Also indexed as:Migraines and Diet, Tyramine-Free Diet
A low-tyramine diet is prescribed for people who are sensitive to tyramine, such as migraine sufferers, or those taking prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants, such as phenelzine (Nardil). Tyramine is a natural substance formed from the breakdown of protein as food ages. It is found in aged, fermented, or spoiled foods.
- Generally speaking, the longer a high-protein food—such as cheese or meat—ages, the greater the potential tyramine content.
- Aged cheeses, spoiled meats, some aged and cured meats, Marmite yeast extract, sauerkraut, fermented soybean products (such as soy sauce and miso), broad (fava) bean pods, and draft (tap) beer have the highest levels of tyramine.
- Learn the foods that are highest in tyramine and find foods that are safer substitutes for you so you don’t feel deprived of your favorite foods.
- Remember, even foods with small amounts of tyramine can build up if you eat a lot of them at one meal.
Best bets: Fresh cheeses like ricotta and cream cheese, fresh or frozen meats, and most vegetables and fruits, except those on the “avoid these” list below. Don’t let your food, especially protein-containing foods, sit for many days in the refrigerator, as the tyramine content will rise over time.
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