Millions of people are all too familiar with heartburn – that condition in which stomach acids back up into the esophagus and grip your lower chest causing a fiery uncomfortable sensation. This usually happens after a meal and experts say that there are certain foods that cause heartburn. Avoiding these foods can help lessen the frequency of heartburn, providing relief from this uncomfortable sensation.
If you suffer from frequent heartburn, it could be due to the foods you eat or your diet. If heartburn is ignored, it could lead to more serious problems like esophagitis, GERD, esophageal cancer and ulcer. It is important then to know the foods that cause heartburn for you to be able to avoid them or eat them in moderation.
Foods That Cause Heartburn – Get Relief by Avoiding These
- Tomatoes – these fruits are high in nutrients like lycopene which are good for the heart however medical experts say that they are also highly acidic and can cause heartburn especially to people who are prone to this condition.
- Spicy foods – foods loaded with pepper and other spices can trigger heartburn. If you simply like spicy foods like Mexican foods and chili but are prone to heartburn, you have no option but to avoid these. You can slowly reintroduce milder versions of these foods though when your heartburn problems has minimized.
- Avocadoes, Cheese, Nuts, Rib Eye – these foods are all high in fat and they can be as much a trigger for heartburn as acidic foods are. Fatty foods that cause heartburn slows down the emptying of the stomach thus your stomach is distended for a longer time. This increases pressure on the esophageal sphincter making heartburn more likely.
- Caffeine – beverages that contain caffeine like coffee, tea, iced tea and soda can also trigger heartburn. It does not mean though that you should quit drinking coffee or soda for good, it only means that you should cut down your intake to minimize heartburn occurrence.
- Carbonated beverages – these drinks can cause gastric distention and when your stomach is distended, there is higher pressure on the esophageal sphincter triggering reflux.
- Citrus fruits – grapefruits, oranges and orange juice are very acidic and will likely cause heartburn especially when consumed on an empty stomach.
- Peppermint – a lot of people think that peppermint is soothing to the stomach but it actually triggers heartburn. Peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscle found between the stomach and esophagus allowing stomach acids to flow back into the esophagus thus causing heartburn.
- Alcohol – alcohol also opens the sphincter, allowing the acid to seep into the esophagus. A glass of red wine or a bottle of beer isn’t a big deal but if you imbibe alcohol with a large meal, then it could trigger heartburn.
- Chocolates – just like most foods that cause heartburn, chocolates tend to relax the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus which keeps stomach acids from backing up. Too much chocolate will most likely lead to heartburn.
You can use this list of foods that cause heartburn as a guide to help you find your heartburn triggers. Even if your favorite foods are not included in the list, it does not necessarily mean you are free to indulge. Too much of any food can still trigger heartburn and it isn’t just about what you eat but how much you consume and when you eat. Eating right before going to bed at night can also cause heartburn.