Heartburn and acid reflux can be a nagging issue that puts a damper on your day. That burning sensation in your chest can be unbearable at times. Many foods cause this discomfort, some of which you probably didn’t know were triggering this in your body. It can make everyday activities such as sleep very uncomfortable and almost impossible to accomplish.
Luckily, each of us has the power to change what we put into our bodies. Unfortunately, certain foods cause heartburn and acid reflux, so if this is an issue for you that causes daily discomfort, it’s wise to avoid the following foods.
The acid in food relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter muscles, which causes acid reflux symptoms. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, limes, lemons, and pineapples are high in acid and can also cause heartburn. Fruit juices such as apple juice and orange juice are also high in acid, so it’s best to drink an alternative such as water.
Tomatoes are also high in acid, as are foods made with tomatoes, such as ketchup, marinara sauce, and tomato soup. It is best to avoid these foods to prevent heartburn and acid reflux.
Caffeinated beverages such as coffee can trigger heartburn. Tea can also contain caffeine. Try to drink tea without caffeine or decaf coffee to avoid heartburn and acid reflux.
Sometimes you don’t realize what you are drinking contains caffeine. For example, certain soft drinks such as mountain dew and coca-cola contain caffeine and can cause acid reflux symptoms.
If you have a hard time getting going in the morning and rely on caffeine to give you a boost, you can try other options to provide you with energy, like exercises such as running, pushups, or yoga.
Breaking the habit of drinking caffeine can be a struggle at first, but with time you will get used to natural ways of obtaining energy, and your stomach will feel a lot better at the same time. You can also try B vitamins. They tend to give people enough energy to last the day.
Speaking of foods you might not realize have caffeine, chocolate is one of them. That, along with the fat and cocoa, causes acid reflux.
You might be tempted by chocolate cake at a birthday party or chocolate candy during Halloween, but remind yourself of the discomfort caused by heartburn and acid reflux to avoid these temptations.
Alcohol can be a trigger for heartburn. Hard liquor such as whiskey, tequila, vodka, and gin all stimulate the production of stomach acid and relax the lower esophageal muscles, which trigger acid reflux.
You might think less potent alcohol such as wine or low-alcohol content beer could be a good alternative, but these also cause heartburn, unfortunately. The best alternative would be a non-alcoholic beer or just choosing not to drink altogether.
Often when people choose to drink, they also tend to eat unhealthy foods. Alcohol combined with food that is fatty or fried can cause double the problems your stomach has to deal with on a night out.
Fried food causes heartburn because these foods sit in your stomach longer, which causes digestive juices to back up into your esophagus. Therefore, it is best to avoid fried foods such as fried chicken, french fries, onion rings, and fish sticks.
Foods high in fat also cause this problem, such as avocados, cheese, sauces, nuts, ice cream, and milkshakes.
An excellent alternative to frying foods is cooking on the grill or using your oven at home, or ordering grilled food at restaurants.
Spicy foods made with hot peppers and hot sauces irritate your stomach lining, which causes heartburn and acid reflux. It is best to avoid dishes such as chili and curry, which are filled with different spices.
Instead of putting hot sauce on everything you eat, you could opt for something a little milder. For example, you could choose honey mustard or ranch dressing as an alternative.
Just like spices, onions, especially raw onions, cause heartburn in most people. Luckily, cooking onions can reduce their potency. You can also try eating onions that are sweeter to lessen the chance of heartburn.
Next time you go to the grocery, remember to choose the sweeter option and cook them later to avoid a night filled with heartburn and acid reflux.
Garlic, just like onions, seems to be in everything. It can be hard to avoid these two ingredients, but you must avoid them if you want to escape heartburn and acid reflux. Skip the garlic and opt for salt and black pepper instead.
The next time you go to a restaurant, look carefully at the ingredients to make sure there is no garlic in your dish. You could even ask the waiter if he could have the chef change specific recipes to fit your needs.
Peppermint is known as a remedy to help with an upset stomach. However, this food can be surprising to people that find it on this list. The reason is because of the menthol found in peppermints. The menthol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, making stomach acid flow back up into the esophagus, which causes heartburn.
In the future, when you need a mint, opt for spearmint instead. Your stomach and heart will thank you later.
As you can see, many foods can cause heartburn and acid reflux. However, removing these nine foods from your diet isn’t enough to completely prevent it. You must also avoid eating large meals, as well as eating late-night snacks.
Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day reduces pressure on your stomach and decreases the chance of food ending up in your esophagus. You should never eat anything within two hours before going to bed.
Other tips are eating slowly, avoiding tight clothing around your waist, and maintaining a healthy weight. Eating fast can irritate your esophagus. That’s why it’s important to eat slowly. Tight clothing around your waist puts pressure on the stomach, which can cause acid reflux. Walking around at a healthy weight takes away pressure inside your abdomen.