People often ask how to get started addressing their histamine intolerance. How you begin each day can make a huge difference in how you’ll feel the rest of the day. Start your day off right by following the suggestions below.
DON’T RUSH TO BREAKFAST
Unless you have a pre-existing condition or hypoglycemia, light fasting might be an excellent approach to fighting histamine inflammation. Research shows that up to forty percent of faulty white blood cells (including mast cells, where histamine lives in the body) can be regenerated in just five days of calorie restriction.
Intermittent fasting has gained huge popularity in recent years. There are a number of variations, but prolonging the time between dinner and the next morning’s breakfast (break-fast) is a great way to incorporate fasting daily.
There are many differing views on the ideal eating window, but don’t get extreme. Stress releases histamine after all…
For example, you finish eating dinner by 8 pm and don’t eat breakfast until 8am (a nice gentle 12 hour fast).
Or you could try extending the window one hour at a time till reaching your ideal window.
Of course, you can also stop eating earlier in the evening (by 6 pm, for example), and then eat earlier in the day (10 am or noon).
To learn more about fasting’s effects on histamine, check out the following posts:
- Fasting’s Antihistamine Properties
- Fasting’s Effect on Diamine Oxidase (DAO) & Histamine Intolerance
- Interview: Fasting Mimicking Diets For Mast Cell Activation & Allergies
- Fasting Mimicking Diet For Mast Cells And Histamine – The Results
START WITH AN ANTIHISTAMINE TEA
Since you’re fasting in the morning and not taking in any calories, why not start with a therapeutic (and delicious) tea with antihistamine properties? Tea is a wonderfully relaxing way to start the day. In fact, studies have shown that just holding a warm mug in your hands tends to make you see the world in a more positive light.
Holy Basil or “Tulsi” tea is a great one to start with. It is highly antihistamine and can be found in quite a number of different blends and flavours. Just be sure the herbs it’s blended with aren’t a problem for you (e.g. cinnamon and nutmeg in a tulsi chai).
While black and green teas might be problematic for some people, white tea, made from the same plant (plus, lower in caffeine and not fermented), may be a good option. Or try the blossom of the tea plant. Read the post here.
For some other ideas on antihistamine teas and tisanes (and a few recipes), read these posts:
BRUSH YOUR TEETH
This might seem a little obvious, but there’s been an interesting amount of research finding that people think it’s ok to brush just once a day. There’s a reason why dental infections have been linked to heart disease: Inflammation. And you know chronic inflammation is an issue when it comes to histamine intolerance. Oral infections lead to more histamine release, and that’s not good for us at all.
Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, has been directly linked to mast cell activation and histamine release. So, brush your teeth; floss your teeth. Make sure you take good care of your oral microbiome by eating whole foods and avoiding sugar.
Learn more about the connection between your oral health and histamine by checking out my interview with Dr. Steven Lin, bestselling author of the Dental Diet.
Don’t wait until the stresses of the day add up and cause symptoms or reactions to act. Remember the inflammation bucket concept. You want to start with an empty bucket at the beginning of the day so that as daily stressors, triggers, and exposures accumulate, you have plenty of leeway for into the evening.
Don’t let your inflammation bucket fill up by noon. Instead, start your morning with yoga or some type of breathing, meditation or relaxation practice so that you lower your inflammation and histamine response right at the beginning of the day. You could even keep a daily gratitude journal that you write in while sipping your tea. This is a great way to keep your brain focused on positivity rather than in fear/stress mode.
Marinac, C. R., Sears, D. D., Natarajan, L., Gallo, L. C., Breen, C. I., & Patterson, R. E. (2015). Frequency and Circadian Timing of Eating May Influence Biomarkers of Inflammation and Insulin Resistance Associated with Breast Cancer Risk. PLoS ONE, 10(8), e0136240. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0136240
Williams, L. E., & Bargh, J. A. (2008). Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5901), 606–607. http://doi.org/10.1126/science.1162548