Is Oatmeal High in Histamine?

Is oatmeal high in histamine

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Oatmeal generally has a low histamine content, making it a good option for those on a low histamine diet. It’s unlikely to trigger histamine intolerance symptoms, offering a nutritious choice for health-conscious women.


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Are you wondering if oatmeal is high in histamine and whether it fits into a low histamine diet? You’re not alone. Many health-conscious women seek to balance their diet with nutritious foods that don’t aggravate histamine issues. This post will delve into the relationship between oatmeal and histamine, helping you make informed food choices for your health and beauty.

Understanding Histamines

Histamines are naturally occurring chemicals in our bodies, playing a vital role in our immune system. Think of them as the body’s security guards, always on alert to protect us from potential harm. When we encounter allergens, such as pollen or certain foods, our bodies produce histamines as part of a defence mechanism.

Here’s how it works: When an allergen enters your body, it’s recognised as a foreign invader. In response, histamines are released from cells known as mast cells, which are found in many tissues throughout the body. This release is the body’s way of sounding the alarm, signalling other parts of the immune system to join in the fight.

Woman sneezing into a tissue

Once released, histamines jump into action, causing the small blood vessels in your body to expand. This expansion allows other immune cells to quickly reach and deal with the invader. This process is vital for protecting your health but can also lead to familiar allergy symptoms

For example, in your nose, this expansion can cause nasal congestion and a runny nose. In your eyes, it might lead to itching or watering.

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In a well-functioning system, histamines do their job and then are broken down and cleared away. However, when there’s an imbalance—either due to too much histamine being released or the body not breaking it down efficiently—this can lead to what’s known as histamine intolerance. This imbalance can cause the body to react as if it’s under constant attack, leading to ongoing or chronic symptoms, much like an overzealous security system that doesn’t know when to stand down.

Understanding the role of histamines in the body is key to managing conditions related to histamine intolerance. By identifying and managing triggers, and perhaps incorporating low histamine foods into the diet, one can effectively regulate this intricate and essential part of the immune response.

Bowl of purple oatmeal

What Does Histamine Intolerance Feel Like?

Histamine intolerance can manifest in several noticeable ways, impacting daily comfort and well-being. Common symptoms of histamine intolerance include a runny nose and nasal congestion, which are typical signs of an overactive immune response. 

These allergic reactions occur because histamines, which are part of the body’s natural defence mechanism, react excessively to certain triggers. This overreaction can lead to discomfort in the nasal passages, making breathing difficult and often leading to a constant need to manage nasal drip.

Additionally, histamine intolerance can cause other symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, or a scratchy throat. These are further indicators of the body’s heightened immune response. Recognising and understanding these symptoms is crucial for effectively managing histamine levels and reducing the impact of histamine intolerance on daily life.

Oatmeal and Histamine

When it comes to oatmeal and its histamine content, the news is generally positive. Unlike some high histamine foods, oatmeal is typically considered low in histamine, making it a suitable option for a low histamine breakfast. It’s important to note, however, that oatmeal is not a histamine liberator, meaning it does not promote the release of histamine in the body. 

Bowl of oatmeal with spoon

For those concerned about histamine issues, oatmeal can be a safe and nutritious choice. It provides a hearty, comforting meal without the worry of contributing to high histamine levels. This makes oatmeal a reliable staple for those following a low histamine diet, ensuring that you can enjoy its health benefits without triggering unwanted histamine intolerance symptoms.

High-Histamine Foods

While oatmeal is a low histamine option, it’s helpful to be aware of high histamine foods that you might want to avoid or limit. 

Foods like aged cheeses, fermented products, and certain processed meats are known for their higher levels of histamine. 

Consuming these histamine-rich foods can exacerbate histamine intolerance symptoms, especially in individuals with a sensitivity to histamine. The key is to understand your individual tolerance and adjust your diet accordingly. 

Woman eat oatmeal

High histamine foods can cause an increase in histamine release in the body, leading to a range of histamine issues. By identifying and reducing these foods in your diet, you can help manage excess histamine and reduce the likelihood of a histamine reaction. 

Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently, so it’s important to pay attention to how your body responds to different foods and adjust your diet to suit your specific needs and health goals.

Managing Histamine in the Body

Effectively managing histamine levels in the body is crucial for those with histamine intolerance or sensitivity. While it’s not possible to completely flush out histamine, there are ways to reduce excess histamine and mitigate histamine reactions. 

This involves making smart food choices and opting for low histamine foods adding up to a low-histamine diet. Incorporating foods that are naturally lower in histamine can help maintain a balance and reduce symptoms. 

Oatmeal with blackberries

Hydration and stress management also play significant roles in controlling histamine release. Being mindful of these aspects can lead to a more comfortable and symptom-free life. 

Moreover, understanding the role of mast cells, which are involved in the release of histamine, can provide deeper insight into how your body responds to different foods and environmental triggers.

Oatmeal in Your Diet

Considering oatmeal in your regular diet of low histamine breakfasts, especially within the context of a gluten-free or anti-inflammatory diet, opens up a range of possibilities. 

Bowl of oats

Oatmeal, particularly steel-cut oats, is an excellent choice for those looking for low histamine grains. These oats offer the benefits of being nutritious and easy to digest, without the high histamine levels associated with some other grains. 

For those exploring dairy alternatives in their diet, oat milk, along with rice milk and almond milk, offers a delightful and histamine-friendly option. 

These alternatives not only complement the low histamine diet but also add variety and flavour to your meals. Additionally, incorporating items like almond butter can further enhance your dietary choices, providing both flavour and health benefits in your quest for managing histamine levels.

Get Expert Advice

When navigating the complexities of food intolerances and histamine management, consulting a registered dietitian can be invaluable. They can provide tailored advice on an anti-inflammatory diet, which is beneficial for those with high histamine levels or histamine intolerance. A dietitian can help identify specific foods that trigger histamine release and suggest alternatives that align with your health goals and dietary needs. 

They can also offer guidance on the variety of symptoms associated with histamine issues, ensuring that your diet supports your overall well-being. With their expertise, you can develop a personalised plan that addresses your individual tolerance levels and helps you enjoy a diverse and nutritious diet.

Is oatmeal high in histamine?

To wrap up, oatmeal is generally a safe and beneficial choice for those concerned about histamine in their diet. It doesn’t contribute to high histamine levels or histamine release, making it a good fit for a low histamine diet. This is good news for those managing food intolerances or looking for low histamine breakfast options. 

Remember, the key to a healthy diet is making excellent food choices that cater to your body’s needs. Whether it’s incorporating steel-cut oats, almond butter, or oat milk into your meals, these choices can significantly impact your health and well-being. Embrace the journey of discovering what works best for you and enjoy the benefits of a balanced, histamine-aware lifestyle.

FAQ: Is oatmeal high in histamine?

Does oatmeal trigger histamine?

Oatmeal is generally considered to be low in histamine and is not known to trigger histamine release in the body. In fact it has an antihistaminic activity. It’s often a safe choice for those following a low histamine diet, as it doesn’t contribute to increased histamine levels like some other foods might.

What are the worst histamine foods?

The worst histamine foods are typically aged, fermented, or processed items. These include aged cheeses, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi, processed meats, alcohol, and certain fish that are not fresh. These foods can have high levels of histamine and may exacerbate symptoms in individuals with histamine intolerance.

Can I flush histamine out of my body?

While you can’t completely “flush out” histamine from your body, you can manage and reduce histamine levels through dietary choices and lifestyle changes. Consuming low histamine foods, staying hydrated, and avoiding known histamine triggers can help in reducing histamine-related symptoms. Additionally, some medications and supplements can aid in breaking down histamine in the body, but these should be taken under medical supervision.


Cerio R, Dohil M, Jeanine D, Magina S, Mahé E, Stratigos AJ. Mechanism of action and clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal for dermatologic practice. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010;9(9):1116-1120.