Healthy Living

Heartburn: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Heartburn: What to Eat and What Not to Eat

Key Takeaways

  • Fatty foods tend to remain in the stomach for a longer period of time, which can trigger hearburn.
  • Spicy foods trigger heartburn.
  • Drinks containing caffeine can increase the acid production in the stomach.

Heartburn is the burning sensation of the chest, which often feels like chest pain. This is one of the classical symptoms of acid reflux. This is a result of acid into the esophagus. Acid reflux is the escape of acidic contents of the stomach through the lower esophageal sphincter to the esophagus. Certain types of food trigger acid reflux, therefore, it is vital to know what the specific foods are so that you could avoid those foods to reduce the symptoms.

Avoid heavy meals

Before talking about any specific type of food, the most important thing is the amount of food you eat. If you eat a heavy meal, then more acid will be produced in your stomach to digest and absorb this food. Therefore, remember that heavy meals can increase the likelihood of developing acid reflux.

Try to consume small portions of the meal each time you eat and increase the frequency instead of eating one huge meal at once.

Fatty foods are more likely to cause acid reflux.

Fatty foods tend to remain in the stomach for a longer time. The more time they spend in the stomach, the more likely you are to develop acid reflux due to the continuous acid secretion within the stomach.

Acidic food can worsen your heartburn

Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus fruits, and lemons can cause heartburn. This is especially true if you eat them alone on an empty stomach. Try to avoid acidic foods like these as much as possible to stay away from heartburn. There are so many other options aside from citrus fruits and tomatoes. Fruits like grapes, avocados, and bananas are some of the non-citrus fruits that can be eaten, apart from the citrus ones. 

Even certain drinks can trigger heartburn

Beverages such as coffee, caffeinated tea and carbonated drinks like coca colas can increase the likelihood of heartburn. Drinks containing caffeine can increase the acid production in the stomach, therefore, the likelihood of heartburn. Alcoholic drinks in excess relaxes the esophageal sphincter increasing the risk of heartburn. 

Bad news – Spicy foods also trigger heartburn as well

Many of us love to have a spicy meal. For some, it is essential that all their meals are spicy and hot. But, if you are suffering with heartburn and loves spicy meals, this is bad news for you. Hot, spicy meals are a trigger of heartburn. They tend to relax the lower esophageal sphincter and thus increase the risk of heartburn.

But this does not mean that you have to completely ban spicy foods from your diet. Instead, you can reduce the amount of spices you use for your meals. However, if you are able to tolerate the spicy foods with your heartburn, then it is fine.