Is Avocado Low Histamine?

Is avocado low histamine? If you love the creamy, smooth taste of avocado and are concerned about histamine intolerance, you’re not alone! It can be difficult to know what foods are safe to eat. If you love the taste of avocado, you might wonder whether avocado is low histamine.

The short answer is no – avocado is not low histamine. Unfortunately, this means that despite its delicious taste and versatility, eating it could trigger histamine intolerance symptoms.

Although everyone is a little different and whether you develop symptoms depends on a variety of factors, avocado is a food you should avoid if you have histamine sensitivity. Let’s dig deeper and also look at some possible substitutes for avocado.

Avocados Is Nutrient Dense Food That Can Trigger Histamine Intolerance Symptoms

An avocado is a fruit that comes from the avocado tree (Persea americana), which is native to Central America and Mexico. The fruit is typically pear-shaped and has a green or blackish-green skin that covers a thick, creamy, and rich-tasting flesh that surrounds a large seed in the center. You may seen it at the supermarket and admired its dark green, textured exterior.

Avocados are a nutrient-dense and versatile food, packed with healthy fats, fiber, and a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Avocados also contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and folate They’re delicious in guacamole, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. Unlike most fruits which contain no protein, avocado has 4 grams of protein per 7 ounces.(5)

The Fats in Avocado

The predominant type of fat in avocado is monounsaturated fat, a heart healthy form of fat. Some studies suggest that a diet rich in avocados may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.(1) A study found that consuming avocado was linked with an increase in HDL-cholesterol, the “healthy” form of cholesterol associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Avocado also contains antioxidants, like beta-carotene, that may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of visual loss later in life. A study found that people who consumed avocado had higher levels of lutein, a carotenoid in their retinas, the light-sensitive portion of the eye. In the study, this was also linked with better cognitive health. (4)

avocado contains other biogenic amines

Is Avocado Low Histamine?

Despite its health benefits, avocado is not low histamine. Avocados are naturally high in histamine. Plus, they can act as histamine liberators, triggering the release of the body’s existing histamine. Studies have found that avocados contain up to 23 mg/kg of histamine, making them unsuitable  if you’re on a low-histamine diet. (6) Plus, avocado contains other biogenic amines, including tyramine and putrescine. (6)

The levels of biogenic amine in avocado are enough to trigger histamine intolerance symptoms in most people. In practice, people have told me that eating only a small amount of avocado triggered symptoms for some. Although most fruits and vegetables aren’t high in histamine, certain ones, including spinach, eggplant, and tomatoes are and should be avoided. (6)

Histamine and Avocado Allergy

If you’re allergic to avocado, your immune system could also release histamine from mast cells when you eat avocado. However, avocado allergies are rare.(2)  People who have an allergy to avocado are also more likely to be allergic to latex and birch pollen.

However, it’s worth noting that some people may experience reactions to avocado, even if they don’t have a diagnosed allergy to avocados. The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to avocado are skin rash, hives, itching, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat, as well as difficulty breathing.

If you suspect you have an allergy to avocado or experience any of these symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.  Most importantly, avoid avocado if you have histamine intolerance or an allergy to avocado.

hummus is creamy like avocado

Substitutes for High-Histamine Avocado

If you love the creamy taste of avocado, are there low-histamine substitutes for this high-histamine fruit? Although there are few foods that match avocado in terms of texture, taste, and health benefits, there are some low-histamine alternatives that offers some of the texture benefits of avocado.

If you like to spread avocado on toast, hummus has the same creaminess and, if you make it yourself, is low histamine. The ingredients in hummus include:

  • Mashed chickpeas
  • Tahini
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt

Although most of the ingredients on this list are low histamine, lemon juice contains putrescine, a biogenic amine in the same family as histamine and can worsen histamine intolerance symptoms. Other biogenic amines, like putrescine, compete with histamine for clearance from your body, so they delay histamine clearance from your body.

So, consuming other biogenic amines can increase your body’s histamine burden by reducing how fast you clear histamine. Therefore, citrus juice of any type can trigger histamine intolerance symptoms. If you make hummus yourself, you can leave the lemon juice out. 

Pureed Squash Is a Nutrient-Dense Substitute for Avocado

Pureed squash of various types also has some of the texture characteristics of avocado. Squash is a low-histamine root vegetable. The winter squash varieties are particularly rich in nutrients and have a smooth and somewhat creamy texture when you puree it.

Another low-histamine option you can spread on toast in place of avocado is cream cheese. Not all cheese is low in histamine but cream cheese, being a softer cheese, usually is. It contains only low levels of histamine and other biogenic amines. If you use cream cheese, use it up quickly.

If you leave it in the refrigerator too long, histamine-producing bacteria can build up and produce histamine. Remember to keep it covered, so it isn’t exposed to air.

Avocado and Histamine Intolerance

Is avocado low histamine? Avocado is NOT a low histamine food. Although some plant-based foods are low histamine, avocado is not. Plus, it contains other biogenic amines. If you like the taste and texture of avocado, try one of the avocado substitutes above instead.

References:

  1. Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-50. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.556759. PMID: 23638933; PMCID: PMC3664913. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638933/
  2. Abrams EM, Becker AB, Gerstner TV. Anaphylaxis related to avocado ingestion: a case and review. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. 2011;7(1). doi:10.1186/1710-1492-7-12
  3. ‌Mahmassani HA, Avendano EE, Raman G, Johnson EJ. Avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Apr 1;107(4):523-536. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqx078. PMID: 29635493. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29635493/
  4. Scott TM, Rasmussen HM, Chen O, Johnson EJ. Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2017 Aug 23;9(9):919. doi: 10.3390/nu9090919. PMID: 28832514; PMCID: PMC5622679.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28832514/
  5. Kubala J. 7 Potential Health Benefits of Avocado. Healthline. Published June 28, 2022. Accessed January 20, 2023. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/avocado-nutrition
  6. ‌ Sánchez-Pérez S, Comas-Basté O, Rabell-González J, Veciana-Nogués MT, Latorre-Moratalla ML, Vidal-Carou MC. Biogenic Amines in Plant-Origin Foods: Are They Frequently Underestimated in Low-Histamine Diets? Foods. 2018 Dec 14;7(12):205. doi: 10.3390/foods7120205. PMID: 30558197; PMCID: PMC6306728.