Hives are red welts on your skin that look like a rash. Often itchy, hives can be caused by different triggers, including insect bites, medications, allergies, extreme temperatures and stress. Some foods could also contribute to your skin problem, especially foods with a high salicylate content such as many cruciferous vegetables 2.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are known for their nutritional value and high antioxidant content 2. However, if you are prone to hives, eating more cruciferous vegetables could worsen your skin problem 2. Cruciferous vegetables include:

  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • kale
  • bok choy 2

Many of these vegetables have a high salicylate content.

High Salicylate Cruciferous Vegetables

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Avoid eating these cruciferous vegetables to lower your intake of salicylate and better manage your hives 2.

Low Salicylate Cruciferous Vegetables

Although bok choy, Brussels sprouts and cabbage also belong to the cruciferous vegetable family, they have a negligible salicylate content and are not likely to contribute to your hives. You can include these vegetables without worrying about worsening your skin condition.

Other High Salicylate Vegetables

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Many other foods contain salicylate and can exacerbate hives. Meeting with a registered dietitian with experience working with people with hives can help you find the foods in your diet, besides cruciferous vegetables, that could also be a problem 2. Apart from cruciferous vegetables, vegetables such as:

  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • olives
  • avocado
  • bell peppers
  • artichoke
  • corn
  • onion also have a high salicylate content 2

Safe Low Salicylate Vegetables

These vegetables are safe even for people with hives who have a high sensitivity to salicylates.