Seeds contain natural toxins, which are necessary for them to survive out in the wild.
Those who have healthy digestive systems and are without any major immune problems will often be able to digest these toxins without any problems.
However, for people who have an immune system or digestive system issues they can be problematic and should be avoided.
The phytic acid content in the seeds can exacerbate any digestive issues.
Phytic acid can only be found in plant foods, all seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts contain it in various amounts.
It impairs the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium.
Over time, this can lead to mineral deficiencies.
If you follow a balanced diet however this is unlikely to happen as you will be consuming the necessary minerals in various forms.
It’s important to note that some view phytic acid as healthy, and an antioxidant that can help fight against kidney stones, and reduce inflammation.
It depends on each individual and their unique health profile.
This determines the foods they should consume or avoid.
For those with Crohn’s disease, seeds can cause havoc on the stomach.
Because seeds are not fully digested when going through the digestive tract, if you are experiencing a Crohn’s flare, diarrhea can be worsened.
Many healthy people choose to avoid or reduce foods containing phytic acids and if they wish to continue to consume seeds, they can do so.
The phytic acid content can be reduced by soaking seeds in saltwater, for at least 12 hours.
The seeds should be dried before being stored, otherwise, you might find that they go off very quickly!
Another reason seeds are avoided by some people is due to the lectin content in the seed.
Lectins are proteins that bind carbohydrates, some cause no harm and others can cause major problems.
The research on lectins is fairly limited but they can lead to digestive issues, inflammation, and disease.
The lectin content in seeds can cause irritation to the gut lining and therefore those with gut or immune problems often avoid consuming seeds, especially in large amounts.
Are seeds good for IBS?
Those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome often follow a low-FODMAP diet in order to alleviate symptoms.
It can also aid those who have SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
This way of eating is incredibly restrictive and is not meant to be permanent.
This diet is often followed in order to figure out which foods are problematic for an individual, as this can change on a case-by-case basis.
FODMAP is short for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
Let’s stick to the shortened version from now on!
These are all sugars that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine.
Because of this many people can suffer from digestive distress or problems when they consume foods high in FODMAP.
Symptoms could include bloating, cramping, or constipation.
Luckily, for seed-lovers who have IBS, most seeds are low FODMAP.
This includes sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds.
A low FODMAP diet does not have a lot of high fiber foods which can lead to issues.
As seeds are low in FODMAP, they can be consumed freely and provide a hefty amount of fiber into the diet.
For those struggling with IBS or SIBO, this is necessary as not being able to eliminate waste can lead to even further digestion issues.
Are seeds high in histamine?
Many people who have symptoms similar to allergies, are hypersensitive to many foods or have chronic health conditions, may have histamine intolerance.
Histamine intolerance is very difficult to diagnose and there are no tests in place to provide an accurate or quick diagnosis.
Histamines are a compound found in many foods that help support the digestion process.
Histamines can become an issue if there are too many in the body or if there is not enough of the digestive enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO).
This enzyme is usually produced along with histamines and aids the body in breaking down the histamines.
However, when there is not enough of this enzyme, the histamines cannot break down effectively, leading to histamine intolerance.
Eating a lot of high histamine foods can trigger a response by the body, leading to symptoms such as hives, itchy skin, runny nose, headaches or asthma attacks.
Although seeds are not high in histamines, they have chemicals within them that can worsen a histamine intolerance reaction.
For those who have suspected or confirmed histamine intolerance, seeds should be avoided.
Some seeds contain chemicals that lead to a release of histamines in the body although they are not a high histamine food in themselves.
This may be good for those looking for a boost of immunity however for those who have histamine intolerance and have a build-up of histamine and inflammation in the body, this can cause further issues.
Are mustard seeds high in histamine?
Whilst mustard seeds themselves are not high in histamine, they can trigger histamines in the body to release.
For those who find themselves sensitive to mustard seeds or have severe histamine intolerance, they may find it best to avoid consuming mustard seeds.
Mustard seeds are what are known as ‘histamine liberators’.
Many mustard seeds containing foods however can be terrible for those with histamine intolerance, due to the fermentation process involved.
When foods are fermented their histamine levels skyrocket.
This is why it is generally recommended that foods should be consumed as fresh as possible, on a low histamine diet.
This reduces the number of histamines the body is consuming.
They should also be avoided due to the other ingredients that are added such as wine, vinegar, citrus fruits, and tomato sauce.
Avoiding both high-histamine, and histamine liberator foods is important to manage histamine intolerance.
Histamine liberators include tomatoes, walnuts, bananas, strawberries, pineapples, alcohol, cocoa, chocolate, and pulses.
What foods decrease histamine?
A low histamine diet will aid your body in reducing inflammation caused by histamine intolerance.
Foods that are high in Vitamin C are said to lower histamine levels. Vitamin C is considered to be a natural antihistamine.
Citrus fruits are high in histamine, so it’s best to opt for non-citrus foods such as broccoli.
Another option is to take a Vitamin C supplement, research shows that liposomal vitamin C is the most bioavailable form of Vitamin C supplements.
This is important as it means the body can properly absorb the vitamin.
For those with histamine intolerance, they may find that they have digestion issues which could cause problems with absorbing nutrients effectively.
Those who have a damaged gut lining may find themselves struggling with histamine intolerance due to the damage.
In order to help aid the body and reduce histamine intolerance, gut health should be a focus.
One way to do this is to take a probiotic regularly.
The gut microbiome is important for good health, not to mention the gut-brain axis which means that mental clarity and focus is often affected if the gut is in bad shape.
Fermented foods are often suggested for gut health, however for obvious reasons they should be avoided in this instance.
Other foods which are considered to have natural antihistamine properties include turmeric, stinging nettle lead, vitamin D, and quercetin.
Turmeric is a spice and can help prevent histamine from being released from mast cells.
This will help reduce histamines in the body.
Turmeric can be taken in capsule form, as well as used as a spice in food.
It can also be consumed in a raw form and made into a tea or tincture.
Most foods are very rarely either good or bad.
It wholly depends on the health and bio-individuality of each person, and the amount that is consumed.
For those who have a compromised immune system, seeds are often avoided due to the phytic acid content although this can be reduced by soaking them overnight.
For people suffering from IBS, seeds are often a fantastic way to consume high-fiber foods which is important for regular bowel movements and digestive health.
Histamine intolerance can be reduced through the consumption of a low-histamine diet and natural antihistamines such as vitamin C and turmeric.
Seeds are usually included in low histamine diets despite the fact that they are usually not high in histamine, however, they do contain chemicals that trigger the release of existing histamine in the body.
Choosing to consume seeds on a low histamine diet depends on your own personal reaction to them.
If they do not cause any negative effects then they can be consumed, although moderation is recommended.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.