Are Tomatoes High in Histamine?

When it comes to histamine in foods, there’s often a lot of confusion about what’s safe to eat, especially for those with food and histamine intolerances. One food that frequently comes up in this conversation is the humble tomato. So, let’s dive into the question: Are tomatoes high in histamine?

What is Histamine?

Before we address tomatoes specifically, it’s important to understand what histamine is. Histamine is a chemical involved in your immune system, digestion, and central nervous system. 

Histamine in Foods

Certain foods naturally contain histamine or cause the body to release histamine when ingested. Foods that are fermented, aged, or processed are typically high in histamine. This includes items like aged cheeses, smoked meats, and alcoholic beverages.

The Case of Tomatoes

Tomatoes are often listed as a food to avoid on low-histamine diets. But why is this the case? While fresh tomatoes are not high in histamine themselves, they are considered histamine liberators. This means they can trigger the body to release its own stores of histamine, which can exacerbate symptoms for those with histamine intolerance. Processed and canned tomatoes may have higher histamine levels.

Should You Avoid Tomatoes?

If you have histamine intolerance, it might be reasonable to limit or avoid tomatoes to see if your symptoms improve. However, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s tolerance levels are different. Some people might find that they can handle tomatoes without any adverse effects.


Tomatoes are not high in histamine, but they can cause the body to release histamine, which can be problematic for some individuals. If you suspect you have histamine intolerance, consult with a board certified allergist. You may consider an elimination diet to pinpoint which foods are causing symptoms. Remember, a balanced diet is key, and eliminating too many foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Adverse Food Reactions (click to enlarge the image).