Friday, August 5, 2022

Is Coffee High in Histamine? Here’s The Answer!

by sundhedsvagten

Histamines are chemicals produced by the immune system and also involved in your nervous system.

Histamines are allergens that trigger the body’s response to attack to get rid of allergens from your body. This process initiates sneezing, itching, tearing up, and other responses as a defense mechanism for your body.

Coffee does not contain high histamine levels, but it is not histamine-free. Therefore, you cannot safely drink coffee if you have histamine intolerance as it contains varying amounts of histamine.

High levels of histamine are usually found in fermented foods such as

  • Kimchi
  • Beer

Since coffee is not fermented for long and the only purpose of fermenting coffee is to remove the skin of the fruits surrounding beans, it’s comparatively low in histamine.

Is Histamine Bad for You?

Your body already contains histamine but at safe levels. But, like any other substance, our body requires a balance of these chemicals.

Histamine can cause concern to people who are sensitive or have histamine intolerance as it can trigger allergic reactions.

Consuming foods or beverages with high histamine can cause an increase in your body’s histamine levels. This body is unable to break down this excess buildup of histamine. This causes allergic responses such as diarrhea, runny nose, etc.

Can Coffee Cause Histamine Intolerance?

A major cause of concern for most people is whether coffee can worsen your symptoms of histamine intolerance. 

Coffee can be a factor in the occurrence of histamine intolerance. Coffee can be low in histamine but still cause problems.

Foods and beverages with high histamine are not the only reason for worsening your histamine intolerance. But such foods can also worsen your conditions:

  • Foods that block diamine oxidase (BDO)
  • Foods with histamine liberators

The coffee itself can be low in histamine, but caffeine’s active ingredient can block the diamine oxidase enzyme. As the BDO gets blocked, it gets hard for the body to excrete the excess histamines from your body.

The potential mold exposure in the caffeine should also be considered if you’re histamine intolerant. Mold exposure makes your immune system suffer greatly.

This mold exposure creates several unwanted allergic reactions.

Is Histamine Intolerance Safe?

Histamine causes some uncomfortable symptoms, depending on your level of intolerance. A few symptoms of histamine intolerance are:

  • Stomachache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose
  • Itchy skin
  • Vomiting

The more severe symptoms may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Anxiety
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Tissue swelling

However, the intolerance can be treated by a low histamine diet. The diet mainly consists of foods with low histamine levels and foods that block diamine oxidase enzymes.

Drinking Coffee on Low Tolerance Diet

The tolerance levels of people can greatly vary. 

For most, reducing your coffee intake to one cup a day is not likely to cause any harm or trigger your histamine intolerance. However, even as little as one cup of coffee can cause symptoms to show up for some people.

The allergic reactions from histamine differ from the typical allergic mechanisms. Histamine intolerance is likely to cause inflammatory reactions, and the severity of these reactions can vary according to the sensitivity to histamine in people.

Tips to Keep Your Coffee Low with Histamine

The amount of histamine in the coffee depends on the manufacturing process of the coffee beans and the way manufacturers grow them.

The wet processing method is likely to increase the histamine levels in the coffee. 

Here are a few ways to enjoy coffee with low histamine levels:

●    Use Organic Coffee Beans

Buy the organic coffee beans as they are specially tested for mold and toxin exposure

●    Choose Regular Brew over Decaf

A regular brew is a good option for histamine intolerance instead of decaf. If you want to avoid caffeine altogether, decaf is decaffeinated through the swiss water process rather than the chemical one.

●    Buy Darker Roasted Beans

Always opt for the dark roasted coffee beans as they have low caffeine, which is slowly degraded through the roasting process

●    Avoid Sugar

Sugar is not your friend for histamine intolerance. Use histamine-free sweeteners if you want to add the sweetness of sugar to your coffee.

●    Avoid Dairy In Your Coffee

Dairy is also not histamine-free and should be avoided. Instead, try using milk alternatives or powdered milk for your coffee.

●    Consume Coffee Instantly

Drink your coffee instantly. The longer you make it wait, the more histamines build up.


Although coffee does not contain high histamine levels, it can still cause problems for people with histamine intolerance.

The mold exposure and the BDOs in caffeine should be considered. These elements in the coffee are likely to cause allergic triggers from histamine.

The sensitivity to histamine can vary among people. Some can have rare to mild symptoms, while some can have severe symptoms.

For histamine intolerance, it is important to have a low histamine diet.

Try using organic coffee with dark roasted beans containing less sugar and dairy products. Drink up your coffee immediately to avoid histamine buildup.

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