Cranberries and Histamine Levels

A group of wild cranberries growing on a plant outside.

Cranberries and Histamine

Unfortunately it depends on who you ask.

Histamine Intolerance

Histamines are the chemical that your body makes when you encounter an allergen like a pollen or mold or dust etc.

They cause you to have allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose.

But histamines are also found in foods. Most people tolerate them easily and don’t even notice that they just ate a certain amount of that chemical, but a very small percentage of people have a difficult time with it.


With cranberries or any food really it’s difficult to tell how much histamine is inside them because the amount varies a lot between foods and even within foods.

So that means that one crop of cranberries can be high in histamines while another can be much lower (or even nonexistent) for no apparent reason.

If you look around the Internet you’ll find that half of the websites say that cranberries are high in histamines and half say that they are not. This is a symptom of that uncertainty that we have around histamine and cranberries, or foods in general.

General Rules of Thumb

Foods that tend to be higher in histamine are foods that are usually fermented, aged, dried or highly processed.

Foods that are fresh, like fresh cranberries are said to contain a lot less.

So the adviceĀ  generally given is to eat fresh meat over canned or smoked meats. To eat fresh fruits and vegetables rather than dry or processed. To stay away from alcohol, caffeine and sugar, and drink water and herbal teas instead.

That same advice is used to get rid of almost any problem related to diet and health. Whether it’s weight loss or skin issues, allergies, energy levels, optimal sleep etc.

A bag of ripe, fresh cranberries.

Fresh Cranberries


When it comes to cranberries specifically it would seem that eating them fresh wouldn’t pose much of a problem. The only issue there is that most people eat them dried with lots of added sugar, so if that’s how you usually eat cranberries then it’s recommended to stay away from them in that form if you have a histamine issue.

But the best way to really know if a food affects you negatively is to just try an elimination diet. Simply eat what you normally would (if you’re having no issues currently) and then add something new that you want to try, like cranberries, and see what happens.

If you’re already having issues then talk to your doctor or nutritionist and ask about them for guidance on how to proceed with an elimination diet.

Other than that the best advice is always fresh and natural over processed and modified.

– Cranby

Dried Cranberry Powder

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