Wine: all the benefits without the histamine hangover?
Did you know that histamine causes hangovers? I used to tell people that living with histamine intolerance is like having a permanent hangover, one I actually dubbed the “histamine hangover”, because eating histamine foods left me feeling like I’d been run over by a truck. Thankfully some wineries have come up with ways to not only reduce or eliminate sulphites, sugars, and the awful additives you wouldn’t believe are the norm, but also to lower histamine to a negligible level.
Best of all, how could you not convince friends to enjoy your choice of wine when you can pretty much guarantee they won’t get a hang over from indulging? I mean, if there’s anything that’d convince folks your diet really ain’t so bad, it’s this.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s no place for alcohol when we’re horribly sick; not unless we want to get worse. I gave it up for nearly two years when at my worst, but sorely missed the social aspect of hanging out with friends and having a glass of red and was annoyed at missing out on an enjoyable way to ingest some beneficial nutrients.
Yes, these and other lies we tell ourselves to justify diving into something that truly makes us happy.
Low, or no, histamine wines aren’t new. What is new however is finding one that doesn’t make me feel horribly unhappy and unsatisfied in the way that carob chip cookies or alcohol free beer do. Try tempting your pals with a “mockulate” fudge cake.
Yeah, good luck with that one.
Thankfully I’ve only suffered the horror of Bud Zero (or whatever the heck it was) on assignment in Libya for CNN. It’s an indignity that won’t be tolerated nor repeated, histamine issues or not.
My assignments nowadays are a lot more fun. Like meeting people who want me to spread the word about some great new product. Sometimes they’re great, others not so much. I’ve been sampling low histamine wines for the last few years but haven’t been inspired to share my findings on the blog till now.
Dry Farm Wines are by far the best tasting, low/no histamine, sulphite, preservative free, GMO yeast and sugar free product I’ve enjoyed. Yes, I said enjoyed. Because a glass of wine is meant to be savoured without fear of flushing, throbbing head (in my case a pre-hangover hangover), acid indigestion and all the rest we’ve learned to hate.
I had never looked into what goes into modern wines till a bunch of information was made available to me by Todd over at Dry Farm and also as reported by Abel James over at Fat Burning Man.
Here’s a little taste:
Sulphur dioxide: a preservative used in wine making. It can cause dermatitis, hives, flushing, GI issues and more. It has been shown to cause symptoms of asthma by causing mast cells to freak out and dump inflammation (including histamine) into the blood stream.
Ammonium sulphates: a preservative that causes nausea, vomiting and GI issues. It also causes histamine release in the body.
Commercial yeasts: a known histamine trigger.
Abel also points out that industrial farming practices mean wine often contains fungicides, mycotoxins and phthalates.
These are all known mast cell triggers.
Toss in that wine makers are allowed to use purple food colour and genetically modified yeasts and we’re getting to the heart of why red wine is such a mega trigger for most of us. Removing all of these isn’t a perfect solution however as all alcohol can impact the production of the histamine degrading diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme, once that’s already potentially low in people with histamine intolerance and mast cell activation.
I recently enjoyed a glass of Dry Farm’s light red wine (beaujolais) with a large green salad of (anti-inflammatory) mesclun greens, (antihistamine) fresh thyme and (antihistamine) oregano with shaved (anti-inflammatory and antihistamine) cucumber, and (antihistamine and anti-inflammatory) garlic, (anti-inflammatory) apple cider vinegar, (antihistamine and anti-inflammatory) coriander and (highly anti-inflammatory) olive oil dressing. And a nice juicy grass fed (anti-inflammatory) steak with (antihistamine and anti-inflammatory) butternut squash mash with (antihistamine and anti-inflammatory) ginger and (antihistamine and anti-inflammatory) turmeric.
My point in pointing out the properties of these foods is that even in having a glass of wine, which I can now have without being consumed with guilt over doing something awful to my body, I take care to use my balanced plate approach. Not familiar with it? It’s the idea that higher histamine foods can be consumed as long as they’re counterbalanced with lower histamine, but more importantly, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods.
If DAO is a worry, I know some reply on supplements to make up for any shortfall.
Dry Farm wines haven’t yet started lab testing their products for histamine content so I asked Dry Farm Wines founder Todd Whit what makes their wines low(er) histamine, and here’s his reply:
——- REFERENCES ——–
Yasmina The Anti-Cookbook