Histamine-rich and liberator foods may be at the heart of my breathlessness #asthma

Great balls of cacao

Great. I might be allergic to cacao.

After having not needed my inhaler for most of the week, having cut out red pepper from my meals (related to celery which makes me short of breath), I now think I have an allergic reaction to cacao.

I’ve just had a spoonful of a new cacao spread I bought and my breathing has become short and the roof of my mouth slightly itchy.  However, as I’m so focussed on it, could I simply be imagining it?


Last night, I researched the different foods I’d eaten as I had bought some vegan treats earlier yesterday – not many, else I would just scoff them and miss a proper meal.  However, I felt quite emotional and really didn’t feel like cooking. So ‘treats’ it was and I soon became so breathless I required my inhaler during the night.

I had several foods that were introduced from my shopping.  A ripe banana, some cacao vegan truffles, kumquat natural fruit sweetened spread, spelt bread toast and red bush tea (black) to which I originally apportioned blame. However, some anecdotes suggest the opposite may be true of red bush and it should actually help.


The research turned up a new phrase for me ‘histamine-rich food’… Uhoh. I already take an antihistamine when I get breathless to avoid taking the asthma inhaler and see if I can manage it with just that.  Last night I couldn’t.

Histamine-rich foods and their counterparts, histamine liberators, it seems are many.  Histamine is in everything and it’s impossible to have a histamine free diet.  You can simply have a diet lower in histamine that suits your body or take daily antihistamine tablets.

Here’s a list I found of the histamine low, rich and liberators http://www.histamineintolerance.org.uk/about/the-food-diary/the-food-list


I have already identified many triggers for my breathlessness and, sometimes regrettably, have already cut them out of my diet.

The list of histamine-rich food includes beer and wine.  I had attributed my shortness of breath when drinking them to the use of sulphites.  However, even that was confusing me as I recently tried a pint without sulphites and was still knocked breathless. Beer, it turns out, is histamine-rich, great.

I actually hardly drink at all but at times one just fancies a beer.

Back to the cacao

The jury for me is still out on my cacao almond butter spread. It could be the other things. Indeed the unintentional concoction of multiple histamine-rich food doesn’t really make it easy to pick out one culprit over another.

I’m fearing that soya might even be a trigger too. However, I’ve had a particular kind in my food over the past week and have been fine with it.  Fingers crossed.


The breathlessness is manageable – I’ve felt great the last few days, better than ever – and in a way I’m glad that the breathlessness is an allergic reaction and can be managed or if not, controlled.

Back to low histamine foods

So it’s back to the lovely organic, vegan food I recently blogged about.  This last week I’ve had a clearer chest than I can ever remember.  Or have I just had asthma for so long now I can’t remember what a clear chest really feels like?

Once I have a dependable non allergenic food base, it’s simply a matter of introducing each potential allergen, one at a time, to see how affected I am by them.  The trick will be to keep occupied so I forget what I’m doing and experience the effects as naturally as possible.


Luckily the new book I have bought, Thrive by Brendan Brazier avoids most of the allergenic (potentially histamine-rich and liberator) foods, including soya, and sticks to plant based, wholefoods.

I bought the book to optimise my diet in order to increase my overall exercise level.  At a quick glance, the recipes seem fine and may only need a tweak or two, if any.  The book seems to have arrived not only just in time but ahead of schedule.

Here’s the website http://thriveforward.com

Food diary

I’m going to keep a food diary too as that will surely unlock any future causes of the breathlessness.

As for cacao, well I can live without it, eating more fruit and veg means my tastebuds have regained their natural vitality.  I no longer lust for such rich foods as much anyway, the lusting being replaced, temporarily at first, then permanently by freshly picked, locally grown food.

With each step I take I really appreciate the difference my food changes are making for me.  My overall level of fitness, energy and peace of mind are constantly and steadily improving.

If I can cut out the breathlessness by following Thrive, in conjunction with the linked lists, I shall be a very happy man!

Onwards and upwards.


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