7 Surprising Foods That Are Causing Your Heartburn
- Studies have found that consuming spicy foods can increase the frequency and severity of heartburn symptoms. Spices such as black pepper, garlic, and chili powder may be particularly problematic. (1)
- Tomatoes and tomato-based products, such as tomato sauce and ketchup, are highly acidic and can irritate the esophagus. (2)
- Fatty and fried foods take longer to digest and can increase the risk of heartburn. (3)
Even though there are often no obvious causes of heartburn, it is a very unpleasant condition. Some of the foods you frequently eat may surprise you by being the cause of your heartburn. Citrus fruits and chocolate are two common foods that can give you heartburn. Sometimes even the healthiest foods can give you a burning sensation in your chest. This article will look at seven unusual foods that can cause heartburn and will also cover how to avoid them. By making a few preparations in advance and eating mindfully, you can enjoy all of your favourite foods without worrying about the dreaded heartburn.
7 Surprising Foods That Are Causing Your Heartburn
When stomach acid flows back up into the oesophagus, a common condition known as heartburn results, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. These are the 7 unexpected foods listed below that are giving you heartburn:
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are a common cause of heartburn. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are all acidic fruits that can irritate the esophagus and cause heartburn. Citrus fruits are also high in fiber, which can contribute to heartburn. The acidity of these fruits can be especially irritating to those who have sensitive stomachs or those who are prone to heartburn.
Limiting your consumption is the best strategy for preventing heartburn from citrus fruits. Moderate consumption of citrus fruits can reduce the risk of heartburn. If you do decide to eat citrus fruits, you should try to pair them with less acidic foods. To help reduce acidity and the likelihood of causing heartburn, you could, for instance, add some plain yoghurt or a banana to your citrus fruit.
Additionally, eating them too quickly or without chewing them thoroughly can speed up the process by which the acid in the food seeps into the oesophagus, which can result in heartburn. It's best to eat citrus fruits slowly and give them a good chew before swallowing if you frequently experience heartburn.
One more unexpected factor in heartburn is chocolate. Ingesting chocolate can cause esophageal irritation and heartburn due to theobromine and caffeine. Due to its higher concentration of these ingredients compared to other chocolate varieties, dark chocolate is particularly likely to cause heartburn.
Limiting your intake will help you avoid getting heartburn from chocolate. Heartburn is more likely to occur if you consume too much chocolate than if you consume a small amount of it. The best course of action is to consume chocolate in moderation if you do so desire.
You should pay attention to the type of chocolate you consume. Since dark chocolate is more likely to cause heartburn than other varieties, it is best to stay away from it if you are prone to the condition. If you must indulge in chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate are preferable because they are less likely to cause heartburn.
3. Caffeinated Beverages
A major contributor to heartburn is caffeinated beverages. Heartburn may result from the caffeine in these drinks irritating the oesophagus. The most typical causes of heartburn include coffee, tea, and energy drinks.
Limiting your intake of these products is the best way to prevent heartburn caused by them. You don't have to drink coffee or tea because neither is necessary for good health. It's best to drink tea and coffee in moderation if you do want to indulge.
Remember what you're putting in your coffee or tea, and that's it. Heartburn can be aggravated by consuming cream, sugar, and other sweeteners. Avoid adding these ingredients to your coffee or tea if you frequently experience heartburn.
4. Spicy Foods
A significant trigger of heartburn is spicy food. These foods' capsaicin content has been linked to esophageal irritation and heartburn. Heartburn is a known side effect of foods like salsa, curry, and chilli.
Limiting your intake of spicy foods is the best way to prevent heartburn. Heartburn can be avoided by eating spicy foods in moderation. It's best to eat spicy foods sparingly and to pair them with less spicy foods if you do decide to consume them.
Additionally, pay attention to your eating habits when consuming spicy foods. They can cause the capsaicin to seep into the oesophagus more quickly when consumed too quickly or without being chewed thoroughly, which can result in heartburn.
Another unexpected source of heartburn is tomatoes. Heartburn may result from the acidity of tomatoes irritating the oesophagus. Additionally, tomatoes contain a lot of fibre, which can aggravate heartburn.
The best course of action is to restrict your consumption of tomatoes if you want to prevent heartburn. Tomatoes can aid in heartburn prevention when consumed in moderation. If you do decide to eat tomatoes, you should try to pair them with less acidic foods. For instance, blending tomatoes with plain yoghurt or a banana can help to lessen acidity and the likelihood of causing heartburn.
It's also crucial to pay attention to how you eat tomatoes. The acidity can increase if you consume them too quickly or without thoroughly chewing them. Eating them too quickly or without chewing them thoroughly can cause the acidity to seep into the esophagus more quickly, which can lead to heartburn.
Another unexpected food that causes heartburn is mint. Heartburn may result from the menthol in mint, which can irritate the oesophagus. Gum, candy, and mints are all frequent causes of heartburn.
The best course of action is to limit your consumption of mint to prevent heartburn. Moderate consumption of mint can reduce heartburn symptoms. If you do decide to eat mint, you should try to pair it with less acidic foods. For instance, blending mint with some plain yoghurt or a banana can help to lessen acidity and the likelihood of causing heartburn.
Finally, pay attention to how you consume mint. The menthol can seep into the oesophagus more quickly if you eat it too quickly or don't chew it thoroughly, which can lead to heartburn.
7. High-Fat Foods
Another unexpected cause of heartburn is fatty foods. These foods' fat content may cause heartburn by irritating the oesophagus. Red meat, cheese, and foods that have been fried are all common causes of heartburn.
Limiting your intake is the best strategy for preventing heartburn brought on by high-fat foods. Heartburn can be prevented by eating high-fat foods in moderation. If you do choose to consume foods high in fat, it is best to do so in moderation and to combine them with less fatty foods.
Being aware of how you consume foods high in fat is also crucial. They can seep the fat into the oesophagus more quickly if they are eaten too quickly or without being chewed thoroughly, which can result in heartburn.
Tips for Avoiding Heartburn Triggers
To avoid heartburn, there are a few simple tips you can follow. First, it’s important to be mindful of the foods you’re eating. Eating in moderation can help to prevent heartburn. If you do want to indulge in some of the foods that can cause heartburn, it’s best to do so in small amounts and to pair them with other foods that are less likely to cause heartburn.
Additionally, it's critical to pay attention to your eating habits. Heartburn can result from eating too quickly or without fully chewing your food, which can speed up the rate at which acidity or fat seep into the oesophagus. It's best to eat slowly and chew your food completely before swallowing if you frequently experience heartburn.
Finally, it's critical to maintain an active lifestyle and a healthy weight. Exercise frequently and keep up a healthy diet because being overweight raises your risk of developing heartburn.
Foods That Won't Cause Heartburn During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, heartburn is a common symptom due to increased hormones and pressure on the stomach. To reduce the frequency and severity of heartburn, try eating foods such as oatmeal, ginger, bananas, yogurt, lean meats and fish, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine, and carbonated beverages. Eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid lying down immediately after eating.
Heartburn can be extremely uncomfortable, and it isn't always brought on by obvious triggers. Some common foods, like citrus fruits and chocolate, can give you heartburn. Even the healthiest foods occasionally give you a burning in your chest. You can eat all of your favourite foods without having to worry about the dreaded heartburn with careful planning and mindful eating.
Enjoyed reading? Check out this related article: 5 Food Indigestion Causes You Probably Didn't Know
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- Chung, K. T., & Allen, K. L. (2006). Effects of chili consumption on postprandial gastroesophageal reflux in healthy human volunteers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 83(6), 1292-1297. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/83.6.1292
- Keshteli, A. H., Mirmiran, P., & Adibi, P. (2005). Dietary habits and gastroesophageal reflux disease among Tehranian adults. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(5), 592-596. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602113
- American College of Gastroenterology. (n.d.). Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease. https://gi.org/topics/heartburn-and-gerd/