These 10 Foods Trigger Heartburn & These 10 Stop It In Its Tracks

These 10 Foods Trigger Heartburn & These 10 Stop It In Its Tracks

What You Eat Can Affect Heartburn

Acid reflux is an uncomfortable experience, to say the least, and when it leads to heartburn our day is pretty much shot. To make matters worse, lying down only aggravates heartburn, and rest can be impossible. The good news is that there are some foods and beverages that help alleviate heartburn symptoms—and a few that only trigger them.HeartburnPhoto by naturalherbsclinic on Pixabay

1. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods have a bad rap for being more trouble than they’re worth—and heartburn is just one more thing to add to the list of grievances. Chili peppers or hot spices have been known to not only cause stomach upset but also run the risk of allowing stomach acid to reappear, leading to unpleasant heartburn. 

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2. Citrus Fruits

For anyone dealing with heartburn on the regular, keep away from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, or lemons. The high acidity triggers it and can burn your chest or throat even more.

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3. Chocolate

Bad news, chocoholics! Chocolate has a few triggering things like caffeine and theobromine, both of which can contribute to heartburn for some people. Dark chocolate in particular has higher levels of both, so try not to indulge too much.

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4. Fast Food

Due to all the fat, sugar, and salt often present in fast food, you’d be wise to turn away and stop heartburn symptoms before they start. Fast food can slow digestion or promote bloating, and both put undue pressure on your esophageal sphincter—making it harder to prevent stomach acid’s reprise.

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5. Onions

Onions are well-known disruptors of systems everywhere, and those dealing with acid reflux feel the literal burn more than others. These little guys seem harmless but have been known to cause gas, bloating, and pressure on the stomach—all of which can lead to painful heartburn.

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6. Coffee

Not only is coffee acidic, but it also has caffeine, and both can do a number on your system. The acidity and caffeine relax your lower esophageal sphincter, encouraging acid reflux and often leading to heartburn. 

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7. Carbonated Drinks

All that carbonation worsens heartburn because it brings more gas into your digestive system. Excess gas means a greater chance of bloating and more pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, both of which can lead to heartburn.

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8. Peppermint

We’d never think it, but peppermint is a prime suspect for heartburn. Though it’s a helpful reliever of some ailments, peppermint relaxes your esophageal sphincter enough that it could allow stomach acids back up. Veer away from products like mint gum, peppermint candies, or even tea. 

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9. Tomatoes

Citrus fruits are far from the only acidic culprit. Tomatoes are full of both citric and malic acid, a dynamic duo that often leads directly to heartburn. It’s even worse if you eat them on an empty stomach.

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10. Garlic

Garlic is another food that is typically thought safe but can cause significant heartburn in an unlucky few. If you deal with acid reflux, it might be best to skip out.

Matthew-Pilachowski-W1Eafyblhlm-UnsplashPhoto by Matthew Pilachowski on Unsplash

The silver lining is that plenty of foods can help alleviate the pain of heartburn!

1. Brown Rice

Brown rice, and whole grains in general, do a great job of sopping up stomach acid and alleviating acid reflux symptoms. They’re also a good source of fiber and aren’t hard on your digestive tract. 

Kawin-Harasai-4Pzn7Fiqx3W-UnsplashPhoto by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a bland, safe food for almost anyone—this is especially true for those with acid reflux or painful heartburn symptoms. It’s also high in fiber and doesn’t have a ton of acidity, which makes it a smart choice to reduce discomfort. 

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3. Ginger

If you’ve ever had an upset stomach or any GI discomfort, you know how beneficial ginger is. Well, feel free to reach for it again because ginger reduces inflammation and promotes proper digestion. Just be sure to make it into a tea rather than eating it straight! 

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4. Lean Protein

You’ll want to stick with lean protein when your chest is on fire. Skinless chicken, fish, and even tofu are easier on your system than other meats and have been known to lessen pressure on your esophageal sphincter. 

Sebastian-Coman-Photography-Co-T6Odt0Es-UnsplashPhoto by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

5. Avocado

Fatty foods are a terrible idea for anyone with heartburn—but foods with healthy fats, like the kinds found in avocado, are the exception. Avocados are also low in acidity and the creamy texture help them slide down smooth, making it easier on your stomach and esophagus. 

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6. Herbal Teas

Certain herbal teas like chamomile or licorice can alleviate heartburn by reducing inflammation and relaxing the esophgus. They also promote healthy digestion and are easy on the system.

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7. No-Fat Milk

You want to be careful what kind of milk you drink. If your chest is burning, whole milk can actually make the symptoms worse. Always reach for low or no-fat milk to help weaken the discomfort of heartburn.

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8. Nuts

Reach for a handful of nuts like peanuts, almonds, or flaxseed to help reduce acidity in the digestive tract. They’re high in protein, too, and don’t come with any unhealthy fat that exacerbate symptoms. 

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9. Certain Fruits and Vegetables

Most fruits and veggies are a safe bet for anyone with heartburn—mainly if they’re full of water or fiber. Think low-fat items like bananas, celery, apples, and leafy greens to help eliminate pain and promote healthy digestion. 

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10. Fat-Free Yogurt

Much like with milk, you want to be mindful of which yogurt you consume. The no or low-fat varieties are best because they’re loaded with probiotics and easier to digest. 

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