Salicylate, Amine and Glutamate Diet


Diagram Source: RPAH ALLERGY UNIT FOOD INTOLERANCE Handbook-p1-33 

Amines, as well as glutamates and salicylates, are organic compounds that can act on the human brain and blood vessels. These naturally-occurring components of food have been associated with a wide variety of physical symptoms and psychological symptoms including mental confusion, and depression.  

SALICYLATES are a family of plant chemicals found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. They are also present in flavourings (e.g. peppermint), perfumes, scented toiletries, eucalyptus oils, and some medications (ASPIRIN is a member of the salicylate family).

AMINES come from protein breakdown or fermentation. Large amounts are present in cheese, chocolate, wines, beer, yeast extracts and fish products. They are also found in certain fruits and vegetables, e.g. bananas, avocados, tomatoes and broadbeans.

GLUTAMATE is a building block of all proteins, and is found naturally in most foods. In its free form, not linked to protein, it enhances the flavour of food. This is why foods rich in natural glutamate are used in many meals, for example tomatoes, cheeses, mushrooms, stock cubes, sauces, meat extracts and yeast extracts. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also be used as an additive to increase the flavour of soups, sauces, Asian cooking and snack foods.

General Guidelines for what you can eat


Your best vegetable options for a diet low in  salicylates, amines and glutamates are potato, lettuce, green beans, cabbage, celery, carrot, cucumber, asparagus, pumpkin, peeled zucchini and sweet potato. It is best to avoid avocado, bell pepper, eggplant, onion, mushroom, spinach and all tomato-based foods. 


Most fruits contain high levels of salicylate and amine, including berries, grapes, dried fruits, kiwi, pineapple, ripe bananas and apple, peach and nectarine peels. Lower your exposure and stick mostly with peeled pears, canned pears in syrup and golden delicious or red delicious apples, or barely ripe bananas. You should also limit your fruit intake to no more than two servings a day.


Choose fresh, unprocessed meats such as beef, veal, lamb, chicken, fish and eggs. Remove the skin of chicken because it is high in amines and avoid aged meat because of its high salicylate, amine and glutamate content. You should also avoid sausage, bacon, ham, gravy, stocks, meat pies, canned fish and breaded fish.


Milk, butter and soft cheeses like cream cheese, ricotta and cottage cheese can be enjoyed freely if you do not have an intolerance to dairy or casein. Jarlsberg and Gruyere can also be enjoyed in small quantities by most people. All hard and aged cheeses should be avoided these are very high in amines like histamine and tyramine.  Some people find lactose free milk or A2 milk a better option to standard milk,


When it comes to flavouring it is best to stick to garlic, saffron, chives, parsley. Very small amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli powder can be enjoyed occasionally by most people.

To find out what else you can eat download the RPAH ALLERGY UNIT FOOD INTOLERANCE Handbook-p1-33.  




RPAH Allergy Unit



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