Low oxalate low histamine diet – the missing link?

Decorative cabbage

The one last major symptom that can drive me to despair is chronic inflammation “down there”. Having eliminated wheat, gluten, dairy, all grains, all sugar but fruit, I’m a little stumped by what’s going on. Sure I know about the mast cell Interstitial Cystitis link (as per NIH funded Dr Theoharides) [1] but given that I am no longer forced to run to the loo every 10 minutes screaming in pain as I unleash the razor blades embedded in my urinary tract I can’t say that’s too much of a factor. Thankfully quercetin has done its job there.

A diet rich in antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods has helped me lower overall inflammation. Mast cell mediated/histamine induced inflammation has moved way from my brain (no brain fog/migraines anymore), away from my heart (tachycardia/palpitations gone), away from my fingers (no more arthritis or buzzing and tingling in them), away from my feet/hips (adios bone pain, shooting sciatica like pain or buzzing/tingling), and for the most part, away from my stomach (only rare instances of basketball stomach/tingling/Homeric belching). But I guess it would make sense that the part of my body that’s in contact with ingested histamine is somewhat chronically inflamed.

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So looks like it’s time to tweak the diet once more. This thought used to unleash a hurricane of self pity but now I figure I’ve already hit the ground running having done this quite a few times.

Having purposely avoided looking at high oxalate food lists for the last three years (scared of what I would find), I finally took a look, passed out momentarily in despair at the sight of so many healthy plant based foods in the high column (kale, chard) and so many crappy ones in the low oxalate list (corn nuts, dairy, white chocolate), before picking my sorry self up off the floor and reminding myself that as with the low histamine diet, moderation is key.

I will never completely eliminate higher histamine foods – partly because it’s almost impossible to, but also because I don’t believe that kind of restriction is good for the body and soul. With that in mind I finally unclenched my teeth and decided to give a low-ish oxalate diet a go (not that my diet is particularly high oxalate to begin with!).

It’s not just those with lady part inflammation who benefit from moderating oxalates, related conditions are: autism, asthma, cystic fibrosis, kidney stones as well as vulvodynia [2].

A cursory glance at the oxalate sites revealed that mr curly kale must be re-assigned from my juicing drawer to my boyfriend’s “I’ll eat it if it’s green” shelf. I then sat down for some intensive net trawling in order to come up with a list of low to medium oxalate foods that are also low histamine, as well as being high nutrient. You’ll find this list here. As always, please remember most histamine lists differ from each other and the low oxalate lists suffer the same problem.

Additionally, because you’re supposed to keep oxalate intake to a maximum range, wether you eat 1/2 a cup of asparagus or a full cup makes a big difference in the milligrams of oxalates/oxalic acid you ingest. It’s kind of like weight watchers where you tally everything up. I think it borders on the obsessive to do it right, but if you’re in that much pain and have determined that you problem is oxalates/oxalic acid, then you do what you have to! I’m thankfully not in severe pain, I’m just determined to be the best me I can be. Yes, I am often my own coach/cheerleader/movie cliche all rolled into one!

This list is by no means exhaustive, it’s just meant to give you an idea of the low oxalate low histamine foods I’ll be trying to stick to for a while. I recommend checking out oxalate researcher Dr Susan Owen’s site for further information. Rest assured, I’ve put in an interview request and am waiting to hear back.

Here’s the low to medium oxalate and low histamine food list I’ll be working off for a while:

PLEASE NOTE: various low oxalate sites warn that you shouldn’t jump into an extremely low oxalate diet as it can kick the body into a sudden detox, causing it to suddenly dump its oxalate stores which can cause an intensification of symptoms.

Low histamine & low to medium oxalate foods

FRUITS

Very low – low oxalate foods

CRANBERRY (low histamine on some lists)

CHERRY (low histamine on some lists)

APPLE FUJI

APPLE GALA

APPLE GOLDEN

APPLE BRAMLEYS

APPLE GRANNY SMITH

APPLE RED

BLUEBERRIES

CRANBERRIES DRIED

DATES MEDJOOL

LEMON

MANGO

CASABA

HONEYDEW

WATERMELON

PASSION FRUIT

PEACH

PEAR BARTLETT

 

 Medium oxalate foods

APPLE BRAEBURN

APPLE MACINTOSH

BANANA

DRIED CHERRIES

BLACKCURRANTS

DATES MEDJOOL

LIME

CANTALOUPE

 

VEGETABLES

V. low – low oxalate foods

CORN

BOK CHOY

BROCCOLI RAW AND BOILED

CABBAGE GREEN RAW

NAPA CABBAGE

CABBAGE PURPLE

CARROTS BOILED

CAULIFLOWER BOILED/STEAMED/RAW

CUCUMBERS

GARLIC

TURNIP GREENS

ARUGULA

RAAB BROCCOLI

KALE  (not curly!)

KHOLRABI

KOHLRABI LEAVES

MOST LETTUCE IS VERY LOW

MUSHROOMS (I still eat some)

ONION, WHITE

ONION, YELLOW

RED PEPPER

RADISH, DAIKON

RADISH, RED

RADISH, WHITE

RUTABAGA

SEAWEED, HIJIKI

SEAWEED, KOMBU

SEAWEED, NORI

SEAWEED, WAKAME

SHALLOTS

SPROUTS, ALFALFA

SQUASH, ACORN

SQUASH, BUTTERNUT

SQUASH, KABOCHA

SQUASH, SPAGHETTI

SQUASH, YELLOW

SQUASH, ZUCCHINI

TURNIP

WATERCRESS

 

Medium oxalate foods

ARTICHOKE

ASPARAGUS

GREEN BEANS

BRUSSEL SPROUTS

BROCCOLI STEAMED

CARROTS RAW

ENDIVE

FENNEL

GRAPE LEAVES

RAAB BROCCOLI STEAMES

COLLARED BOILED

LEEKS RAW

JICAMA

RED ONION

PARSNIPS

BELL PEPPER, YELLOW

BELL PEPPER, GREEN

SEAWEED, DULSE

 

HERBS/SPICES/CONDIMENTS

Low oxalate foods

(Most fresh herbs are low oxalate. Dried are far higher. These herbs are all fresh)

BASIL

CIDER VINEGAR (the lowest histamine of all the vinegars)

CHILI

CHIVES

CORIANDER

CRESS

GINGER

LEMON BALM

MUSTARD

WHITE PEPPER GROUND

PEPPERMINT

ROSEMARY

SAVORY

CAYENNE PEPPERS

HABANERO PEPPERS

 

Medium oxalate foods

DILL

PARSLEY

BLACK PEPPER GROUND

 

 

LEGMES/NUTS/SEEDS

Low oxalate foods

CANNED CHICKPEAS (but dry/boiled are medium!)

LIMA

MUNG

RED LENTILS BOILED

BROWN LENTILS

GREEN PEAS

SPLIT GREEN PEAS

SPLIT YELLOW PEAS

SUNFLOWER BUTTER (small amount)

 

Medium oxalate foods

CHICKPEAS BOILED

PISTACHIOS

ALFALFA SEEDS

BROC SEEDS

MUNG BEAN

 

MEAT/POULTRY/FISH

Low oxalate foods

ANCHOVIES (fresh)

FLOUNDER

HADDOCK

PLAICE

SALMON

FRESH TUNA

BEEF

LAMB

LIVER

EGGS

 

OTHER

Low oxalate foods

WHITE CHOCOLATE (I can eat homemade raw white chocolate – you might not be able to)

 

GRAINS/FLOURS

Low/Medium oxalate foods

WHITE RICE

WILD RICE

CORN

COCONUT FLOUR

BLACK EYED PEA FLOUR

FLAX SEED FLOUR

CELLOPHANE NOODLES

BROWN RICE PASTA COOKED

WHITE RICE

THAI JASMIN RICE

Soaking rice and grains for 12 hours lowers oxalates.

 

Medium oxalate foods

CHICKPEA FLOUR

BROWN RICE FLOUR

SORGHUM

MILLET

ROLLED OATS COOKED

RICE NOODLES

BROWN RICE

JASMIN RICE

UNCLE BENS WHITE RICE

WILD RICE

 

FATS/OILS

Low oxalate foods

CANOLA

COCONUT

OLIVE

SESAME SEED

 

SWEETENERS

V.low/low oxalate foods

AGAVE

RAW COCONUT NECTAR

 

TAHINI – high oxalate but I plan to keep it in my diet because of it’s calcium content and anti-inflammatory activity. 

 

———————————- Sources ———————————-

[1] http://mastcellmaster.com/documents/Interstitial-Cystitis/Mast-cells-IC-Urol-2007.pdf

[2] http://lowoxalate.info/research.html