Having heartburn is a painful condition that affects about 20% of the population. One of the symptoms of heartburn is a tight, painful feeling in your chest. Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid is released into the esophagus. The heartburn then burns away the inside of the esophagus and can cause permanent damage.
The type of food and the amount you eat can affect heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn try to eat smaller meals 4-6 times a day. Overloading your stomach can cause acid to come up through your esophagus. Keep a food diary to identify which foods can cause heartburn for you. You may not have to eliminate these foods from your diet altogether, but a reduction can help you better control your heartburn.
What you should not eat when you have heartburn
Here are 15 foods that promote heartburn and are therefore best avoided if you suffer from acid reflux.
Alcohol can be a huge trigger for getting heartburn. In particular, red wine and beer cause acid. Alcohol relaxes your esophageal muscle, which can cause heartburn to rise. Drinking alcohol with a meal is best avoided because it increases the risk of acid reflux. If you do want to enjoy a drink with your meal, eat smaller portions to minimize the risk of getting heartburn.
Greasy foods can cause problems for a person suffering from acid reflux. While fried foods may look crispy, there is still a lot of fat and oil in the outer layer. Foods high in fat take longer to digest, putting more pressure on your stomach and esophagus. This increases the risk of acid reflux because the stomach also stays full longer. Instead of eating fried foods, grill or wok your food. This not only saves calories, but therefore can also protect you from heartburn.
The effect of spicy food on heartburn is interesting. Many people complain of heartburn after consuming a spicy dish, but others actually eat spicy foods in order to calm their chronic heartburn. Spicy foods can affect the acid levels in your stomach, which can promote the production of acid reflux. If you find that spicy foods can lead to heartburn, try reducing the number of spicy meals you eat.
Tomatoes, both fresh and canned, can be a major trigger for heartburn. While they are incredibly healthy vegetables, tomatoes are naturally high in acid. This can upset your stomach, causing acid to rise up as you digest your meal. Be careful with tomatoes used for cooking. A delicious pasta sauce can haunt you until late that night. Also be careful with products such as ketchup and salsa.
The orange juice you drink with your breakfast can cause heartburn later that day. Oranges and other citrus fruits have a high acid content, which can lead to acid reflux. Instead of citrus fruits, it is better to choose alkaline fruits. These include berries, apples, pears, bananas and melon. If you really insist on drinking or eating citrus fruits try to do so as early in the day as possible. This reduces the risk of heartburn, which many people experience in bed or while relaxing.
You may be wondering how beef can cause heartburn. Beef can be high in fat, which can cause heartburn. Steaks, such as t-bone steaks, are often thick slabs of fatty meat. Instead, it’s better to choose a thin piece of lean beef. Beef can sometimes be fairly tough, so marinate it well or braise the meat so it becomes nice and tender.
Drinking coffee all day long can cause heartburn. Coffee is high in acid, which we now know can cause heartburn. Any beverage high in caffeine, for that matter, can cause heartburn. This is because the caffeine in the drink relaxes the esophageal muscle, which can cause heartburn. Even decaffeinated coffee can be high in acid, although you won’t suffer from the caffeine then. A good middle ground is important here: enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning, but don’t drink it throughout the day.
Cheese is naturally high in fat. Fairly fatty foods can relax your stomach and slow down digestion. This puts pressure on your esophageal muscle and can allow acid to penetrate. Cheeses that are very high in fat include cheddar, cream cheese, gouda, parmesan and stilton. Cheeses that are lower in fat include cottage cheese, ricotta and other types of low-fat cheeses. Cheese sauce can also be particularly bad, as they usually contain whole cream and butter as well.
Soft drinks can be very harmful to people who suffer from acid reflux. Many soft drinks such as colas and fruit-based drinks are very high in acid. The carbon dioxide in soft drinks is also dangerous. The puncture can open your esophagus, allowing the acid to burp. If you find that carbonated soft drinks are causing heartburn in you, try not drinking the soft drinks for a while. Water is always a better choice!
Chocolate is a triple threat. It’s high in fat, which means it takes longer to digest. It is high in caffeine, which opens the esophagus and allows stomach acid to creep up, and it is naturally relaxing, which releases happiness hormones in your body. This action will relax your entire esophagus. Chocolate is really better not to eat if you suffer from heartburn. Pregnant women should be especially careful, as they have an even higher risk of getting heartburn.
Salt and pepper
Many people suffer from heartburn after eating spicy foods. They think they react to chilies and other spicy spices, but almost never consider that simple pepper can also be a trigger. Pepper can be very spicy, but we never really think about this because we think of it as a normal spice. Salt is another big trigger for heartburn. Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of salt have a higher risk of developing heartburn. Reduce this risk by eating less salt and reducing the other spices you use.
While we know that fatty foods can cause heartburn, the way you prepare your food can also play a role. When frying in butter and oil, you can add unwanted calories and fat to your meal. Instead, it’s better to prepare your food in a non-stick pan and use a little baking spray if necessary. Grilling and steaming are also great options. Resist that clump of butter on top of your cooked vegetables. Instead, sprinkle some herbs over the vegetables to add more flavor.
Candy is a poor choice for those with heartburn. Sugar can be one of the biggest triggers for acid reflux. Avoiding foods with added sugars can help reduce that chronic heartburn. Natural fruit sugars may be okay, but listen to your body. Candy may also contain added vitamin c for flavor and preservatives. This can make candy very acidic, making candy doubly bad if you have heartburn.
What you can eat when you have heartburn
And here is a comprehensive list of foods that are good for heartburn.
When trying to minimize acid production, it should come as no surprise that foods low in acid are good to eat. In addition, a study shows that foods and drinks with an alkaline ph, including green beans, can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce some of the symptoms of acid reflux.
Because of its alkaline properties, almond milk is a good way to soothe an acidic stomach without triggering inflammation, which can make acid reflux worse. Fortunately, almond milk can soothe the burning sensation in your stomach and throat, and it makes you feel full longer, so your stomach doesn’t keep producing acid.
Because this is digested very slowly by your body and is packed with healthy fats and proteins, foods like salmon are a good choice for patients with acid reflux. Unlike fattier protein sources such as beef, salmon is unlikely to increase acid production in the body and the omega-3 fats, which it contains, have anti-inflammatory effects.
Light on the stomach, sweet potatoes are an easy way to get enough carbs in while reducing your acid reflux symptoms. Since sweet potatoes are digested slowly, they mix well with the acid in your stomach so it won’t burp up in your throat.
Cucumbers are a popular food among people with heartburn because of their high moisture content and alkaline properties, both of which can help control your acid reflux symptoms. Although cucumbers are largely made up of liquid, they still make you feel satiated, making your body less likely to produce too much acid as a reaction to an empty stomach.
It has long been known that ginger can relieve inflammation in the stomach and control acid production. Fortunately, for those who suffer from acid reflux and heartburn, ginger is also good against nausea.
Just because you suffer from heartburn doesn’t mean you can’t eat anything sweet. Raspberries not only have a low glycemic index making them weight loss-friendly, they are also a good source of fiber and resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. They are deliciously sweet, make you feel satiated and will prevent the overproduction of acidic gastric juices.
Lean proteins like chicken can help you lose weight, build muscle, and fight your acid reflux symptoms at the same time. Your body digests protein-rich foods more slowly than carbohydrates, which means your stomach won’t empty as quickly and will reduce the overproduction of acid.
A near-perfect food for stomach ailments, bananas are kind to your esophagus and stomach while still providing a good source of energy. Unlike other sweet foods, bananas do not irritate your stomach and coat your stomach, neutralizing excess acid.
Restoring a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract is the first step in minimizing acid reflux. Probiotic foods like sauerkraut can help you keep your digestive tract healthy while reducing the damage to the lower digestive tract caused by excessive acid production.
Pears are a hydrating, fiber-rich way to keep your acid reflux symptoms in check. The high moisture content in pears can help neutralize your stomach acid, while their fiber content makes them feel satiated, which will reduce excessive acid production.
If you are suffering from acid reflux symptoms and need some carbohydrates, try adding some brown rice to your meal. Brown rice is kind to an acidic stomach and is digested slowly which will minimize your acid reflux symptoms.
High in protein and omega-3 fats, adding some shrimp to your meals is a great way to reach your weight loss goals, reduce the overproduction of acid and keep your heartburn symptoms under control. Unlike fattier meats, shrimp is unlikely to trigger an inflammatory response and therefore less likely to cause acid reflux symptoms.
If you’re looking for a way to combat acid reflux, adding almonds to your diet may be a good idea. Almonds are a good source of protein and fiber, which means your body doesn’t have to work as hard to digest them and which can minimize excessive acid production.
Proteins are low in fat, weight loss friendly and low in acid and therefore are great to eat by people who suffer from heartburn. When preparing eggs, make sure to keep it lean and choose olive oil or cooking spray instead of butter, just cook them in water and eat them along with low-fat vegetables or cheese.
The rich, creamy avocados can help you neutralize your acid reflux symptoms. Unlike other fairly fatty foods, such as butter and fried treats, avocados are healthy due to their anti-inflammatory properties because they will minimize the production of stomach acid.
High in fluids, low in calories and packed with alkaline properties, celery is a great way to prevent the overproduction of gastric juices. Celery is great to eat with other acid reflux fighters and anti-inflammatory foods such as almond butter and avocado.
Liquorice has long been used as a traditional remedy for digestive issues, and now this healthy root is also known to minimize acid reflux symptoms. The results of an italian study suggest that the glycyrrhetinic acid in licorice can really reduce reflux symptoms considerably.
The alkaline properties and healthy fat make olive oil a boon for those who suffer from acid reflux. Not only can olive oil potentially help neutralize your stomach acid, it can also coat your throat and upper digestive tract, reducing the pain that can be caused by heartburn.
Whether you eat it on its own, in a salad or alongside your favorite vegetables, couscous can really help you when it comes to minimizing your acid reflux symptoms. Not only is couscous a complex carbohydrate that is slow to digest, it is also a good source of amino acid triphosphate, which has been shown to reduce the symptoms and pain associated with acid reflux.
Packed with protein, healthy fat, omega-3 and tryptophan, walnuts are truly a perfect recipe for heartburn sufferers. Fortunately, walnuts are also highly satiating, making it less likely that you’ll eat foods afterward that can worsen your symptoms.
Aloe vera is known for its healing properties for the skin and its weight loss benefits. But aloe vera can also help to soothe an acidic stomach and initiate the healing process of the stomach.
Enrich your diet with antioxidants and fight back against reflux by enjoying some broccoli. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin b6 and magnesium, both of which have been shown to improve reflux symptoms.
Eat asparagus today and experience less acid tomorrow. Asparagus is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin b6, and magnesium, all of which can help cure same reflux.
Add some sesame oil to your diet and you’ll find that your acid reflux symptoms become a thing of the past. Sesame oil is a healthy fat source and is packed with tryptophan, which can reduce the severity of your heartburn.
Satisfy your search for something sweet and soothe your stomach by adding some honey to your diet. In addition to soothing a sore throat, which is often the result of acid reflux, honey also has antibacterial properties that can reduce the infection that causes acid reflux.
Lean turkey can help relieve your acid reflux pain by keeping your stomach full without adding fat to your diet. If you have a huge appetite for a sandwich, try eating gluten-free bread along with the turkey to minimize inflammation in your digestive tract.
Because it satiates well, is slowly digested and is good for your health, oatmeal is a great food to add to your diet when heartburn is giving you a hard time. In addition, oatmeal is also a good source of vitamin b6, which has been shown to reduce acid reflux-related pain.
Add some peaches to your diet and your digestive tract will improve in no time. In addition to the protective effect of the beta-carotene, peaches also have alkaline properties, which can help neutralize the excess stomach acid associated with heartburn.
Eating watermelon on a hot summer day does more than just cool you down on a hot day – in fact, it can also help suppress the pain of your acid reflux. The high water content of watermelon can neutralize your stomach acid and reduce that burning sensation.
They say that “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and this certainly applies to patients with heartburn. Even though apples are acidic, they are also rich in fiber and very satiating. Apples are also a good source of vitamin b6, which research has shown may have a protective effect against the symptoms of heartburn.