Have you ever woken up late in the night feeling uneasiness in your chest? Or have you felt a sour taste in your mouth after a late dinner? Or have you eaten a heavy dinner and felt the stomach bloated next morning? If you’re agreeing to all these questions, then probably you’re suffering from heartburn and acid reflux!
Heartburn is a symptom you experience when the food you eat comes back into the esophagus due to improper digestion. This causes a burning sensation in the throat and chest along with pain.
What Causes Heartburn?
The common causes of heartburn are lifestyle factors such as excess weight, stress, unhealthy eating habits and stomach ailments. Of these, lifestyle and diet are primarily responsible.
Know more about the importance of acidity diet
Here’s a list of 19 foods that trigger heartburn and acid reflux –
1) Citrus fruits
It is said that citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits are big culprits of heartburn. They are highly acidic, and this makes them likely to cause heartburn, especially when consumed on an empty stomach.
2) Tomato-based foods
Tomatoes are good for health, thanks to their nutrient content, but they are acidic in nature and can cause chest pain, heartburn, gas and bloating. So, think twice before eating them, especially when it is combined with spices as in ketchup and salsa sauce.
3) Peppermint & mint teas
Both peppermint and mint teas can aggravate acid reflux by irritating the digestive tract. People often do not realise this, but foods with mint such as chewing gum, peppermint candy and spearmint and peppermint teas do trigger heartburn. Try replacing the mint flavoured candy and gum with other flavours and switch to chamomile tea instead.
Everyone loves chocolates, but it can also trigger heartburn. Caffeine and antioxidants like theobromide present in chocolates are the culprits.
Though nuts have many health benefits such as being packed with nutrients, fibre and healthy fats, eating too much of them can cause acid reflux, bloating and put pressure on the esophageal sphincter. Limit your intake of nuts.
6) Pepper & salt
Pepper is another culprit. If spicy food triggers acid reflux and heartburn, avoid this. Similarly, several studies have shown that excess salt in food can may one vulnerable to acidity..
Instead of fried foods, go for steamed or grilled foods. Also, use non-stick cookware, so you can reduce usage of butter/cooking medium. If you want to add flavour to your meals, use herbs.
Click here to know about home remedies for heartburn
You already know the ill-effects of drinking excess alcohol. Did you know that it can also cause heartburn? Excess alcohol intake can lead to inflammation of the stomach, which ultimately leads to heartburn.
Getting a heartburn after drinking coffee? It’s probably the caffeine. Coffee is highly acidic, which stimulates acid production in the stomach, making the heartburn symptoms worse. One cup of coffee in a day is fine, but several cups can trigger occurrence.
10) Carbonated beverages or soda
Completely avoid carbonated drinks if you have been suffering from chronic acidity. The carbon dioxide present in it is bad! It causes the stomach muscles to relax and acid to escape back up the food pipe. Sodas also lead to weight gain, diabetes and other health disorders.
11) Spicy foods
This is common knowledge. Spicy food is upsetting your stomach and can lead to stomach ulcers. Look out for vinegar, paprika, chilli and jalapeno peppers. Maintain a diary and keep a track of which foods trigger symptoms so you can avoid or eliminate them from your diet.
12) Garlic & onion
Excessive consumption of onion and garlic causes acidity too, so watch how much of them are you consuming. Also, though garlic is taken on an empty stomach for its medicinal properties, studies have shown that it can cause heartburn. So, if you’re suffering from acid reflux, reduce intake or replace onions and garlic with herbs.
Your sweet tooth won’t have mercy on your acidity and merciless if you’re trying to lose weight! Candies are loaded with sugar and can cause acid reflux. Some candies, especially those with Vitamin C used for flavour, are acidic in nature and dangerous for health. Avoid them!
14) Cheese & other high-fat dairy products
Foods that are high in fats such as cheese take time to digest and settle in your stomach for a longer time. Parmesan, cream cheese and cheddar are high in fat. Cottage cheese has reduced fat, so that’s a safer option. Though cold milk is thought to reduce acidity, it only gives temporary relief and actually boosts production of acid. This is why milk is a no-no if you have acidity-related symptoms!
Though this savoury fruit is packed with good (healthy) fats, it can slow down the digestion process, resulting in the food contents settling in the stomach for a long time. This can make you vulnerable to heartburn.
16) Fried foods
No matter what fats you’re consuming, you are at a risk of experiencing some digestive discomfort because of them. Fried and oily foods, especially deep-fried, are a complete no-no for those suffering from severe acid reflux. Click here to know more about what oily meals can do.
17) High-fat meats
High-fat meats such as pork and lamb can cause heartburn because they stay longer in the stomach and increase chances of acid reflux. Opt for lean meat like roasted chicken and eat it only once in a week.
Nicotine in tobacco again relaxes the upper digestive mechanism causing acid reflux. If you’re addicted to smoking or any tobacco product, it might be time to give up the habit. Quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco, like nicotine gum can help you overcome the habit and provide relief form acid reflux symptoms in the long run.
Broccoli helps with weight loss, but it also causes gas, leading to acid reflux and heartburn. Though it is loaded with nutrients and minerals, don’t consume it if you have frequent heartburn.
To know what foods will help you manage symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, book an appointment by calling on our toll-free number 1800 266 0607. Speak to our experts and get a personalised diet plan to manage acidity. What’s more, the first consult is FREE!