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Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Low-histamine? Nutrition can be a confusing topic. Before we go any further it’s good to remember that there is no one size fit’s all, everyone’s body is different. What works for one person might not work for another, each individual has different preferences and eating habit.

We can think of nutrition across a few areas: reducing inflammation, reducing histamine (for people are very MCAS(histamine intolerance)-y), and improving the balance of bacteria in your gut (due to dysregulation of the bacteria in your gut.

Let’s start with a reminder of some generally well understand nutrition advice:

  1. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water and fluids is important to prevent dehydration and maintain overall health. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, or more if you're sweating, vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.

  2. Eat a balanced diet: Eating a variety of foods from different food groups can provide the nutrients your body needs to support recovery. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet.

  3. Focus on nutrient-dense foods: Choose foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to support your immune system and overall health. Examples include dark leafy greens, berries, nuts and seeds, legumes, and fatty fish.

  4. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods can be high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and additives, which can have a negative impact on your health. Choose whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.

  5. Consider supplements: While it's best to get your nutrients from whole foods, some supplements may be helpful in certain situations. For example, if you're not able to eat a balanced diet or have a nutrient deficiency, supplements may help to fill the gaps. Speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian before starting any new supplements.

  6. Manage your sugar intake: High sugar intake can lead to inflammation and negatively impact your immune system. Try to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks, and opt for whole foods with natural sweetness like fruit.

  7. Eat frequent, smaller meals: If you're experiencing nausea or have a decreased appetite, eating frequent, smaller meals throughout the day may be more manageable than larger meals.

  8. Be mindful of food safety: When you're sick, your immune system may be weakened, so it's important to be extra careful about food safety. Make sure to properly wash fruits and vegetables, cook meats to the appropriate temperature, and avoid foods that may have been sitting at room temperature for too long.

Low-histamine Diet

Many doctors don’t recommend a low-histamine diet as it is very restrictive and difficult to adhere to. However, if your symptoms are similar to those of MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome), you may want to consider a low or at least a low-ish histamine diet.

Histamine is a chemical produced by your body's mast cells that can cause allergy-like symptoms such as flushing, hives, itching, nasal congestion, and digestive issues. Here are some common symptoms of MCAS:

  • Flushing or redness of the skin

  • Itching or hives

  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose

  • Coughing or wheezing

  • Digestive problems such as diarrhea, cramping, or nausea

  • Headaches or migraines

  • Fatigue or brain fog

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Insomnia or disrupted sleep

Avoiding High-Histamine Foods

The science around histamine in foods is a big murky but the commonly accepted framework for a low-histamine diet is as follows:

  • Avoid or minimize high histamine foods like aged or fermented foods, canned foods, processed meats, and leftovers.

  • Opt for fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables, as they are lower in histamine.

  • Choose fresh meats, poultry, and fish, and avoid leftovers or canned varieties.

  • Be careful with condiments like vinegar, soy sauce, and hot sauce, which can be high in histamine.

  • Avoid alcohol and fermented beverages like beer and wine, which are high in histamine.

  • Be mindful of potential histamine triggers like stress, heat, and certain medications.

  • Consider taking supplements like DAO (diamine oxidase) or quercetin to help with histamine intolerance.

  • Work with a registered dietitian to create a personalized low histamine meal plan.


It’s important to note that eating a well balanced diet can be difficult when you have long covid. Fatigue, brain fog and financial difficulties can combine to make buying groceries, cooking and doing dishes impossible. Here’s some tips that might help:

  • Plan meals ahead - During a time where you’re feeling energetic, sit down with a pen and paper plan your meals for the next week

  • Draw out a quick calendar for the week and writing down what meals you’re going to have. You can stick it up on the fridge to make sure you don’t forget.

  • Order groceries for delivery - most supermarkets deliver which can save you over-exerting yourself when doing the shopping. It can come with a little extra cost but save you in the long run if you plan your meals.

  • Use a meal delivery service, these can be expensive, but if you can afford it they can offer great help if you’re struggling to cook for yourself:

  • Gourmet Fuel - Premade meals delivered to your door:

  • Dropchef - Ingredients + recipes that you cook yourself delivered weekly

  • HelloFresh - Ingredients + recipes that you cook yourself delivered weekly


  • Plan meals ahead

  • Draw out a quick calendar for the week and writing down what meals you’re going to have

  • Order groceries for delivery - most supermarkets deliver which can save you over-exerting yourself when doing the shopping

Handy resources

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