Foods that are high in tyramine include aged cheddar cheese, Gorgonzola cheese, soy sauce and salami. Tyramine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the human body.
Individuals who are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors should minimize their dietary intake of tyramine because MAOIs block the enzyme that breaks down tyramine in the body. This means that if an individual who is taking MAOIs eats too much tyramine, excess tyramine may build up to dangerous levels. Some people have inherent monoamine oxidase deficiency. For these individuals, consuming too much tyramine may trigger migraines.
People who need to avoid tyramine should avoid foods that have been fermented or cured for long periods of storage. These foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, marmite, fish sauce and pepperoni. Other foods that contain tyramine are miso soup, aged cheese and yeast extract. Certain types of red wine and beer also contain this amino acid.
Fava beans and broad beans are high in tyramine. Citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit and lime may contain moderate levels of tyramine and should be consumed sparingly. Tyramine also develops in food that is spoiled or close to spoiling due to age or improper storage. Individuals who are trying to limit their tyramine intake should not consume foods past the expiry date, and should eat refrigerated leftovers within one or two days of storing.