Food as Medicine, MCAS

Fight MCAS with your Fork: Healthy foods that are mast cell stabilizers

I just love it when yummy nutritious foods serve double duty as solutions to health problems.  A new article by the Institute for Functional Medicine has collected research on 10 foods that may help fight symptoms related to mast cell activation.

In case you aren’t already painfully aware of your mast cells, they are immune cells located all over the skin, GI tract, and at other barriers where our bodies interact with the outside world.  Mast cells can release chemicals such as histamine that create an immune response trying to protect us from bacteria, toxins, and other perceived threats.  The only problem is that some of us have overactive mast cells that can trigger unproductive inflammatory or allergic responses. The result can be any number of symptoms, depending on where the activated mast cells are located in the body.  

Patients with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) are famous for having all sorts of bizarre inflammatory or allergic-type reactions in response to triggering foods, odors, temperature changes, stress, bug bites, and more.  They often need to take drugs to stabilize their mast cells.

But drugs aren’t the only way to help calm our mast cells. Avoiding triggers is one great strategy, and the Institute for Functional Medicine did a nice service for us by collecting evidence about foods that are natural mast cell stabilizers.  They include:






Thai Ginger,




Brazil Nuts, and


Check out the full article by the Institute for Functional Medicine for a wonderful summary of how to best incorporate these foods into your diet:


Mast Cell Stabilizing Foods, The Institute for Functional Medicine, Accessed October 29th, 2020, from

Afrin LB, Self S, Menk J, Lazarchick J. Characterization of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Am J Med Sci. 2017;353(3):207-215. doi:10.1016/j.amjms.2016.12.013

2 thoughts on “Fight MCAS with your Fork: Healthy foods that are mast cell stabilizers”

  1. Hi! I stumbled upon this because I’ve been battling mast cell activation for 4 years that has done damage to my vagus nerve and kidney, resulting in what feels like electric shocks up and down my spine every time I eat, exercise, etc. I’ve gotten much better over time, but can’t quite seem to get over the hump. I’d been avoiding nuts because they seemed to trigger a bad response, but then I stumbled upon another blog this week talking about Brazil nuts and the positive effects of selenium. I tried it last night and the effect was immediate! I’m hopeful that I may have found something to “finish the job” and so of course now I’m googling “selenium”, “mast cell disease” and “brazil nuts” like a crazy person. Haha! Thanks for posting!


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