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