Foods to Avoid When Taking Sertraline- A Guide

Foods to Avoid When Taking Sertraline

Depression is increasing at a rapid pace across the globe. Even the most developed countries, like the U.S., have faced the trauma of depression. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of Americans aged 12 years and older take antidepressant medicines to combat disturbed mental health. As per a report by the National Library of Medicine, sertraline is the 14th most prescribed drug in the U.S. for treating depression symptoms. It is crucial to know what foods to avoid when taking sertraline. In this article, we will gather information about how some foods can interact with this drug and worsen our condition.

8 Foods to Avoid When Taking Sertraline to Stay Healthy

When taking antidepressants like sertraline, it is crucial to understand their relationship with food and alcohol. It will save us from side effects and help us treat disorders like depression quickly.

1) Grapefruit and Grapefruit Juices

Grapefruit and Grapefruit Juice

You should avoid taking grapefruit and grapefruit juice when taking sertraline, as it can cause specific side effects in your body. Grapefruit and grapefruit juices can increase the level of sertraline, and it will have the worst impact on your health. Taking these juices will prevent the function of enzymes responsible for breaking down the antidepressant drug.  Apart from grapefruit, other fruits can also interact with the normal functioning of the sternaline. Some of them are pomegranates, apples, cranberries, and pomelos.

2) Tyramine-Rich Food

Tyramine Rich food- Aged cheese and wine

Combining sertraline with tyramine-rich foods can be a fatal experience for your health. The intake of this drug with this food can release serotonin syndrome. The impact of the interaction of tyramine-rich foods is increased blood pressure and a fast heartbeat. Apart from this, it can also cause hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, and loss of coordination. Tyramine is naturally derived from amino acids, and therefore, our curated list of foods to avoid  when taking sertraline includes

  • Aged cheeses like Cheddar, Blue, Swiss, and Parmesan
  • Fermented or cured meats
  • Avoid fermented soy products like Meso, Tempeh, and soy sauce
  • Overripe bananas and avocados
  • Some exclusive fermented wines and beers are rich in Tyramine
  • Citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange
  • Cheese
  • Pickles and olives
  • Yeast extract
  • Dried and Fermented fish

3) Avoid certain herbs and Supplements

Avoid certain herbs and supplement- St. Jon Wort

If you are taking antidepressants like sertraline, you should avoid using certain herbs and supplements. Because these supplements can negatively affect the interaction of this drug with your body and nullify its effect, avoid taking supplements and herbs such as Saint John’s Wort, valerian, etc.

4)Green tea

What foods to avoid when taking sternaline

Are you battling depression and taking antidepressants like sertraline? You should not sip green tea,as it can also cause a lot of side effects. It can cause skin problems such as rashes, itching, burning sensations, etc.

5) Stay away from Caffeinated Beverages

What foods to avoid when taking sternaline

Taking sertraline is an excellent decision if you are suffering from depression, as it is an effective antidepressant. But at the same time, we should refrain from particular foods and beverages to maintain their effectiveness. Always avoid sipping caffeinated drinks, as they can impact the efficacy of sertraline. Sertraline will interact with these caffeinated beverages. As a result, you may face insomnia, nervousness, and jitteriness issues.

Besides coffee, if you sip other sources of caffeine, like energy drinks, sodas, and chocolate, it can also be harmful. Therefore, when looking for foods to avoid when taking sertraline, you must stop consuming these beverages.

6) Alcohol 

What foods to avoid when taking sternaline

Stop consuming alcohol, as it can also interact with sertraline and worsen your health symptoms. Different medical research has confirmed that both sertraline and alcohol affect brain chemistry. If taken together, they can interfere with the brain’s effective functioning. So, if you want to stop all this, stop taking alcohol when your medical practitioner has prescribed the dose of sertraline to you.

7)  Avoid high-fat foods

High-fat foods

Stop taking high-fat or greasy foods, as they can also interfere with the normal functioning of this anti-depressant medicine. Apart from this, it can also lead to excessive weight gain and other disorders.

8) Say No to Diary Products

Diary products to avoid when taking sternaline

Are you thinking of what foods to avoid with sertraline? Well, you must not consume dairy products, as the consumption of these products is directly associated with the reduced effectiveness of this medicine. So, avoid some products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. 

So, note all these points and ensure not to include these foods in your diet, as they can harm your health. However, these side effects of food and drinks may vary from person to person. Some do not need to avoid these foods and beverages and can typically consume the prescribed dose of this medicine. While other people have no other option but to save their health from these worst impacts, they must avoid these foods and beverages.

Healthy Alternative to Consider with Sertraline

Are you pondering how a healthy diet with this medicine can help you with normal functioning? Take a look at various sources of healthy alternatives. You can consume the below-mentioned foods.

1) Food rich in omega-3 fatty Fatty Acid

Omega-3 rich foods

You can consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, and avocados.

2) Consume Fiber-rich Foods

Consuming fiber-rich foods such as beans, chia seeds, and spinach is helpful when you are taking sertraline. If you consume fiber-rich foods, they will increase your adiponectin levels by 60 to 115 percent. Therefore, fiber-rich foods support medicines like Serteraline.

3) Foods with Glycemic Index

Foods with low-glymic index, such as strawberries

You can consume foods with a low glycemic index, such as broccoli, eggplant, lettuce, and tomatoes. You can also go for fruits like strawberries, pears, apples, and lemons. All these options are healthy versions of food to consider taking with Sertraline.


All in all, we must consume the right dietary choices with sertraline; otherwise, it can cause harm to us. The intake of the above-listed foods, such as grapes, fruits, high-fat foods, chocolates, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol, is very harmful to consume with this antidepressant. Instead, we should consider healthy foods that support our body and digest easily with sertraline. We hope that with these foods to avoid when taking sertraline, you will be able to combat depression and anxiety properly.


1) Are spicy foods suitable to consume with sertraline?

No, we should not consume spicy foods with sertraline, which is an anti-depression drug. Instead, we should drink a lot of beverages, like water and other healthy beverages. For the best results, you must not drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages.

2) Is sertraline consumption better with food?

The consumption of sertraline is much better with food, as it can be easily absorbed when taken with food.

3) Can I drink coffee with sertraline?

Medical research has supported the idea that we should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee when taking doses of sertraline. 

4) Should you not consume any supplements with sertraline?

You must not consume some supplements like F-HTP and L-tryptophan with sertraline. It can have several side effects on your body. If you still want to take these supplements, let the doctor examine your health and then recommend these supplements. For the best results, you must avoid these supplements in combination with this anti-depression medicine.

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