Onions and histamine: in this case, you should avoid them

Onions hardly contain histamine, but they do contain other substances that release the body’s own histamine. However, you don’t have to give up onions entirely. You can find out here how you can integrate them into a low histamine diet.

in a histamine intolerance Proper nutrition plays an important role in avoiding intolerance reactions. Histamine is a messenger substance that is involved in many processes in the body. The body itself produces histamine as a breakdown product of amino acids that contain proteins. At the same time, it also absorbs histamine through food. In the case of histamine intolerance, the degradation process is disturbed. As a result, the body reacts with allergic reactions such as itching, gastrointestinal problems, or circulatory problems.

a diet with low histamine foods therefore, it can provide symptom relief. Onion is conditionally suitable for a low histamine diet, as both the type of onion and the way it is prepared influence whether it is well tolerated by histamine intolerant people.

Do onions contain histamine?

The popular yellow onion is only tolerated in small quantities in case of histamine intolerance.  White onion, which also has a white skin, is more suitable.
The popular yellow onion is only tolerated in small quantities in case of histamine intolerance. White onion, which also has a white skin, is more suitable.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur)

Although some foods contain little or no histamine, they can trigger the release of histamine from histamine-producing cells. This is the case with most onion varieties. They contain so-called histamine releasers: substances that cause the body to release histamine. In onions, histamine releasers are other biogenic amines. Biogenic amines are substances that are produced during the metabolism of amino acids develop. Histamine is also a biogenic amine, but there is also tyramine and serotonin, for example.

According to the Swiss Histamine Intolerance Interest Group (SIGHI), most onion varieties contain these histamine releasers and are therefore considered intolerable in large quantities.

only the White onion you can safely integrate it into a low histamine diet because it does not contain histamine releasers. Unlike the widespread kitchen onion, this variety does not have a yellow-brown skin, but snow-white. Also, it has a milder flavor. White onions are particularly popular in southern European cuisine and are therefore not as common in local supermarkets. You can often find what you are looking for in Turkish vegetable shops or at the weekly market.

Onions in a low histamine diet: Also pay attention to this

Pickled onions contain more histamine than fresh onions and should therefore be avoided.
Pickled onions contain more histamine than fresh onions and should therefore be avoided.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Ekologiskt_Skafferi)

The way onions are prepared can also make a difference in tolerability. You should always eat onions as fresh as possible. pickled onions dispense.

According to the Institute for Nutritional Medicine at the Technical University of Munich, the following generally applies: Foods that are produced or made edible with the help of bacterial or yeast cultures contain large amounts of histamine, such as, for example, Sauerkraut, soy sauce or cured cheese.

The older and longer the shelf life of a food, the higher its histamine content. Such food contains more bacteria which are also responsible for converting the amino acid histidine into histamine.

conclusion: So you don’t have to completely do without onions if you have histamine intolerance. Although most varieties contain hardly any histamine, they can still stimulate histamine release. You should only enjoy these strains in small quantities and gradually approach them to see your individual reaction to them. Better grab the white onion, which you can eat without hesitation. If you also make sure to process fresh onion as quickly as possible, you don’t have to eliminate spicy vegetables from your diet.

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