low histamine

Pea and Basil Pesto with Rice Noodles and Zucchini

It has been quite a crazy few weeks! I am happy to be back to recipe creation mode after a great trip to California. I love making different pestos since it provides so much flavor and is a great way to concentrate some really healthy anti-inflammatory foods! This latest variation was my attempt to boost some protein in my pesto sauce. Peas are a great source of protein, providing 8g in 1C. Peas are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B1 and some vitamin C and also available at almost any grocery store.

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Pesto is so versatile. You can use any blend of nuts or seeds, add in many different veggies and other herbs. Try adding in kale or Swiss chard for another hidden veggie boost. Try this for your next quick dinner. This recipe from start to finish is only 20 minutes.

Pea and Basil Pesto

Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1C cooked peas (can be from frozen)

1/3C extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1/4C pumpkin seeds, cashews or sunflower seeds

2 Tbs water (if needed to thin out the sauce)

pinch of salt

1C fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well combined and smooth.

  2. Meanwhile cook gluten free noodles according to package directions and sautée or steam zucchini, broccoli, or asparagus.

  3. Serve sauce over veggies and gluten free pasta.

Variation: Try using this pesto spread on bread or in a wrap instead of hummus for a vegetarian sandwich! Load up the wrap with grilled veggies and micro greens to make a filling anti-inflammatory lunch!

Eat for your Health!

Safe, Quick and Easy Travel Foods


Do you want some low-histamine, anti-inflammatory hot foods to eat when traveling or a healthy anti-inflammatory staple option to grab on the go? I will be traveling to the Natural Products Expo West this March so while I was deciding what travel foods to bring I thought you would enjoy a post about safe travel foods that actually give you some nutrients and keep you full.  Travel food is such a hard thing not only for someone following a low-histamine diet (when everything should be mostly fresh) but for everyone! 

Here are a few staple snacks that I love!!

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Favorite Snacks

Freeze dried fruit from Trader Joe’s, dehydrated beets from Trader Joe’s (yes I am a fan) and I love these Mary’s Gone Crackers the Real Thin Crackers. Other freeze dried fruits and crackers or sweet potato chips will also be good light staples for snacking on the plane. You still get all of your vitamins and minerals from freeze dried fruits so this is a better choice than dried. Beets are one of the most concentrated antioxidant sources so these are super for boosting your antioxidants when on the go. The Terra chips that have root vegetables and beets are great too!

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Low-Histamine, Anti-Inflammatory Ramen

Make Your Own Ramen

I was so excited to find these millet and brown rice ramen noodles by Lotus Foods that provide 8g of protein and are gluten free and the best part is there is no high histamine seasoning included. This is so exciting since you just have to get boiling water which is available everywhere and a medium-large coffee cup or large bowl to make your own low-histamine, anti-inflammatory ramen for on the go.

I like to use a freeze dried vegetable like peas (which has some protein!!) and add some dried minced garlic and onion for flavor and a pinch or salt. Voila a filling delicious anti-inflammatory meal on the go!

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Make Your Own Oatmeal Packets

Don’t waste money on instant oatmeal packets, make your own! This staple is for anyone traveling (or even just rushing to work in the morning) that’s ready quickly and easy to make.  Combine freeze dried fruit, I usually pick blueberries, chia seeds, a pinch of sugar in the raw, maple sugar or coconut sugar, oats (all purpose) and boiling hot water for an amazing morning oatmeal which can travel. 

Hopefully these quick to prep, healthy foods will help you on your next busy day or trip!

If you are looking for more ideas pre-order a copy of The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook today! Coming out 2.5.2019.

Eat for your health!

Quercetin: An Anti-inflammatory and histamine Lowering Flavonoid

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The old adage eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away, has some truth to it. Apples are not only a delicious fall favorite, but are also rich sources of vitamin C and this weeks featured flavonoid - quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with high antioxidant action and also acts as a mast cell stabilizing compound.  Not an apple person?  Other food sources with high levels of quercetin are berries, grapes and onion.  

What is a mast cell stabilizing compound and why should we want to eat bioflavonoid heavy foods?  Some individuals with histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome have overactive mast cells which can increase a variety of symptoms that are affected by the release of histamine and inflammatory molecules. Symptoms can include allergies, eczema, atopic dermatitis, interstitial cystitis, migraines, flushing, acid reflux, and diarrhea among many other possible symptoms.

Flavonoids have been shown to prevent some allergies and reduce allergy symptoms.(1)  For histamine intolerant individuals, quercetin has been found to stabilize mast cells and lower histamine, prostaglandins and cytokine release, equal to, if not better than, the common mast cell stabilizing medication called cromolyn sodium (a commonly prescribed medication for individuals with mast cell activation syndrome).(1)  Quercetin works as an anti-inflammatory compound by reducing release of inflammatory enzymes cyclooxyrgenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX).(2) In other experimental studies quercetin has been shown to reduce asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms (sneezing, sniffling).  In one study, it was found that individuals who ate just two apples each week, had a lower incidence of asthma because of their quercetin intake.(3)

To make sure you eat at least two apples this week, try making this fall harvest buddha bowl!  Rosemary roasted chickpeas, roasted apples, onions, sweet potatoes and beets creates a warm flavonoid rich meal to help lower inflammation.  The recipe below makes 4 portions, so I made one bowl for me and froze three servings for the weekday lunches. The oven does all the work so it is quick and easy to prepare.  The roasted apples and sweet potatoes provide a delicate sweetness to this filling bowl. For more antioxidant rich meals, pre-order The Anti-Inflammatory Kitchen Cookbook, coming out February 2019.

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Fall Harvest Buddha Bowl

Makes 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes (including roasting time)

Ingredients:

1C dry quinoa

1 sweet potato

1 large golden beet or 2 small

2 apples

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large red onion

1 sprig of rosemary

1C chickpeas

pinch of salt

1. Add 2C of water to quinoa in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil with the lid on. Once it is boiling drop heat to low and let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed about 20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, slice beets, sweet potatoes, onions, apples into 1/3 inch pieces. Drizzle 1 Tbs of olive oil on the sheet pan and lay vegetables and apples on in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown and tender.

3. While the vegetables are cooking, toss the chickpeas in 1 Tbs of olive oil, and add about 1 Tbs of chopped rosemary and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly onto a sheet pan and bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Set aside.

4. Assemble your buddha bowl! Add quinoa, veggies, and chickpeas. With another pinch of salt over the top or a drizzle of olive oil you are ready to eat.

Sources:

1.Zuyi, W, Bodi, Z, et al. Quercetin Is More Effective than Cromolyn in Blocking Human Mast Cell Cytokine Release and Inhibits Contact Dermatitis and Photosensitivity in Humans. Plos One. 2012. 7(3) e33805.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314669/

2. Yao, Li, Jailing, Y, et al. Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity. Nutrients. 2016. 8(3): 167.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/

3. Mickek J, Jurikova, T, et al. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016; 21(5): 623.

http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/21/5/623/htm