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Low Histamine Breads that You Can Enjoy

What bread can you eat on a low histamine diet? There are so many kinds of bread out there, with so many ingredients, that it can be very confusing! How do you find low histamine breads?

In this article I will help you figure out how to eat bread without sabotaging your low histamine diet. You will learn how to pick out a store bought bread.

You will also find a couple recipes for easy breads you can make yourself.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients to Avoid in Low Histamine Breads

First let’s look at what you should not be eating. When you buy bread in a store, it can have a pretty long ingredient list. Here are some of the things to avoid if you are histamine intolerant.

Gluten-Containing Ingredients

I know this just sounds like more stuff you can’t eat. But I do believe it’s a good idea to avoid gluten if you can’t tolerate histamine. 

Gluten and Leaky Gut

Gluten can stimulate release of zonulin, which opens up tight junctions between cells in the gut. While it is normal for those cells to open up sometimes, we don’t want them to stay chronically open. This is the situation we call intestinal permeability, or leaky gut (1).    

FODMAPs in Wheat

Wheat is a high FODMAP food that can cause digestive distress for people with sensitive guts. FODMAPs are certain plant-based carbohydrates that feed bacteria in your gut. If you have bacteria in the upper digestive tract, this can cause a lot of bloating, gas and discomfort.

Learn more about FODMAPS.

I am not suggesting that you go on a totally low FODMAP diet right now, unless you are diagnosed with IBS or SIBO. However this is just one more way that eating a lot of wheat might irritate your gut at a time when you are trying to calm it down. 

Since the enzyme that digests histamine is produced in your gut lining, anything that is irritating to the gut will lower your ability to get rid of histamine.

Amylase Tryptase Inhibitors in Wheat

Wheat contains substances called amylase tryptase inhibitors. These are natural components of wheat proteins that act as a defense against pathogens and pests. 

It is well known that ATIs are a cause of allergic reactions to wheat. They might also contribute to celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These compounds can interfere with the digestion of gluten proteins. They also release pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can contribute to inflammation (2). 

Histamines in Gluten Grains

Lastly, the gluten grains – wheat, rye and barley – do contain histamine themselves. They have a rating of “1” on the SIGHI list, which means they may be tolerated in small amounts. 

However, remember that histamine is like a bucket. When you fill up your bucket, that is when your body gets overloaded and you start to have symptoms.

Malt and Malted Barley

Malt is a common ingredient in commercial breads. This is because malt provides a form of sugars that are very easy for the yeast to break down. It sweetens the bread and improves the rise. 

However, malt is made from grain (usually barley) that is soaked, germinated and sprouted. This process allows the histamine levels to increase.

Sourdough, Long Fermentation and Yeast Extract

Stay away from breads that are advertising a long or slow fermentation process. These breads, and pretty much all sourdough breads, contain higher amounts of histamine.

Yeast extract is made from yeast particles that are broken down enzymatically, creating a whole load of histamines. This is different from just using plain yeast to rise your dough. You might be able to eat breads made from yeast, but stay away from anything containing yeast extract.

Buckwheat

You might think buckwheat is okay since it is allowed on the gluten free diet. This is not the case for low histamine, though. Buckwheat is a “2” on the SIGHI list, meaning it has enough histamine to cause significant symptoms.

Oils to Avoid

Walnut and sunflower oil can have high levels of histamine. 

Other Ingredients to Watch Out For in Sensitive People

Breads can have a wide variety of grains, nuts and seeds. Here are some other ingredients to avoid on a low histamine diet:

  • almond flour
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • peanuts
  • pine nuts
  • walnuts
  • cashews

Additives and Preservatives

Look for a bread with no extra additives and preservatives. Here is a list of some, but certainly not all, of the ingredients in breads that can add to your histamine load.

  • potassium sorbate
  • calcium propionate (not tested, but possibly high)
  • sorbic acid
  • calcium sulfite
  • monocalcium phosphate
  • potassium iodate
  • grain vinegar
  • citric acid
  • guar gum
  • yellow food colorings (yes, believe it or not some breads have these!)

Low Histamine Store Bought Breads

Every bread made with yeast is not automatically high in histamines. The metabolism of yeast, which makes the dough rise, doesn’t create histamines. 

However a long and slow rise will start to ferment the flours and this can raise the histamine content of the bread.

Breads that are made without yeast may be a safer choice, because they do not have that rising time that can allow fermentation to begin. Which breads are unleavened?

Flat breads are not necessarily unleavened. Two examples of flat breads that are made with yeast are pita bread and naan.

Tortillas, matzo, lavash, chapati and bannock are all examples of unleavened flat breads. You still need to check and see if they have ingredients that are high in histamine.

The good news is that you don’t have to avoid every single yeast bread. Do check ingredients carefully, and test a brand slowly to see if you can tolerate it before going crazy with sandwiches and toast.

If you know of a bread that is sold in the grocery stores and labeled low histamine, be sure to let me know. I haven’t been able to find one. However you can do the detective work to figure out whether a bread will work for you.

Low Histamine Bread Checklist

  1. Is the bread gluten free? Unless you know you can tolerate wheat, this is a good place to start.
  2. Is the bread sourdough, or labeled slow rise, or long ferment? It is likely higher in histamine.
  3. Are malt, buckwheat, walnut or sunflower oil on the ingredient list?
  4. Does the bread contain almond flour, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts or cashews? A multi-grain/seed bread is likely to be higher in histamine.
  5. Does the bread contain a list of chemical additives or preservatives? These are likely to increase the histamine content. See my list above for some of the chemicals that might be problematic.

If you are still holding the bread in your hand, and it passed all of these questions, the next step is to give it a try. 

Take your bread home. Eat a small amount and observe how it makes you feel. Make sure not to eat other foods or do activities that might raise your histamine levels. Your body will tell you whether this bread is right for you.

Some Brands To Try

  1. Food For Life Gluten Free White Rice Bread – I would stay away from this brand’s sprouted grain products if you are avoiding histamine. However, they do sell some unsprouted breads and tortillas made with white rice flour.
  2. Udi’s sells several varieties of gluten free breads made with rice and tapioca flour.  
  3. Eban’s Bakehouse sells some breads made with rice, oat and sorghum flour.

Do you know any great products that are not listed here? Help your community out, and tell us in the comments below.

Make Your Own Low Histamine Breads

Would you rather cook your own delicious fresh bread, and know exactly what is in it? There are a couple of bread mixes you can buy, or try a new recipe from scratch.

Histamine-Friendly Sweet Bread Mix

Dr. Becky Campbell collaborated with the Legit Bread Company to create this histamine friendly bread mix. You can add any other flavoring ingredients that you tolerate.  

Chebe Bread Mixes

Chebe sells bread mixes made with tapioca flour. These are little buns suitable for a sandwich. They also have pizza dough mix. 

King Arthur Gluten Free Bread Mix

King Arthur Flour makes their gluten free white bread mix with rice and tapioca flour.  

Namaste Foods

They make their Quick Bread and Muffin Mix with rice and tapioca flour. They have a lot of other products as well that you will want to check out.   

Low Histamine Bread Recipe

Are you looking for a versatile and easy low histamine bread that can be ready in minutes? Try this amazing recipe. It has only four ingredients, and you can cook it in the microwave in 90 seconds.

A plate with two slices of Ready-In-Minutes Rice Bread, each with a pat of butter.

Ready-In-Minutes Rice Bread

Elizabeth Quinn, MS, CNS®, FMCHC, LDN
This light, spongy bread is gluten free and FODMAP free. It will fit well into a low histamine diet. Best of all, it can be ready in minutes!
You can enjoy this bread with butter and honey, or make a sandwich, or use it as a hamburger bun.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Additional Time 1 minute
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Special Diets
Cuisine Bread
Servings 2 round slices

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or other oil of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

Instructions
 

  • Lightly butter or oil the bottom and sides of a round, straight-sided ramekin. A 4½ inch ramekin works well. You can use a smaller size to get a taller bread, or experiment with a different shape of pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the oil and egg together. Add the rice flour and baking powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into your prepared ramekin.
  • Microwave on high power for 90 seconds.
  • Flip the ramekin over to pop out the bread. Let it cool for a minute. Slice the bread lengthwise, and enjoy.
Keyword gluten-free, low fodmap, low histamine

The Last Crumb

You do not need to completely give up bread on your low histamine diet. However there are some ingredients that you will want to avoid.

Wheat and gluten can be irritating to the gut, and a challenge to digest. This is why gluten free breads might be a good choice while you are on this diet.

Also avoid malt, sourdough, long ferments, yeast extract, buckwheat, walnut and sunflower oils. Avoid any grains, nuts or seeds that you know are high in histamine. 

Look for a bread that does not contain additives, preservatives, or dough softeners, since these chemicals can cause a histamine reaction.

You probably won’t find any breads labeled low histamine on the grocery store shelves, but you can read the labels and find one that will probably work for you. Be sure eat a small amount at first to see how your body reacts.

A few companies sell mixes you can use to make low histamine breads at home. You can also try the delicious Ready-In-Minutes Bread that I have posted here.

I can help you on your low histamine journey. Just click on the button below to schedule a free call, and learn more about working with me.

13 thoughts on “Low Histamine Breads that You Can Enjoy”

      1. Hi Stan,
        As far as I know there aren’t any brands advertising their bread as low histamine, so you have to figure out whether you can tolerate the ingredients in a bread. You could try Food For Life gluten free white rice bread. Udi’s and Eban’s Bakehouse also have breads made with low histamine flours and grains. There are links in the article for those. There is also a bread mix that is labeled histamine friendly – you have to bake the bread. That is the one in the article by Dr. Becky Campbell. Sorry I don’t have any new suggestions. Best of luck with your search, and let me know if you find one!

  1. Suzette Armenta

    All the breads you list are not histamine friendly. If you look at ALL the ingredients in all those breads, there are several ingredients which can cause major reactive histamines. I suggest you do your homework before you post these things as many of us who have health issues rely on this information and it is incorrect..

      1. Is she referring to eggs? I think the bottom line is that ever body is different. Its all an experiment. I have rosacea and am allergic to just about every smell/fragrance I have worked for years to find the answer to the puzzle. Very frustrating.

  2. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this bread information. It is very helpful. Also, I made your “Ready in Minutes Rice Bread” recipe today. Quick and easy. Very good. Thanks again! Blessings to you!
    Kathy W.
    P.S. Do you have any ideas for low histamine sandwich spreads?

  3. Ive made some homemade spelt bread which is great and low histamine. question is do i need to freeze it or am i ok eating it for a few days ?

    1. Hi Nikita, great question! And congrats on your homemade spelt bread. Did you use a recipe or develop your own? My advice is to freeze the bread. All grains contain protein, so it will start to degrade and create histamine. You could slice it, and then freeze the sliced loaf so that it is easy to grab one or two slices out of the freezer.

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