19 Foods That Cause Heartburn: Eat This, Not That for Blessed Relief

Many people are familiar with heartburn and the fiery sensation that stems from the lower chest to the esophagus from time to time. With symptoms similar to a heart attack, heartburn is an inconvenient discomfort associated with gurgling stomach acids. The sensations often comes after you enjoy a meal where you eat specific trigger foods or drink certain beverages that cause your heartburn.

Beyond Heartburn: How Acid Reflux Really Feels

acid refluxSimilar to heartburn, in the case of acid reflux, you are left with a bitter or sour taste in your mouth as the acids well up from your stomach to the back of your esophagus. Unlike heartburn, the length of each acid reflux attack differs. Sometimes, it can last for hours, while other times, it passes after just a few minutes. There are also instances where you just have to deal with it for days at a time.

There are medicines and remedies for this condition, although the best way to avoid an acid reflux attack is to avoid your specific trigger foods. Anyone who ever had acid reflux should know what causes their attacks. If you are still trying to learn what your trigger foods are, here are some of the classic heartburn triggers you may want to steer clear of if you are not up for another acid attack.

1. Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Products

Tomatoes are good vitamin C and lycopene sources. These nutrients promote overall wellbeing. As much as they can benefit your health, tomatoes are also one of the top reasons for heartburn, bloating and indigestion in adults.

If you want to avoid an acid reflux attack, you should steer clear of tomatoes and all products made from it. Tomato and pasta sauce are out of the question. Eating tomato-based dishes causes heartburn because they contain citrus and malic acid.

If you want to avoid an acid reflux attack, you should avoid tomatoes and all products made from it. Condiments containing tomatoes, like salsa, ketchup and barbecue sauce may also trigger an unwanted reaction, so you want to be more cautious in choosing your products.

2. Alcoholic Beverages

cocktailAre you fond of drinking spirits? If yes, this could be the reason for your constant heartburn attacks. Whether it is a cocktail, wine, or beer, you would do better to ditch alcohol altogether.

The effect of alcohol on you is especially potent after you’ve had a large meal. Just a glass of red wine may not cause damage. However, if you’ve had a meal with tomato paste and other food that causes reflux, you might be in for it.

Alcoholic beverages tend to open the sphincter, which allows acid up into your esophagus; hence, consuming alcohol could make you more prone to an acid attack.

3. Chocolate Products

Aside from coffee, chocolate is a popular cause of heartburn. Many people still think that chocolates contain caffeine, and that’s why they are not good choices for people with heartburn.  Chocolates, even without caffeine, are heartburn triggers. With the addition of caffeine, it becomes even more dangerous to people suffering from GERD.

Chocolates relax the sphincter causing heartburn since acid can travel freely back to the esophagus. If you do not want your stomach acids to make their way up to your esophagus, packing off your chocolates and giving them away would be great. Although you can still eat chocolates in small amounts, it would be more convenient not to. If you crave sweets, pick a strawberry or a vanilla dessert rather than chocolate.

Expectant mothers could be struggling with chocolate cravings. Since it’s one of the foods that cause heartburn during pregnancy, they should do their best to satisfy their craving by consuming another food product.

4. Butter

butterButter adds flavor to food. It’s not surprising why many people are fond of frying in oil and butter. This practice packs up unnecessary calories in your food. At the same time, it adds fat which could make you more susceptible to heartburn.

To get sufficient nutrition, it’s necessary to prepare foods that help heartburn and prevent it from developing. Instead of frying, grill or steam your food.  If you miss butter because of its distinctive flavor, you can use herbs. Doing so will reduce the fat in your meals, and it is a better alternative to using butter for frying.

5. Onion and Garlic

These two are common kitchen staples. You can see these two in almost any kind of meal; however, there are cases where people with heartburn felt ill after a meal with garlic and onion. Since these add flavor to food, you should start considering which herb will take their places on your home cooked meals.

Ironically, garlic is supposed to help people with upset stomachs, but in this case, it is better to avoid onions and garlic altogether. Just to be on the safe side, log what you are eating in a diary for a month or two to know if your eating and drinking routine can affect your frequency of acid reflux attacks. Keeping a journal on the foods you consume can be an eye-opener if you suffer from more reflux attacks at certain times of the day, month or year.

6. Peppermint

peppermintThese days, people are always carrying mint with them. Peppermint is handy for occasions when you’ve just had a meal. Peppermint is good for those moments. After all, you don’t want people to tag you as someone who have bad breath.

Contrary to this practice, people with acid reflux who are consuming peppermint all the time should look for alternatives. Peppermint opens the passageway between the stomach and the esophagus which allows acid to move up freely. Try to discontinue the habit of eating peppermint after dinner since it increases your chances to get heartburn.

Instead of peppermint, opt for ginger or cinnamon. Drinking tea made from ginger, a root crop, is good for preventing acid reflux attacks, especially during the evening.

7. Citrus Fruits

The citrus family including grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and tangerines all contain strong acids that can harm your stomach. While they are good sources of vitamin C, they are also the biggest heartburn triggers.

A glass of orange juice early on the day, for instance, can affect how the rest of your day goes. As much as possible go for orange juice products with low acidity levels. If you are stubborn about drinking citrus juices, you should avoid taking it on an empty stomach.

8. Caffeine and its Supplementary Products

Needing caffeine for an energy boost is not new since many people rely on this stimulant. All products containing caffeine including iced tea, and soda are not good as it is one of the top heartburn causes.

coffeeCaffeine is among the most common items that could trigger a reflux. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach or after consuming other trigger foods can cause havoc in your system.  Cutting back on coffee and ordering the smaller drinks would be a good start.

By moderating the amount of caffeine that you consume, you can avoid caffeine crashes. This could help with your reflux disorder. Otherwise, you should prepare yourself for a bad case of acid attack.

9. Soda and Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide which may form bubbles that force the esophagus to let the acids creep up.

A carbonated drink can make you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn. Instead of ordering the usual cola, you should go for water.  You can never go wrong by drinking water. In fact, it is the best drink that you can choose.

If you are fond of soda, this is the best time to decrease carbonated drinks that you consume. Replacing it with water is great for dodging acid reflux attacks. Aside from that, take the switch as the first step in maintaining a healthier diet. If you continue to consume those drinks, you have to prepare for a vicious attack next time.

10. Watch the Menu: Fast Foods That Cause Heartburn are Commonly High in Fat

If something in the menu seems to contain too much fat, it would be better not to order it if you have heartburn. This rule is applicable not just in unhealthy food but also in fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

avocadoEating good fats from avocado and nuts is healthy. But for those who are under an acid reflux diet, these food items are not allowed. Even if these food products are high in protein, they also have high-fat content.

When there is too much fat in your diet, the sphincter relaxes and acids can make their way up from the stomach. Some of the choices for food products with high-fat content include avocado, nuts, and cheese.

Aside from these, you should also be wary about consuming food products that use cheese as the sauce.

11. Spicy Dishes Containing Chili

There are different camps when it comes to acid reflux. Spicy foods containing chili may trigger acid reflux. You should also be wary of salsa in the dishes that you order since this is another trigger.

Surprisingly, there are inconsistencies on how people with heartburn react after a spicy meal. Spicy foods affect the amount of acid that is in your body. In some cases, it leads to a hostile environment in the stomach and can cause acid reflux and heartburn.

There is also a report that chili-based dishes ease the acidity level in some people’s stomachs. Since people differ widely due to heredity, it is best to track the food items that trigger your acid reflux in particular.

12. Deep Fried Foods

The longer food stays in your stomach, the greater the chance that you will have acid reflux. People with heartburn should go for grilled or steamed food rather than fried food.

French friesThe all-time fast food favorite, French fries and onion rings, are a definite no-no when you have acid reflux. These greasy munchies can cause repercussions that you could deeply regret afterwards. Other fried fast food favorites, like chicken nuggets and fish patties also belong to this category. As much as possible, do not consume deep fried food.

Fried foods, in general, contain too much fat. If this is the case, it will take longer for you to digest the food. Aside from making you prone to acid reflux, fried food is also a health hazard. Next time you have to choose how to cook your meal, opt for steaming or grilling rather than frying.

These little changes help prevent acid reflux by avoiding foods that cause heartburn. At the same time, it also promotes a healthy diet.

13. Full-Fat Dairy Products

High amounts of fat in the nutritional content serves as your cue that you can’t consume something. Fat is one of the top triggers for acid reflux. Dairy products per se are not bad for those who suffer from heartburn; however, if you find they trigger acid reflux, you need to stay away from full-fat milk and its byproducts.

Full-fat dairy tends to decrease your ability to digest food which triggers heartburn symptoms. You would also do well to avoid cottage cheese, ice cream, sour cream, and yogurt. However, there is no need to despair when you love dairy because you can safely consume low-fat and fat-free milk varieties. In fact, these products can combat reflux and act as one of the temporary heartburn remedies.

Aside from acid reflux, there are other reasons why you have to avoid dairy. This high fat product is one food to avoid when you have IBS too and you are undergoing Digestive Science IBS Relief System.

14. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juiceCranberry juice is a natural remedy for people with gastritis, urinary tract infections, and various gut problems; however, it does not help those with acid reflux. In fact, it can even make reflux worse.

Although this juice is not acidic as citrus, the acidity level remains high enough to irritate the esophagus. As much as you need to drink this juice for other problems, you should consider if your body can take it. Alternatives such as cranberry capsules may be the best remedy for those moments when your heartburn prevents you from drinking the juice.

15. Eating Large Portions at Meal Time

When you have acid reflux, the last thing you want is to put pressure on the valve in your esophagus known as the sphincter. One way to avoid this is to eat smaller portions of your meals at mealtime.

Large meals put pressure on the valve. They also take a longer time to digest. Eating smaller meals is a better approach when you have heartburn.

While there are specific items on the list of food products that you cannot eat, consuming large meals can trigger acid reflux irrespective of who you are. Just because a product is not listed on the foods to avoid does not indicate that you can eat as much as you want.

16. Pastries and Processed Baked Goods

pastriesIf you happen to have a sweet tooth, you are probably cursing your stomach acids for acting up. Aside from giving up chocolate, you should also be ready to minimize your cookie and brownie consumption. Sweets and pastries create an acidic environment in your stomach.

You need to avoid processed foods that contain preservatives and coloring if you do not want to aggravate your stomach acids. If the nutritional information is available, read the label and avoid items that contain enriched flour and refined sugar. These ingredients are highly acidic.

If you are on your trip to the bakery, have the same attitude when it comes to pastries. Always keep in mind that instant gratification may not be worth the pain you have to suffer afterward. You don’t need to eliminate them forever, but save them for special treats – in small portions.

17. Creamy Soups and Food

Adding to the list of products that you should steer clear from when you have acid reflux, creamy soup is a trigger for some people. Anything creamy in particular can make some people feel queasy during or after a meal.

The best way to determine if it’s safe to consume something is to assess if it contains too much fat. To be on the safe side, try to avoid anything creamy when you feel unsure about it. Aside being a food trigger for heartburn, people with low tolerance for cream might find themselves with an upset stomach.  Erring on the side of caution is always better when it comes to food.

18. Grains and Wheat Products

glutenThere is much debate on whether wheat can aggravate or help people who suffer from acid reflux. Studies on this grain are limited, making it hard to draw conclusions. Nevertheless, it can cause reflux in people with celiac disease.  It is also a food item that people with gluten allergies should avoid.

As one of the staples in modern man’s diet, wheat is high in fiber. Wheat is rich in fiber and it promotes a healthy lifestyle. However, be wary of eating it when you have food allergies since it could trigger an unwanted reaction.

19. Oily Foods

When you have acid reflux, you cannot eat in fast foods without considering if it could trigger acid reflux or not. Aside from fat, you should also avoid oily food. Always look at the food you plan to eat and assess if it is oily or not.

Acid reflux is not a joke. Today, about 60 million Americans suffer from this condition. The biggest problem about heartburn is that it affects your sleeping pattern. The fiery sensation in your chest may seem to be an inconvenience at first but it could get bad enough that you would be unable to catch some sleep.

Fortunately, most people have a lighter form of acid reflux. You may not need medication for heartburn but you need some changes in your life. You need to know more about foods that cause heartburn. This will make it easier for you to live a normal life despite your struggles with acid reflux.