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Headache Sufferers: Reducing Tyramine Made Easy

Headache Sufferers: Reducing Tyramine Made Easy

For those of you who suffer from regular migraines, reducing the amount of tyramine can make a big difference. Tyramine is a monoamine compound-a substance that is found naturally in some foods, plants, and animals.  It can also be produced in foods and beverages as a result of fermentation, aging, curing, or spoilage.

When choosing foods and beverages that are low in tyramine, keep the following points in mind:

  • All fresh foods should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Foods high in protein will increase their tyramine content if stored for a long time. Try to consume these foods within 48 hours of purchase.
  • If these foods are not consumed within 48 hours, freeze right away.
  • Thaw foods in the refrigerator or microwave. Thawing on the counter at room temperature can increase tyramine content.
  • Avoid any food that has been spoiled, aged, fermented, or pickled. This includes: strong or aged cheeses, cured meats, smoked or processed meats, pickled or fermented foods, sauces such as soy, shrimp, fish, miso and teriyaki, kimchee, monosodium glutamate, miso soup, dried or overripe fruits, and concentrated yeast extracts.
  • Plant foods to avoid include: fava beans, soybeans, soybean products, broad beans, (Italian green beans), and snow peas.
  • Heat does not destroy tyramine therefore cooking will not lower tyramine content.

Other foods to exclude: aged chicken liver, beer, red wine, sherry, liquors, yeast extract, chocolate, and sour dough bread.

If you are on a medication that is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), they can interact with tyramine and cause serious problems. If such is the case, following a strict low tyramine diet is crucial.