Food to avoid with MAOIs for anxiety treatment

Busy lives, hectic routines, and societal pressures have affected almost everyone. Anxiety disorders and depression are more common today than it was a few years ago. Not only adults but children, too, are part of these disorders.

What are MAOIs?

MAOIs is a generalized anxiety disorder medication, and it stands for Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors. It is commonly used to treat depression and also is very effective in many cases. However, it has shown some side effects when interacting with a few foods and also drugs.

MAOIs were the first medications used to treat depression, which is still a good option for those with treatment-resistant depression and also bipolar disorder. MAOIs are prescribed for treating the following conditions;

  • Bipolar disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Parkinson’s
  • Other conditions that affect the brain and also nerves

What are the types of MAOIs?

The common types of MAOIs that have been approved by the FDA include;

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Selegiline (Emsam, Eldepryl)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

What food should be avoided when taking MAOIs?

One should know what to avoid and what can be consumed; people under MAOI treatment should opt for the low-tyramine diet. For those who don’t know what tyramine is, here it is. Tyramine is a natural compound that is found in plants and also animals. It is a byproduct of two things tyrosine and amino acid. It is present in many foods, and food with a higher level of tyramine can lead to several health issues. High blood pressure and migraine headaches are among the common problems.

Similarly, people taking MAOIs treatment must consume food with low tyramine or preferably those with no tyramine in them. A list of food and also their alternative are listed below;

Meat and its alternative

What to avoid?

  • Chorizo, sausages, corned beef, salami, and also pepperoni
  • Meat, fish, poultry
  • Pickled or smoked fish or meat

What should be consumed?

  •  Properly stored or preferably fresh meat, fish, or poultry
  • Canned food that can be consumed immediately after opening

Milk and dairy

What to avoid?

  • Old or matured cheese (cheddar, gouda, and also parmesan)
  • Buttermilk
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Probiotics

What should be consumed?

  • Fresh cheese or mild cheese (ricotta, cottage, cream cheese, processed cheese slices)
  • Pasteurized milk
  • Yogurt
  • Custard
  • Ice-creams

Soy products

What to avoid?

  • Fermented soybean products (such as miso, tofu, soybean curd, and also tempeh)

What should be consumed?

  • Non-fermented tofu
  • Soy milk
  • Soy sauce

Sauces and spreads

What to avoid?

  • Fish sauce
  • Shrimp paste
  • Concentrated yeast (Marmite and also vegemite)

What should be consumed?

  • All other sauces and spreads


What to avoid?

  • Pickled foods or fermented foods (kimchi, caviar, pickles, sauerkraut, and kombucha)
  • Banana peels
  • Broad bean pods and snow peas

Should be consumed?

  • All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits, vegetables, and beans


To avoid?

  • Fermented bread, sourdough
  • Bread or doughs with aged cheese and also processed meats

What should be consumed?

  • Any other bread, grains, or cereal


What to avoid?

  • Tap beer

What should be consumed?

  • High-caffeinated drinks or beverages
  • The higher dose of alcohol

What should be consumed?

  • Bottled beer
  • Canned beer
  • Red wine
  • White wine
  • Rum, vodka, and also tequila
  • Decaffeinated coffee or tea
  • Sparkling beverages caffeine-free

NOTE: with the MAOIs treatment, it is advised not to take excessive amounts of any caffeinated drink. Avoid any of these on an empty stomach.

Also, ensure that any vitamins or supplements with tyramine in them must also be avoided

MAOIs for anxiety treatment

One of the most important things to remember is to take proper care of yourself when taking MAOIs. Food and also prohibited drugs must not be consumed soon as you start the medication and continue to do that after completing the course for at least 15 days.

MAOIs have shown significant results in anxiety treatments and depression. It has shown some evident changes in the patient’s behavior and also overall state. is one of the most trusted and also reliable platforms that help improve mental health. They have been providing effective treatments for problems related to mental health. You can easily book an appointment and also get a personalized treatment plan for the patient. They have experts who help by providing proper treatment and are always available when in need.

With the world moving at a fast pace, a need for someone loyal and also reliable is much felt during hard times. MAO Inhibitors is one of those places where you get expert advice and also treatment for your conditions. For more details or to book an appointment, visit their official page and know what they have to offer. Happy treatment.


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