we all need oxygen. I think he also said that there is considerable debate as to whether there really is a difference between O2 and O3.

    Here is the definition of peroxide, the O2, instead of the O3.

    hydrogen peroxide, H2O2 or H–O–O–H.
    a compound containing the bivalent group –O2–, derived from hydrogen peroxide, as sodium peroxide, Na2O2, or dimethyl peroxide, C3H6O2.
    the oxide of an element that contains an unusually large amount of oxygen.

    Bok Choy is actually apart of the Mustard family. I react to it. Its also one of my fave veggies that I can’t tolerate anymore.

    Celery, celeriac, and so on, I react to as well. They are apart of the Parsley family. In that family, coriander and cumin I can eat. And, for some strange reason, parsley stays down. So, I eat it, but not very often.

    Getting back to the O2/O3 topic, I had this odd thought. I wonder how much oxygen is in various foods that I eat – what their oxygen rankings are, and if that has any correlation to how much I react to some of those vegetables. Not the mustard family, but the other odd ball vegetables I react to. Curious. I’m not sure my body utilizes Oxygen properly – besides the Asthma.

    I can understand why a raw food diet may not work. I reread the list of allowed foods, and sticking to a raw foods diet may actually trigger EE disorder, due to the lack of variety. (See for more information).

    Take the allowed vegetables, and cut them differently to get a different texture. Spaghetti squash makes good “noodles” when pulled apart with a fork, I’ve read else where.

    Quinoa is a high protein source that goes well with Cilantro and Lime.

    A sauce can be made using saffron in rice milk, and if you don’t react to it, arrowroot is a thickener. This goes well over rice. Saffron is expensive though, and is a very delicate spice. If you research Indian recipes using saffron, you can find out how they use saffron.

    I’m still working out recipes and hope to have some up by May of next year. I have to work out GF breads that have moisture and are top 8 free.
    Hope this helps! I’m now off to add your link to my blog roll.

    • Holy shamoley! That’s a seriously complicated allergy you’ve got going on there. I’d be really interested to see the oxygen content in foods – I wonder if that has something to do with it… Thank you for bringing your allergies to light – the clarification is much appreciated!

      Spaghetti squash does indeed make for awesome noodles, and I love, love, love quinoa. It’s low amine, high nutrient, and generally awesome.

      I’ve never tried making that sauce – I’ll have to give it a whirl. It sounds awesome! I’m thinking maybe a saffron cardamom sauce that I can plate under chicken… Mmmm….

      I’m looking forward to trying your recipes! I’m an awful baker, so help is definitely needed in that department. I’m a cook, not a baker – It’s been proven again and again and again. In order to write my low amine blog, I had to learn to measure so that I could write down my recipes! Never really had before.

  4. I did a google search, and no one has a oxygen content of food list, but there is analyzers that the food industry uses to test their products for oxygen in order to handle spoilage – not useful. So, I still don’t know whats really going on with me, as without that data, I can’t analyze non-mustard family foods. I never took chemistry in school,

    I agree that a little cardomom with that saffron would go well with chicken. Also, cumin and coriander works well with Chicken.

    I’m learning how to bake as we speak. So, all my GF baking recipes, will be from trial and error. Next week, I’m going to work out the Naan recipe that I needed to work out months ago, and I’m also working on a pizza crust at that time.

    I can so relate to the measuring issue! lol I was taught to cook without measuring a thing. Now I have to save money for a gram scale so that I can convert my recipes to UK measurement, as I decided that I wanted my recipes to be more universally useable.

    • I’m not sure even taking chemistry in school would help! I look at the chemistry resources for amine allergies and my mind is boggled. No idea how to translate it into layman’s terms. I hope you are able to figure out your allergies. What a challenge!

      I’m definitely looking forward to making a saffron sauce. Been a while since I’ve used saffron. Time to bring it back.

      I learned to bake when I was younger. Then, once Christmas, I baked about 16 dozen cookies to wrap in pretty cellophane and give as gifts, not realizing that the Crisco I had used was spoiled. I was so frustrated at having to throw away 16 dozen cookies that I never really baked again. lol.

      Oh man, when you get a good pizza crust recipe down, let me know. I buy mine from Namaste, and they’re awesome, but being able to make my own would be fantastic.

      Can’t you just use Google to convert your recipes/measurements?

  5. I could use google to convert but I like the excuse to buy a new thing for the kitchen. lol

    Food Chemist is what degree one would want, but that is beyond me. lol

    Pizza Crusts – I found out I’m allergic/very intollerant to vinegar. Alcohol causes infections in me, and being that vinegar contains alcohol, I can’t have any store boughten GF pizza crust because they all contain vinegar or onion. I’ve not dared try GF Pizza at restaurants, because those are usually shipped in and then heated up at restaurant. Those are more likely to contain vinegar or onion.

    I’ll comment here IF I work out a good pizza dough. If I don’t like it, I won’t bother. lol

  6. Wishing you a Happy New Year also. I haven’t used oils to help with my issues, if you have any information on them I would love if you you could send it. I will be working on my link to you page. I will let you know when its done. Thank you for all your great information and tasty recipes

    • I don’t have any info on oils, but it seems like it might be something you should look into. Raw flax oil might help (don’t cook with it, it goes from being anti-inflammatory to inflammatory when you cook it). Thank you so much for the write-up! I hope you’re able to find some recipes that help you (and that you love)! Happy New Year!

  7. Any substitution recommendations for teas? I drink tea all day. Green, oolong, herbal, etc…

    • You know, I don’t worry so much about teas, though I do stay away from teas with any citrus or fruits in them. I have not had any significant reaction to tea. I drink green tea like my blood would dry up without it. lol.

      • I believe ALL teas are off the list for people with histamine intolerance. Apparently the Benzoates trigger histamine and they are in tea.

        • Sad!

        • I cut out tea with other foods and I know longer faint. It’s one of the few “foods” I can trace back having consumed regularly for 40 years and never thought it could be the problem. I’m sure it was a total of histamine consumption that caused the problems, but the other foods came and went over the years, while tea was a constant.

          • “no” longer, not know longer…

  8. Hi! Thanks for the awesome website! Keep up doing good work! :-))
    Let me ask you few questions – I need to substitute for an olive oil, but I cannot get hold of safflor oil, is pumpkin or linseed oil ok? What do you reckon?
    Also how did you make your list? Have gathered information from all other websites and mix it with your list or?? :-) Thx

    • Thank you. I would not use those oils. Can you get your hands on organic canola oil?

    • Oh – forgot to answer your last question… I get my info from sources at the RPAH Allergy Unit.

  9. Hi, I’m loving your blog. Very well put together and lovely pictures and recipes too. I’ve had chemical sensitivity and food allergies for decades but am only now discovering that my “old fish” “allergy” is really histamine intolerance and I’m drastically changing things to work it out. At this point I do not think I react to other amines but I know better than to make assumptions. I’m trying to eat overall low-amine but focus on the histamine bits.

    I have questions about your grocery lists. I’ve found lots of contradictions with other lists around the internet, but yours are probably better researched. Given how serious your amine reactions are, I would say that if you tolerate a particular ingredient, it probably really is low enough. My questions are with some of the things labeled as high.

    For example, you list mustard seeds as very high. Mustard the condiment I can understand, as it’s made with vinegar (and indeed mustard the sauce is listed as high), but here you say seeds. Yet in your recipes, you use mustard powder in some of them and list it at the bottom as very low. Under Tofu Bites you say “mustard is high in amines” and you do not mean the condiment but rather mustard powder in curry powder. But under Baked Beans (and roast beets/carrots and lamb pastry and mayo) you say “Very Low Amine: dry mustard.” The Stuffed Cabbage says it’s “Low Amine.” Can you clarify?

    Another one is seaweed. You say they’re all very high. But when I look up seaweed there are tons of articles, including medical ones, talking about how seaweed lowers histamine levels. Is it low in histamine but high in other amines?

    Also can you tell me if olive oil is high in histamine? Which amines does it test high for?

    Do you have links to sources? I’m looking for actual numbers (matched with amounts of the ingredient plus the form of the ingredient). I can make more informed decisions that way.

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. If you were to include a blog section on which tests to order from doctors to help with diagnosis that would be awesome. I’ve had two near-death experiences in hospitals from medication reactions no one could figure out and now I think they were histamine reactions. So I need some level of “proof” for my files.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying my low-amine blog, and I’m glad that you were able to figure out what your allergies were – that’s phenomenal!

      My sources come from the RPAH Elimination diet handbook, from “Allergy Friendly Food,” from emailing my nutritionist (who worked with them), from emailing the RPAH directly, and from “Dealing with Food Allergies,” which gives a solid Tyramine/Histamine breakdown (you may want to get this book).

      Some of my older recipes have a few mislabeled ingredients, which I need to go fix. I’m finally pretty set on the list I have, as I have checked and double checked my sources, but I haven’t had time to run through my blog yet and do updates. Thank you for the reminder!

      Mustard seed is high in amines, thus mustard (the powder and the condiment) is high in amines. Sad, I know.

      Olive oil is high in amines, correct. I believe it’s high in histamines and tyramines, but I am not positive.

      The only test I took was the IgE blood test, and when I scored really high on the “holy moly, you’re allergic to stuff” bell curve, I did an elimination diet with a nutritionist who had been trained to identify an amine problem.

      I hope that helps!

  10. Hi! I’m new to your site and have a question on some of the foods on the “amine grocery list.” Some foods are in two columns (low and high) with maybe a “T” next to it. For example, nectarine is listed in both the Low and High columns. Can you please explain/clarify for me? Thanks so much in advance!

    • Ones that are listed like that are a bit special…
      – If it’s listed in several columns without an H or T, the resources are highly conflicting and I could not find a solid answer.
      – If it’s listed with an H or T, it’s high/low in either Histamines (H) or Tyramines (T).

      Hope that helps! If you have other questions, please do let me know. Thank you!

      – Michelle Ferris

  11. Hi Michelle,

    Great site – thanks so much!

    My husband is about to start an amine exclusion diet under the guidance of our allergy specialist GP. He has already been diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance and a dairy intolerance.

    I note that on your list there are several items that are listed but are not categorized (eg can coconut milk). Do you have figures for these? Also for rice bran oil?

    I note that you use research from RPAH. Which country are you based in?

    Also, I’ve heard that amine allergies can be ‘reset’ if you are very strict and careful to completely exclude for 2 years. Apparently then you can resume a normal diet with amines in it. Have you or anyone you know found this to be the case?

    Thanks so much for your help, and for being so available. It is so hard to get straight, complete, well researched information on the internet. Your research is greatly appreciated.


    • Kerryn,

      Wow, good luck to both of you! Canned coconut milk is, indeed, high in amines. Coconut is out, period.

      I’m not sure about rice bran oil, but my arbitrary guess (i.e. based on nothing but my own experiences with other similar ingredients) would be that it would be low or moderate in amines.

      I’m based out of Seattle, Washington, in the United States. I hope that someday I will be able to get to Australia to visit the RPAH and see if there is more I can learn. It seems they are the leaders in amine research.

      I have heard the “allergy reset” theory before in regards to gluten intolerances, but I am not sure about amines. I would find that very hard to believe, since pretty much all foods have some amount of amines in them, and because it’s so variable depending on season, whether you peel your vegetables or not, etc. Plus, I think if I had to go back to eating cabbage and rice every day for two years, I would either die of boredom or malnutrition… If you find out more about this, though, please let me know. I am always looking for more information about amines and how to deal with, cope with, live with, solve problems about, or cure amine allergies.

      You’re very welcome, Kerryn. Thank you so much for your appreciative words. They mean the world to me! If I can be of further service, please do let me know. Again, good luck to you guys!

      Michelle Ferris
      Low Amine Recipes

      • Hi Michelle,

        Thanks so much for your reply!

        I should have clarified regarding the amine ‘reset’. Our allergy specialist said that it can happen if you stick quite strictly to the ‘low amine’ list and not have any high or very high foods.

        Sorry for the barrage of questions to follow:

        How fussy do we need to be regarding cooking? For example, could you have chicken breast skin off (low) cooking in the same pan as say sausages (higher)? Would these co-contaminate from an amine perspective? Also, how about chicken cooked with the skin on and then the skin removed, for example buying a roast chicken and the amine intolerant person removing the skin?

        We have only 1 in 6 of our household being tested for amines. That makes it a challenge.

        Would it be correct to assume that if an ingredient is rated ‘low’ that other forms, like flour, would be low also? For example Corn / Maize versus Corn / Maize flour or Corn starch?

        Do you have amine ratings for tapioca, arrowroot, palmolein / palm oil, linseed, evening primrose seed (or oil), buckwheat, soy?

        You list potato in several categories. What is the reason for this? Would there be a different rating for things like potato flour, potato starch, potato chips, etc?

        Some items on your list are not in any columns. For example, you have red bull listed but with no rating. Does this mean that there are no amines?

        Thank you so much for your help. It is proving to be incredibly difficult to get information on the web, and your site is by far the most comprehensive we’ve found. :)


        • Kerryn,

          Wow, them’s some questions you’ve got there! Ready? Here we go!

          I would love to hear whether you have success with the “reset” diet. I don’t know whether I could live on “very low” amine foods alone for two whole years without losing my mind… But good gods, if you try it, let me know how it works!

          – So, I don’t know for sure, but I always pull the skin off the chicken. I will occasionally eat chicken cooked with skin on and just remove it (and I seem to do fairly okay with it), but when cooking at home, I always skin it first. I work under the assumption that I would rather same my amine “cheats” for things more awesome than chicken skin that I don’t get to eat anyway.

          – Typically, if a food is rated low, unless it’s highly processed (for instance, a cucumber into a pickle), you’re probably okay with flours and starches.

          – I do not have ratings for tapioca, buckwheat, or arrowroot, but my educated guess would be low. For the oils, I would err on the side of caution.

          – Potato is listed in several categories because white russet potatoes are lowest in amines. Other colors and varieties of potatoes are higher in amines. Also, the skin of potato is higher in amines, so if you skin your potatoes, it becomes lower amine. Whether you allow potato (skinned or not, fun cultivars or boring russets) in your diet is up to you and your sensitivity to amines. If testing, I would stick to skinned russets.

          – Red bull is pretty much high amine poison. Don’t do it. All sodas are bad juju except for club soda. I need to update that category… I had put it in because I was Red-Bull-addicted and hopeful that somehow it would dodge the high-amine bullet. It did not. ;)

          Best to you, Kerryn, I hope these answers help! As always, I’m here if you have more questions or need help on a recipe!

          Eat Well,
          Michelle F
          Low Amine Recipes

  12. I was reviewing your shopping list of foods that are low to high in amines and was wondering what the H or T meant next to certain foods. For example peaches T are very low, but peaches H are high. What is the difference?

    Thanks for all the great recipes!

    • Foods marked with H or T correlate with Histamine and Tyramine. For instance, a “T” in the “low” column but “H” in the high column would mean that food item is low in Tyramines, but high in Histamines. Information on histamines and tyramines is difficult to find, so forgive the incomplete nature of the information regarding this.

  13. Michelle,

    Thanks again so much for your help! :)

    I’ll have to find out what varieties of potatoes are available around here. Peeling the potatoes isn’t a problem.

    I have been cooking skinless chicken breast at home so that’s ok. For the moment we will avoid chicken cooked with the skin on and then removed. We are being very strict for the amine exclusion test, and we can always experiment with it later if necessary.

    We eat a lot of steamed vegetables anyway, so I’m just modifying which ones we eat. Out with broccoli and cauliflower, and in with cabbage, capsicum, brussels sprouts etc. Most of the other vegetables we eat are on the good list anyway.

    It’s a pity about the Red Bull, but we had expected it to be high. My husband gets severe migraines (up to 45 per month. Yes – more than one per day!), hence the amine test. The Red Bull is the only thing we’ve found that clears his vision. Not that he uses it often, but if he has a particularly bad migraine and for some reason HAS to go out, it is our last resort. We use it a bit medicinally, as odd as that might sound.

    How did you manage to email the RPAH? How did you get an email address for them? Have their email replies been of help?

    Thanks so much for your help. If I find out more, I’ll pass the information on to you.


    • Capsicum? As in peppers? Those are very high in amines. Avoid, miss!

      Good luck with your testing – are you doing sals as well, or just amines for now?

      You might try other things in the red bull to help the migraines, such as B vitamins. Check the ingredient list and start testing when he gets his migraines next. Also, if the B helps, you should look into Pyroluria…

      I have found that my amine symptoms have reduced greatly by adding zinc and B vitamins, though I have not been tested for Pyroluria yet.

      I did email them, but it was only slightly helpful. They pretty much said “what’s in our book is what’s available,” and said that other than that, amine content varies depending on ripeness, whether things are peeled or not, etc. So I would look at the books they publish and go from there, if you don’t have them yet. Check my resources page.

      Best to you guys! Let me know how it goes!

      Michelle F

  14. Where did you hear that Capsicum is high in amines? My allergy doctor (Dr Margaret Taylor), who has been involved in allergy research & treatment in Australia for over 25 years, says in her Amine information sheet that capsicum (I think you call it bell pepper) is in the ‘low’ group.

    Capsicum is also listed as low in the research by Dr Richard J Coleman in New Zealand.

    I’m intrigued.

    Overall, the web has a lot of conflicting information regarding amines in food. Where possible, we have gone with the most conservative, and also with our doctor’s information.


    • Oops, forgot to say:

      We are not testing for salicylates at the moment.

      ‘B’ vitamins haven’t helped. He’s also tried magnesium, fish oil, mixed tocopherals (Vit E groups), and dozens of other things. The problem is that several of the things in Red Bull are on the amine bad list (like ginger), and several others I can’t find information on with regard to amines. Since he’s doing to low amine exclusion at the moment, I’m not game to experiment with these until we know for sure if he needs this long-term. Same with the RPAH book. I can’t afford it at the moment, but will buy it if amines prove to be a long-term problem.

      Zinc has been recommended by our allergy doctor for something else, but we haven’t been able to find a source that is completely dairy & gluten free for him. The Australian licensing laws are REALLY tough, and companies basically have to put on their labels that the product may contain gluten if they haven’t had it formally tested for it. Frustrating.

      • I read the bell peppers bit in the RPAH book. Also, I think I forgot/ignored/didn’t know about ginger. Huh… Going to have to re-look that up!

        For zinc, I use lozenges. Seems to be the most effective way to get it into my body. :)

  15. I’ll have to look into the bell peppers. Seems odd that others say it is low in amines.


  16. This is one of the most frustrating parts about a low-amine diet; there is no definitive list. When I went lowcarb, all I had to do was figured out the grams of carbs based on the ingredients (for packaged products it’s right on the label). When I went gluten-free, I just had to learn which ingredients contain gluten and avoid them. Neither of these things is easy and there is enough bad info out there to make mistakes common for beginners (and even experts) but at least it is straightforward.

    Amines are far more complicated. Partly it’s because they aren’t routinely tested (especially here in the US) and people aren’t used to the idea. And partly because there are many many different types of amines to test for (not just 4). But mostly it’s because the levels vary tremendously depending on the age and handling of the ingredients, the type of processing, and the age and storage of the finished product. Then there are foods which do not have high levels of amines but they act on the body to release histamine and so forth.

    So as I read various sites, I see things like “cashews are low amine but other nuts are high” and “almonds are the only low-amine nut, whatever you do, don’t eat cashews.” And so on. Michelle’s recommendations are based on the RPAH testing but even she has recipes with information that counters her chart. And the RPAH testing is not well documented. Hence the conversation she and I had on one of her recipe posts where we both guessed that the reason that all winter and summer squash is listed as low-amine, except for pumpkin which is listed as high, is that pumpkin is usually sold canned, not fresh. But why don’t they say so on their lists? I wonder too if some of the fish listed as high amine in all circumstances is really that way or if it’s because those fish happen to be sold canned (or otherwise processed) nearly all of the time.

    Of the materials that are different from RPAH, I’ve seen research papers that measure amine levels and other sources that are probably solid. So not just speculation. I wish amine levels were more consistent. And I really wish there was info about which amines were in which foods. I found one chart but so much of it is different from Michelle’s chart that I can’t take it at face value, though it looks like the numbers came from testing. I know I react to histamine but I don’t know about other amines. And I haven’t a clue which foods to trial to figure out which amines I react to. Heck, I might even be wrong about histamine, though I’m pretty sure.

    As for peppers (bell, sweet, hot, etc), every site I’ve read says they’re high amine. I wish it weren’t so; I miss them too. But, like everything else, we probably just have to trial them individually (which means first staying off ALL foods that MIGHT be anything other than low in amines). Maybe it will turn out that only dried or canned peppers are the problem. Or fresh ones that have traveled too far for too long. I don’t know.

    • Good response! And yes, I wonder that about fish, too… Like anchovy and sardines… is it because we usually encounter them in cans???

  17. Kerryn, caffeine is well known as both a treatment and a cause of migraines. Red Bull is all about the caffeine. I am willing to bet that if your husband went off caffeine, a lot of the migraines would go away. It would be hellish for a couple of weeks though, with more migraines and other withdrawal symptoms. He might want to switch to a low-amine source of caffeine (if there is one) and taper down slowly.

    I am one who can not tolerate any level of caffeine. It gives me migraines, among other symptoms. Also chocolate and alcohol. It’s a problem with my detoxification systems. These detox on the popular p450 cytochrome pathway. After all, there is a very large overlap between being reactive to natural food chemicals (amines, sals, etc) and being chemically sensitive (detox pathways). Caffeine may be a natural food chemical but it’s one that can cause problems in large numbers of people. In addition to any detox issues, there is simply addiction and withdrawal. Which may be what is happening with your husband.

  18. Hi Cindi,

    Thanks for the feedback. :)

    My husband went completely off caffeine for about 4 months. No coffee, no chocolate, no red bull, etc. Nothing. It made no difference to the migraines. Frustratingly, when he went back on caffeine (only coffee from plain roasted beans we purchased straight from the roaster and ground and used ourselves) it made no difference. We don’t drink a lot of coffee or caffeine drinks (maybe one caffeine drink per week – usually a coffee or tea), and he does not consume chocolate regularly. We were aware that caffeine can both cause and treat migraines, but this doesn’t seem to happen in my husband’s situation. We have likewise tested chocolate (both milk & dark), wine, other alcohols, several other food triggers, etc. The only progress we’ve made was finding out that some of his migraines were caused by gluten. However this is not the full problem.

    No other ‘energy’ drinks seem to have this beneficial effect with regard to his migraines. We’ve tried quite a number. And the red bull only seems to work on the non-gluten migraines.

    Pumpkin is canned in the US???!! I’m stunned – EWWW! I’ve never seen canned pumpkin in Australia (except for canned soup), so if the information is from RPAH it may be best not to assume that the canning is the issue. Could it possibly be that most types of pumpkin will keep for extended periods if their shell is kept intact and unbroken? If they keep for a long time, maybe the amine content would therefore increase and this is why they are rated high? Pumpkins will quite easily keep for 6 months or more if it is the right type and the skin is clean, whole, and unblemished.

    It would be helpful if they could list foods in their fresh form, and then again maybe at 3 days old. Or to state whether the item is canned, frozen, dried, etc. Many of us are probably unable to grow our own food, but some of us can and others of us can buy directly from growers or at farmers markets to help keep our food as fresh as possible. But I suppose that research is expensive, and the funds just aren’t there for something as abstract as amines.

    Thanks again!


    • Looks like you’ve been doing some good detective work. In the US, pumpkin pie is a very popular dish. It’s a required food pretty much for Thanksgiving (late Nov) and common at Christmas too. It’s also served year round, especially in restaurants. I don’t know what the word “pumpkin” means in Aus but here it means a particular variety of round (or flattened) bright orange winter squash. The only winter squash that is very lowcarb, as it happens.

      I’m going to guess that 90 or 95% of all fresh pumpkin sold in the US is for Halloween. These large very round pumpkins are bred for carving and do not taste good. They’re too watery to eat. There are also small pumpkins (mostly Jack be Littles) which are edible but most people who buy them throw them away after they’ve done their decorating duty. Most stores will have varieties like Sugar Pie pumpkin which are for cooking (you can also eat Cinderella pumpkins which are flattened and beautiful but no good for carving).

      Americans tend to be lazy cooks. Almost everyone who makes pumpkin pie “from scratch” uses canned pumpkin. I always make my own puree and freeze it in measured 1 or 2 cup amounts, though I haven’t tested it since going low-amine.

      Also, the specific squash we call pumpkins do not keep well. They keep for a month or two and that’s it. Other winter squash can last a lot longer. And nearly all pumpkins in the US are bred to get ripe and shipped in mid to late Oct through late Dec, with most at late Oct and a few days before the 4th Thursday of Nov. People don’t save them. Though stores may store them during the fall (our fall, Sept 21-Dec 21).

      • It’s amazing to me how much discussion a little thing like pumpkin has stirred. ;)

        I often opt for sweet potato as a pumpkin substitute, when I don’t feel like risking it. Hard to say whether it’s low or high amine yet, but if you test it on yourself and feel it leans one way or the other, please let me know! I would love to add notes to my chart.

        • Sweet potatoes are high in tyramine and could be bad for migraine sufferers.

  19. I am reading all of this with interest because four of our six react to amines, gluten and dairy to different degrees. The inconsistencies are maddening. I have the RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook. It lists ginger, all pumpkins, capsicum, chilli, all herbs and spices as having salicylates, but not amines. Strawberries are also not listed as having amines, but mangoes are in the book; however the salicylate challenge list I was given (also RPAH, but some dodgy copy full of typos) suggests you eat mangoes to test salycilates even though their book says they have amines as well. They had crossed strawberries of the list but didn’t say why. I decided to skip capsicum (because of Michelle’s list) and mango etc. I thought ginger was okay and ate butternut pumpkin (squash) but not jap or kent or other varieties needing an axe to cut them. I avoided cinnamon and nutmeg because my old nanna can no longer tolerate cinnamon and they were on MIchelle’s list. Green beans were the biggest confusion as they are listed on the RPAH low list to be eaten all the time. Where did you get your info on green beans, MIchelle? I also wondered about limes, which are listed as very high amines by RPAH, but you use lime juice. Not that I’m complaining! Since establishing that we can have salicylates we are quite happy this week.

    • That’s one of the most difficult problems with amine allergies. Amine resources are all over the place in what they list as high and low amine. Some resources say ginger is high in amines, though I have not reacted to them, so I’m skeptical. Hard squashes are generally low in amines, from what I understand. Green beans have been listed in a couple different books I’ve seen as both low and high, so I err on the side of caution. However, use your own judgment. I list my resources in the resources/referral tab on my site (/doctor-book-referrals/). All citrus is high in amines, though I use a little lime juice here and there for flavor when I know I can tolerate it. If you are extremely sensitive, you can usually omit or substitute with ascorbic acid.

      Also… Congrats on being okay with sals!

  20. Wow, thanks, I love this discussion. Is there a mailing list or something like that where people have discussions like this? I’m on the FailsafeUSA list, which is nice, but focused on the full Failsafe diet, which I’m not doing. Would love an amine one.

    It does give me hope for expanding my diet some. Personally, I seem to be fine with raw almonds (truly raw, bought from the farmer). Cooked is fine too, just haven’t trialed pasteurized. Melons are on your okay list but now I’ve had watermelon twice and cantaloupe once and all 3 times have had classic histamine symptoms. I’m fine with beets but every time I have rutabaga I have symptoms, but was that because I hadn’t swapped out the olive oil yet? I will have to retest.

    I am not sure about peaches yet. I nearly broke the heart of my favorite farmer at the Farmer’s Market yesterday when I admitted I wasn’t sure if I could eat peaches anymore. Seem to have slight symptoms when I eat them but that’s connected with going out and sometimes I get symptoms from that (especially if I get a whiff of cig smoke or perfume). My plum tree will be ripe soon, and my blackberries later this summer. Will need to trial. My next trial will be mulberries as our huge tree is ripe now and we normally make mulberry pies. Strawberries are in season too and I’d love to add those back.

    Fresh basil, parsley, and cilantro are all great for me. But I seem to react every time I have cumin (dried seed or powdered). At first I thought it was because I usually pair cumin with chilpotle but the symptoms persisted even when I left out the caspiums. I thought at the beginning of this journey that I reacted to alliums (onions, etc) but that turned out to be wrong, thankfully, and now am fine with the whole family, both raw and cooked. Also am fine with dill weed (dried) and rosemary and sage (fresh).

    I did discover a limit last night though. I bought some gorgeous fresh wild Copper River salmon from Costco (yes, it’s in season!). I’m totally fine with fresh salmon, don’t understand why it’s supposedly a no-no, though my guess is the fact that it’s often canned and maybe because it’s a fatty fish and goes off faster. Did completely fine with it last night but it was warm inside (low 70’s) and I left out the cooked fish for 3 hours. Had one last bite before bed (since I knew I couldn’t have it today) and BOOM reaction. Still have the bleeping headache too. Won’t be doing THAT again.

    The good fish news is I’m okay with all the very fresh fish I’ve tried (being real careful about that) and did fine with a trial of fish I froze when cooking up the rest of it. Am also fine with eggs from a local farm. I don’t eat meat by choice and am reactive to all dairy, so haven’t trialled those.

    Comments on any of the above welcome. I am histamine sensitive but don’t know about the other amines.


    • Cyndi,

      As far as I know, there is no amines list. Best you can do is subscribe to my blog, probably. LOL. I say that facetiously, but I’m also being serious. I put this blog together because there was no cohesive list or resource for amines. Lordie, if you find one, please let me know!

      I haven’t tried raw almonds yet.
      I do okay with melons, except cantaloupe I’ve always been deadly allergic to, so stay away from it…
      Rutabega gives you problems? Interesting. Do let me know what happens when you swap oils.
      Peaches seem to do okay for me, as do apricots and nectarines, though my list states them as high amine. I’m not sure what to think yet. If you’re fairly sensitive to amines, I’d love to know how you react when you test.
      Plums and I do not get along so well, far as I can tell… Sad but true. I hope you do okay with them! Tragic to have a plum tree but not be able to eat them!
      Berries and I (except blueberries, which do just fine for me) seem to not get along so well… But I’d love your input!
      Interesting reaction to cumin… I haven’t heard that one before! Seems like all spices do just fine for me, though cinnamon, clove, anise, etc are listed as high. I use them in such small amounts that I seem to dodge that bullet.

      Interesting about the fish! I know that REALLY fresh fish is pretty much okay, but amines in fish grow exponentially. Good to know you can eat fresh salmon, though!!! I will have to give this a try (though only enough that there aren’t any leftovers, lol). Also great to know that you did okay with the frozen fish trial! That gives me hope!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      Michelle Ferris
      Low Amine Recipes

      • Cantaloupes wreck my intestines, as do apricots and a slew of other foods. I thought my problem might be with amines or salicylate, but my reactions coincide with pretty much every food that coincides with the latex-food syndrome list (see:

        • Best of luck everyone.

        • One of my best friends is deadly allergic to latex foods. Best of luck with your allergies. I wish you cautious, delicious eating!

          • Thank you!

        • Thank you for that, David. I am starting to look into alternative explanations for the stuff that doesn’t fit. Your info helped me to rule out latex sensitivity. I’m not reactive to latex itself but also the food list doesn’t fit for me. For example, apples, carrots, and celery are my safe foods. I have not trialed kiwi or chestnut. Avocado is high-amine and so is banana (borderline ripe bananas are said to be okay though and my one trial with it gave no reaction).

          • You’re welcome.

  21. Hey Michelle,

    I run a gazillion mailing lists (including Immune, which has been around since 1990) and know several platforms. I would be glad to set up an amine discussion list for you to have as an adjunct to your blog. I love your blog but it doesn’t really take the place of a list. I could do Yahoogroups easily or we could discuss other options. It would be very quick and easy for me and my only “payment” would be that I get to be on an amine discussion list .

    I did several trials with almonds and was fine. Then yesterday I ate a large amount (6-8 oz of whole raw almonds by volume (scooped into a mug) and got sick. Headache, stomachache, blah feeling. I can’t say for certain it was the almonds (and if it was, maybe it wasn’t amines) but I will be more cautious.


    • Cyndi,

      Do you work in wordpress often? I’m trying to get my blog hosted, etc, so that I can add features like this. I think it would be helpful to everyone. If you’re a wordpress guru (or know one), I would love your help getting this set up and a list set up.

    • Cyndi,

      I will be working on my blog shortly to get it more up to speed. If I am not able to get a list set up on it when I update, I will let you know – I’d love to get a discussion list together. I think it would be a very handy tool! Thank you!


  22. Okay, nectarines (which are basically identical to peaches, just a variation that was given its own name) are a fail. Had one yesterday fresh from the farmer’s market, along with 3 cherries from the same (zero-chem) vendor (my fav guy who I have bought from for years). Had the symptom set where my head hurts and is all fuzzy, my stomach feels overfull, and my cheeks are red. But I did get a whamo of cig smoke (which makes me very ill) a few minutes before that. So??

    Symptoms gone this morning, did a retest this afternoon with one nectarine. Same symptoms. Oh well. Another fruit bites the dust.

    • Sad. Do you react the same way to peaches? I’ve been puzzled at whether they’re really that different, or whether it’s something with the season or canning or…

    • What about it being a combo of peach and cherries?

      • At your own risk, I suppose. ;) I can get away with a few cherries here and there.

      • I’ve trialed peaches/nectarines separately and they’re a total fail. Cherries are separately a fail. All stone fruit are.

        • Lame. I wonder why peaches are listed as a safe food in so many of the books?

  23. Michelle,

    When you first did your exclusion testing for amines, how did you go about it? I assume you had an exclusion period, and then a period where you ate lots of high & very high amine foods? How long did you do these periods for? How long did it take you to get a reaction? My husband is at the ‘eat lots’ stage, and is yet to have a reaction. Do you know how long it commonly takes? I’m very interested to know whether hubby’s current outcome is normal.

    Also, to others, be careful in your assumptions with regard to the RPAH testing. It seems from following the thread that there are several major differences between how food is described in the US and in Australia. In Australia, we certainly do have pumpkins, but it is never in a canned form. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen it in a canned form in Australia. We buy our pumpkins fresh and cut them up. Pumpkins in Australia will last for several months if stored correctly and undamaged. My Uncle is an American, and he says that we have a lot of varieties of food, including some pumpkins, that are not available in the US.

    Nectarines are a completely different species from peaches. They are related, and sometimes crossbred (resulting in peacharines).

    After having a very long discussion with my Uncle, who lived in the US until he was in his 50’s and now lives in Australia, and also talking with my Aunt, who lived in the US for about 10 years, it seems to me that some of the conflicting information online regarding Amines may result from people having different interpretations of the same words. It also appears that in Australia, where RPAH are based, we have quite a range of fresh produce that is not available in the US, or in fact in several other countries (parts of Europe, UK, etc). When taking information from the RPAH resources, it may pay to keep this in mind.

    I do not intend to upset or attack anyone, so please do not read my comment in this way. I do think that this information may be of help to someone reading this, and I post as such.



    • With most foods I tested during my elimination diet, it was a 3 day period. But when I blew out my amines for the test, I was eating them a lot… hard to say, though. I reacted differently to different foods. Tomatoes exploded me like nobody’s business. Some foods I react to right away (seems like it’s before it even hits my stomach, which is still weird to me), whereas others just build on that threshold and mess me up later. I suppose it depends on how sensitive you are.

      Thank you for the tips on the RPAH and pumpkin/squash/nectarine/peach. I’ve been seeing these inconsistencies, which makes it really hard to say one way or the other whether an ingredient is high amine or not. I think I need a sensitive person to do some down-home style testing and see if they explode and let me know so I can update my blog (*tips hat to Cyndi Norwitz for testing nectarines (p.s. They failed. High in amines.)*).

      I appreciate your in-depth comments and insights! Please keep posting!

      Michelle F

      • Hi Michelle,

        It seems that unfortunately my husband is not sensitive to amines. I say unfortunately, as I’d rather have an amine problem than go back to the not-knowing round-a-bout. After more than 4 years of daily migraines and other issues, we were dearly hoping that this would be at least a piece of the puzzle.

        He tested by exclusion for 4 weeks and then going very high amine for a week. We basically had him binge on everything in the very high and high amine groups for a whole week! We were extremely fastidious about checking ingredients on the food he ate. We designed a set of 5 or 6 meals that we just repeated over and over, so we knew for sure that they were safe. Where there was conflict about the amine content of something, we urred on the side of caution and excluded the item completely. I can tell you it certainly made for boring food for a few weeks!! Unfortunately he did come down with a cold at day 4 of the binge testing, but our 2 year old daughter had shown the same symptoms only a couple of days before. Other than that he had absolutely no change in symptoms, so he, I, and our specialist are all sure that it was the cold.

        So back to square one!

        I want to thank you sincerely for all the suggestions and information you gave us, both personally and through the information on your website. It was almost a one-stop-shop for our information to flesh out the info we received from our doctor and what we could get from places like RPAH website. Your website certainly saved our sanity!

        Thanks so much!


  24. Hi Kerryn, yes I am sure that there are different words for different things and that the same words can have different meanings. Even the word “pumpkin” does not mean the same type of winter squash (though it always means a winter squash, some species within the Cucurbita genus, in the Cucurbitaceae family).

    What are the Latin names for what you are calling peaches and nectarines? I have never heard of them having other meanings. In the US, and in my experience, peaches are always Prunus persica and nectarines are always Prunus persica var nectarina. In other words, they are identical. For some reason, the smooth skin variation of peaches got its own name.

    I finally tried fresh pumpkin over the last couple of days (meaning that I trialed it since going on a low-amine diet). We bought it by accident; the farm told us it was something else. It was way on the outer edge of the storage season so not very good, so I didn’t eat much. I had some plain, baked, the night before last, and then baked last night into a failed pie with only known safe ingredients. No reactions.

    It was a Cinderella Pumpkin, aka “Rouge vif D’Etampes”, and the Latin name is Cucurbita maxima.

    This is a page about Cinderella pumpkins:

    And here is a page with a few different edible pumpkins used in the US:
    Note that the sugar pie (they call it small sugar here) pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo, is the most common pumpkin used for eating here.

    The best known American pumpkin, the Jack-o-lantern pumpkin, is also a variety of Cucurbita pepo. They are not good for eating as they are grown for size and shape and uniform color, not for taste.

    To my surprise as I look this up, commercial canned pumpkin (in the US) is generally Cucurbita moschata, usually butternut squash, often a variety called ‘Dickinson Field.’ Butternut squash is not pumpkin at all, though some other varieties of Cucurbita moschata are pumpkins.

    According to Wikipedia, “In Australian English, the name ‘pumpkin’ generally refers to the broader category called winter squash in North America.” A “winter squash” in America is a Cucurbita species that has a hard skin and can be stored. It also gets ripe well into the fall, vs the summer. These are not hard and fast rules.

    BUT…the RPAH guidelines do NOT use that definition. They do say that “marrow” (what we here would call “summer squash”) are “very low” amine. “Summer squash” is listed separately on Michelle’s list, also as “very low.” But they also call out “hard squash” and “spaghetti squash” (a type of winter squash) as “very low” amine too. So whatever they think “pumpkin” means, it certainly does not mean all winter squash.

    Is there a way to ask them? Or to ask Sue Dengate, who seems to have a direct line to those folks.


    • I know one of the most popular pumpkins in Australia and new Zealand is the gray crown pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima. It’s a hard squash and is a dream when roasted. Nothing like it in the States. I’m expat kiwi living now in Oregon after 11 years in California. I miss the old crown pumpkin so much. Ironically enough where we lived in California was the pumpkin capital of California. Big pumpkin festival every year etc. all sorts were grown but nothing like the crown pumpkin.

      I keep meaning to get some seeds sent over to grow but I always had a flock of chickens that destroyed everything I tried to grow and now I’m without chickens I don’t have enough space to grown pumpkins. Wahhh

  25. Hello,
    I just wanted to say that after doing the full elimination diet with my almost four year old and establishing his high sensitivity to amines, your website/blog is an absolute godsend. Thank you for the recipes, information and particularly the shopping spreadsheet. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • Monique,

      You’re so very welcome! I’m so glad that you’ve found it useful. It’s not 100% accurate, as I can’t seem to find any sources that agree with each other 100%, but it’s about as close as it can get for the time being. I’m so glad that my blog has been a useful resource for you. If you ever have foods that you’d like to see “de-amined,” let me know and I’ll be happy to give it a whirl!

  26. If a person is sensitive to amines in food, would this include supplements such as glutamine or glucosamine as well?

    • Glutamine = no bueno. I don’t think glucosamine is a problem, but I’m not sure.

  27. If limes and lemons are high in amines, can I use lemon instead of lime in your recipes? And what is the content of amines in canned coconut milk? It appears on your list but is not listed under a category. Thanks.

    • Canned coconut milk is even worse than coconuts, sadly.

      For sour flavors, if you’re amine sensitive, use ascorbic acid instead of lemon or lime. My allergies have been easing up, and I have been able to use some lemon in recipes for myself lately, which is nice. But if sensitive, use ascorbic acid. You can get it online at GNC or Super Supplements.

  28. Glutamine = no bueno – does that mean no way?

    • Correct – Glutamine is bad. MSG is satan spawn for amine allergies.

      Also, something I’ve noted in my own body… Tartazine (yellow #5) absolutely, positively DESTROYS me. Might want to watch out for that…

  29. Thank you so much for this tips! They have been really helpful :) I recently went to the ER room because I developed a massive attack of food allergy hives and no one seems to find out the right answer. I have seem three different allergies and two GIs and no one can find the problem. It sucks because I’m a healthy active person in my norm schedule and I am only 20 year olds to be going thru something like this. I have my poor mother worry almost half the nights for the last three months because of these hives. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I would truly appreciate a response back. Thank you!!

    • If you live in the Seattle area, I suggest you call my allergist, Heidi Turner (check the links in the top right of the blog homepage). Otherwise, ask her or the Seattle Arthritis Clinic for a suggestion for someone who might know how to do an amine elimination diet.

      • Heidi is my nutritionist as well, and following the amine grocery list has made the world of difference to me too – after two years of trying to figure out why I was in such pain….. I seem to have issues with potatoes as well, and why not, all the rest of the nightshade family are on the no no list…. but how depressing…

        • SAD PANDAS. Somehow, potatoes escaped the hit list for me, though my sweetie is allergic to nightshades so we don’t really eat them anyhow. But DAMN! As though you really need any other allergies aside from amines. >.<

  30. Can you please tell me about breads and cereals and Amine content. I’ve been having trouble working out what, if any, breads and cereals I can eat while trying a low amine diet. How do I know / work out what breads or cereals are safe.


    • For the most part, whole, healthy, natural cereals and grains should be okay. The less processed, the better. No dyes. Low sugars. No aspartame or sweetener junk. Whole foods, whole foods, whole foods!

  31. hello iam Nora from the domonicain republic and i think that i have allergy to histamine i am not sure beacuse here we do not have any test , would any one help me ?

    • Check out the books in the Resources tab (top right of main blog homepage).

  32. Hi, just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I just started dating a wonderful guy who has gluten-intolerance, plus sensitivities to amines and I was at a complete lost as to what to cook for him! (I come from an Asian background so is trained in “must-feed-everybody!” culture)

    Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    • <3!

      So glad it's been helpful to you (and your boyfriend)!

      Best of luck in everything.

  33. Thanks for the information – is excellent. I feel so much better since minimising amines…… found a great amine low fish oil in Australia – Ethical Nutrients brand is “Extra Strength” tested scientifically for amines and very low, I use it am fine.

    Not sure if you know about various herbs and if they are low amines or not, eg. Licquorice, Golden Seal, Golden Rod, Skullcap, Siberian Ginseng? Also I react badly to Quinoa, not sure why? Have stopped eating it obviously.

    Also are there any white wines (or grape varieties) better than others amine wise, not that I drink much but is nice occasionally…….

    thanks Jo.

    • Seems like most herbs are okay, but I’m not sure about those.

      I have found that all wines do me pretty severe damage…

  34. Thank you so much for your shopping spreadsheet! After hours of research on the web it’s great to have so much info in one place!

    Forgive me if this is a question that has already been answered but has anyone tried the GAP diet? For me the main problem seems to be Histamine Intolerence (which by the rapid beating of my heart and migraines that manifest as vertigo attacks is the most challenging to live with reaction to things that I eat or am exposed to) as being one of the many things people claim they have eliminated from their lives!

    Reading about it it seems the foods that are needed to heal the gut are in fact the ones I now avoid. The theory of healing the gut and it taking a couple of years makes sense and the fact their are people who have had success is of great interest. Just wondered if you or anyone else has experience with the GAP diet?

    • I have not, however, hopefully other readers can help you answer that question.

  35. I noticed adzuki beans in your Cumin Bean Vegetable Soup recipe, but I didn’t see them listed in the Grocery List. When I first read the list, I saw “red bean” as high amine and thought you meant the adzuki. If you’re sure they are low amine, would you consider adding them to the grocery list?

    Thank you so much for your site. I haven’t figured out if amines are my problem yet, but so many pieces are starting to fit.

    • I believe adzukis are okay. I think it was more in reference to kidney beans.

  36. I have histamine intolerance. This list is pretty good. There are a few issues with it, like persimmon and guava as low amine, and chicken not listed as high amine, but it’s useful, especially the realism of your shopping approach.

    • I have no problems with chicken, so long as it’s fresh and skinless. You have experienced problems?

      Good to know about the guava and persimmon!

  37. Persimmons are low amine! They are one of the few fruits I can have. The ones you eat like an apple are totally fine for me. I have not yet trialled the kind that need to be super ripe and soft; those may have amines from the ripening process. Haven’t trialed guava. Why do you think chicken is high in amines? All ***FRESH*** meat and fish is okay if you cook and eat it the same day you buy it (or freeze it yourself that day).

    • Thanks for the heads up on persimmons, and the clarification on meats. <3

  38. I just recently discovered amines and my intolerance to them. It explains SO much of what I have been trying to figure out for years! It is such a relief to have a ‘diagnosis’ to work with, at least now I have an idea of which direction to go in. When I found your website I started to cry! Thank you so much for all of the effort you have put into this site! It has helped me abundantly! I’m starting to feel better each day, especially the bloating is beginning to diminish (yea!). I’m wondering about chia seeds, are they low or high in amines? Blessings to you!

    • It’s been a long time since I checked into my blog. Since I started taking specific supplements to help me and my possible pyroluria/amine connection (calcium, zinc, b12, coenzymated b complex, D, C), my symptoms have gone down by 2/3, son I haven’t been posting.

      When I read your comment, I started to cry. Thank you for your gratitude. Thank you for finding my blog. I hope that your symptoms are getting better, and I hope you’re able to eat well and without fear.

      My best wishes to you. <3

    • Chia seeds are low amine. This is the consensus from when I looked it up (the Failsale people have tested them…they do have sals though) and I can eat them safely. Chia and squash/pumpkin seem to be the only low-amine seeds (and cashew the only low-amine nut).

      • Thank you, Cyndi, I will add them to the list.

  39. I am a Coeliac, dairy and lactose intolerant, Fructose intolerant and have just discovered the reason why i was tired and depressed all the time… I am intolerant to amines.
    My diet sheet is so small now I could write my grocery list on a postage stamp!
    Thanks for your recipes and information on your site. I seem to be ALWAYS on the web at the moment looking for help with what to eat.

  40. Really grateful for your blog! Just started a low histamine diet and would be completely lost without your recipes and list. Just want to say thanks!

    • Very welcome. Thank you for the feedback – it is so good to hear that my own trials and tribulations (and the hard work I put into this site) are actually helping people. <3

  41. Ive just read with interest two posts about tea. I have drunk 4 /5 mugs of tea a day for as long as I can remember, its what I crave the most, still do. After giving it up and all other Amines a few weeks ago I tried it again for 4 days in a row and instantly became very fatigued and depressed.
    Its amazing how this innocent looking ‘food’ that everyone reaches for can be so deadly to some!
    I have to say that my food diary has become INVALUABLE in helping me to pinpoint my problem foods.

    • Thank you for sharing your story!

    • They say what you crave the most is usually the thing that does you the most damage. I was the same. I gave up tea on an elimination diet thinking I’d only be without my beloved tea for about 4 weeks. But on reintroduction it did such a number in me I had to give it up along with all other teas including herbal, caffeinated, non caffinated and of course coffee. It’s been almost a year without it and I still miss it everyday.

      • Cruel world, this has proven true again and again. Whatever it is I’m craving tends to be what’s the absolute pits for my body. WHY!?

  42. Hi Can anyone tell me the difference between a Histamine and an Amine intolerance please. I am so confused. Are they very similar ?
    I would like to know the difference before I go to the Gastroenterologist.
    Many Thanks.

    • A histamine is a form of an amine. It’s convoluted and difficult for me to understand, let alone describe… If you find a simple answer, please pass it along here!

  43. Hi to Everyone,
    I have been reading a very interesting article by Chris Kresser, entitled ‘Overcoming Histamine Intolerance.’
    Its all about the importance of good gut flora and probiotics.
    I myself only developed Amine intolerances after taking 3 courses of very strong anti biotics to rid myself of an Ameoba called ‘Dientamoeba Fragilis’ collected in Africa!
    18 months after finishing the last course of anti biotics I still have no good gut flora.
    Hope you find it as interesting as I did. Best Wishes to all.
    Wonderful to hear you are improving Michelle.
    I too would have been lost without your shopping list.

    • How interesting! Yes, I think that taking veg enzymes and probiotics daily has helped me a lot in my recovery, as well. Wild that you didn’t have a problem until antibiotics! How sad!!!

  44. Hi, Great information on something so confusing, but I took 20 mins to read your entire blog. I am being treated by a Naturopath in MA mostly for insomnia, arthritis and IBS. Her treatment program is mostly diet and herbs. I mentioned to her that I had difficulty digesting tuna and eggs and she focused in on histamine. She suggested I try a supplement called Histame, manufactured in Canada. it has helped me a lot. I’ve started sleeping 7-8 hours a night and have few IBS symptoms as well as improved range of motion in my joints. She actually has some patients with whom she skypes and has very good results.

  45. Hi there, sorry but did you say you’ve summarized a list of foods in a spreadsheet/ shopping list? I could not find it on the page. *blush* could you tell me where I can find it?

    Kind regards,

  46. Hello, Love the shopping list! I was wondering though what the “H” and “T” after certain foods meant?

    • Histamines / Tyramines

  47. I don’t see the spreadsheet :-(

  48. I am VERY confused. I am Histamine Intolerant. Do I also need to avoid amines? Can I use coconut oil or is it high in Histamines? Is there an oil I can use?

    • I am not sure about that. You may need to do more research on that one.

  49. Hi – just discovered your website by accident when I was looking for nightshade free recipes (loved the chili by the way!). I am wondering if amines might be part of my problems – chronic fatigue, migraines, joint and muscle pain, digestive problems. It seems like right now the only thing that helps is getting colon hydrotherapy. I noticed you didn’t have nuts on your grocery shopping list? Also, is there a reliable readily available test for this? It seems quite overwhelming to me to even try to eliminate these foods as I have other sensitivities as well.

    • The only really reliable test is the elimination diet, as far as I know.

  50. Hi Suzy
    Nuts are Amines apart from Raw Cashews that are low Amines, but eat 10 or less a day, you mention other sensitivities as well… they are also high Fructose.
    Elimination diet is the only way, but under the guidance of an allergist and or dietician is best as it can be overwhelming to deal with alone.
    Make sure you stop eating the foods that cause the most problems for most people before trying the elimination diet, you may find that cutting these foods alone will help enormously, they include grains ( move to gluten free) , eggs , dairy, all nuts, peanuts ( they are a legume) soy, yeast, shellfish, fish , sesame seeds.
    The RPAH Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney, has a great allergy unit, you can buy their Elimination Diet Handbook that lists all foods containing Amines and has a wealth of information to help you find out the cause/causes, recipes too.
    Hope this helps

    • Thanks so much for the helpful information. I have already eliminated most of the foods you mentioned except for nuts. That is a hard one for me. I tend to have low blood sugar and need protein and nut butters are an easy source. I will check out the handbook you mentioned. I do have a friend that has similar issues and is willing to go through the elimination diet wtih me so that helps a lot.

      • Hi Suzy
        I have low blood sugar also. After doing the elim diet the first food i re challenged was Almond meal as I missed them so much! I do not eat any grains at all, even Gluten free, so as you can imagine I need Almonds, they are rich in calcium,magnesium,potassium, iron and protein! unlike other flour it doesnt give you a sugar spike, so I hope you will be ok back on Almonds after your Emin diet.
        I am happy to help you if you need any advise whilst on the diet.
        I am not a professional but i am lucky in that i have a lot of friends who are and I have been given a lot of good information I can pass on :)

        Good luck!

  51. Hi Alice
    Histamine information is scarce if you email me Ill send you what i have. Have you been diagnosed?

    I have this on oils from a paper by :
    Provided with permission of author, Dr. Joneja, by MASTOCYTOSIS SOCIETY CANADA (Updated Nov.2012) The Histamine & Tyramine Restricted Diet & Food Guidelines for Mast Cell Disorders

    All cold-pressed oils, such as:-
    – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    – Coconut oil
    – Flaxseed oil
    – Sunflower oil
    – Jojoba oil


    • Suzanne, are you saying that these oils are low amine? Histamine? Tyramine?

  52. Those cold-pressed oils are bad or good?

    • Cold pressed is generally better for you. Unsure about in regards to amines.

  53. I am curious if you have a guess as to where raw honey falls? Would it be considered raw sugar and moderate?
    Thank you!

    • I don’t really know. I am not qualified to guess.


    • I went to a naturopath & nutritionist. Elimination diet….

  55. So many people comment about instant reactions to foods whereas dependent on the foods I eat I will react every two weeks or so or longer if I have been good. I am finding that my reactions are getting a lot worse and they last for three to four days. Are there other people that experience reactions this way? Because of this delay it is impossible for me to figure out what specific food is causing it. Also I am finding it so difficult to cope with my reactions as they are so bad and anything I attempt to take has no effect. Any suggestions to assist with the illnesses or did taking the vitamins you have mentioned always help? Getting a bit desperate at the moment!

    • Mine were sometimes relatively instant (within an hour), and other times didn’t strike me down for a couple days. It was explained to me that it (my amine allergy… unsure if this goes for everyone?) is a threshold allergy – each shitty thing I eat builds on top of each other until I hit a critical point. It will keep building unless I moderate heavily, because it takes a lot longer for amine buildup to go away than it does to put it in the body.

      If I had to suggest any of the vitamins, I would suggest Zinc, Mag, Calc, and coenzymated B complex. Try those… I’m no doctor, but it worked for me, and based on all the stuff I have read, have high hopes that it may help others.

      Good luck to you!!!!

    • I’m exactly the same way. Delayed reactions have been the bane of my trying to sort my issues out. I’m into year 5 of being so incredibly sick I can’t work and sometimes sick enough I thought I was going to die at times.

      I’m just completing my first year of an extreme elimination diet. My yes list is a lot shorter than my no list. Even then, I’ve begun sinking back into the yucky body again. Some of these reactions are so slow I miss the offending food.

      I realized this fairly recently when I had a horrendous tummy bug and couldn’t hold down food for a few days. After that I felt great! Inflammation had gone in my hands, the eternal sick feeling I had was gone and I wasn’t sluggish, brain fogged and exhausted.

      It was suggested to me I might be an amine responder as I had home smoked fish and I got really sick. So I’m here trying to figure out how that might affect the limited diet I’m already on. It sucks.

      In the meantime to feel human again I’m just limiting all food that goes in my body. Variety and quantity. The less I eat the better I feel. I know this can’t go on forever obviously but it’s nice to have a break from the misery.

      • After two years on a very strict diet, I have been able to reintroduce foods carefully. I have cut out all man-adulterated foods and ingredients, and eat fully organic, fresh foods, all the time. No chemicals, no preserved, no bullshit. I can eat most anything except tomato. I hope that you regain your yes list!!!!

  56. Thanks for your suggestions, will go and buy them now, it’s certainly worth a try, Gail.

  57. This is really helpful thanks! you are the first person to list cauliflower as high histamine (i react to it and no one could say why!). interesting re red beets– was told they are high histamine, but golden ones aren’t (which my body agrees with). where did you collect the info from? interested also that broccoli & chard listed as high…haven’t seen that before, really interested in how you collected this great list! thanks for sharing.

    • There is a list. Of amine foods available at Royal Prince Hospital Syd. It ha low medium and a high list. Also any nutritionist would advise. Merv

      Sent from my iPad


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