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Is Green Tea Your Friend or Foe?

How Something that is Good for Most People can be Harmful for others

Is green tea your friend or foe?Green tea is well-known for its health benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants and a variety of nutrients that have been shown to help brain function, assist with fat loss, may reduce risk of cancers, reduce your risk of heart disease, and many other impressive benefits.

So shouldn’t everyone drink green tea?

Everyone’s body works a little differently to everyone else’s. Some people naturally have more energy, have better eyesight, or better circulation, while others may react to certain foods, have dryer skin, or catch colds more easily. No two bodies ever work exactly the same.

One of the effects of green tea is to block the enzyme that breaks down histamine in our bodies (diamine oxidase, or DAO). Histamine triggers inflammation in the body, and typically causes allergy symptoms such as sneezing, redness, itching, etc. (Anti-histamine medications are often used to decrease these symptoms.) It also causes the reactions when you have a food allergy.

If you don’t produce enough DAO and are unable to break down your histamine properly, you could develop a histamine intolerance. Some common reactions associated with this intolerance include

  • Headaches or migraines
  • Nasal congestion or sinus issues
  • Fatigue
  • Hives
  • Digestive issues
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

In more severe cases of histamine intolerance, you may experience:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tissue swelling
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty regulating your body temperature
  • Dizziness

So if you have high histamine levels, it is best to avoid foods that contain a lot of histamine, foods that cause the body to release histamine, or foods that block DAO.

Foods High in Histamine

  • Fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne and beer
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc
  • Vinegar-containing foods: pickles, mayonnaise, olives
  • Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats and hot dogs
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, sourdough bread, etc
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Most citrus fruits
  • Aged cheese including goat cheese
  • Nuts: walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
  • Vegetables: avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Smoked fish and certain species of fish: mackerel, tuna, anchovies, sardines

Foods that Release Histamine

  • Alcohol
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Cow’s milk
  • Nuts
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Shellfish
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Many artificial preservatives and dyes

Foods that Block DAO

  • Alcohol
  • Energy drinks
  • Black tea
  • Green tea

Everything we eat or drink has an effect on the body in some way. Because every body functions a little differently, what is good and beneficial to one person’s health might be no good for someone else. For example, pears help to moisten the lungs so they can be helpful if you have a dry cough, but excessive use of pears during pregnancy may increase the risk of a miscarriage in some people.

If you are interested in finding out what foods are ideal for you, and for addressing any health problems you may have, we have two excellent naturopaths at our clinic. We also offer a free Comprehensive Assessment, to see what is going on in your body, what is causing any problems, and the best way to sort them out. (Terms and conditions- the Assessment is a completely free service, with no obligations whatsoever.) If you would like to have one done, please book soon while this offer is still available.