Foods That Cause Heartburn & Acid Reflux

Today I want to share with you some foods and a couple drinks that can cause heartburn.  Heartburn, if left untreated can lead to more serious problems,IMG_20140427_183743_861 so if you have frequent heartburn you may want to make an appointment with your doctor to check to see if it could be something more serious.

Since I’ve been eating better I rarely have heartburn anymore.  Before I changed my eating habits I would have heartburn from time to time and it was quite bothersome.  It would usually flair up at night when I was trying to sleep, and if you know me very well you know not to mess with my sleep…lol.

Thanks to the website www.activebeat.com for the information below about common causes of heartburn and acid reflux.

So lets cover some of the most common foods and drinks that can cause heartburn.

1.  Alcohol can be a massive trigger for heartburn attacks.  Red wine and beer are particularly likely to cause acid reflux.  Alcohol relaxes your esophageal sphincter, allowing for stomach acid to creep up.  Drinking alcohol with a large meal is a recipe for disaster as it increases the risk of acid reflux.  If you enjoy a drink with your meal, eat smaller portions to minimize your risk of heartburn.

2.  Fried foods.  Fatty foods can be brutal for a person suffering from acid reflux.  While fried foods may look crispy, they retain a lot of the oil in the coating.  Foods high in fat take longer to digest, putting pressure on your stomach and esophagus.  This increases the risk of acid reflux due to the time your stomach stays full.  Instead of fried foods try grilling or poaching your meals.  This not only saves calories, but can protect you from heartburn.

3.  Spicy foods.  The effect of spicy food on heartburn is interesting.  Many people complain of massive heartburn after consuming a spicy dish, but other may find spicy food helps calm their chronic heartburn.  Spicy food can affect the acid levels in your stomach creating a more hostile environment that can promote acid reflux.  If you find spicy foods trigger heartburn then try reducing the heat and spiciness of those foods.

4.  Tomatoes, fresh or canned, can be a major trigger for heartburn.  While tomatoes are incredibly healthy vegetables, tomatoes are naturally high in acid.  This can upset your stomach, causing acid reflux as you digest your meal.  Be wary of tomatoes used in cooking.  A delicious pasta sauce could come back to haunt you later in the night.  Also consider condiments high in tomatoes and acid, such as ketchup and salsa.

5.  Oranges and other citrus fruits.  These fruits are high in acid content, which can lead to acid reflux.  Instead of citrus fruit, if you have problems with heartburn or acid reflux, instead go for high alkaline foods.  These include berries, apples, pears, bananas and melons.  If you do eat or drink citrus foods, try to get them in early during the day.  This will minimize the risk of heartburn, as many people experience while laying down in bed.

6.  Mint tea and candies are known to settle upset stomachs, but this herb can worsen heartburn.  The numbing effect of mind can relax your esophageal sphincter, letting stomach acid attack your esophagus.  If you are looking for natural heartburn treatments to replace mint, consider ginger.  Ginger is a natural nausea reducing food.  Enjoy ginger tea before bed to reduce your chance of overnight heartburn.

7.  Beef.  Beef that is higher in fat can cause heartburn.  Expensive cuts such as filet mignon, porterhouse, New York strip, and T-bone steaks are all high fat cuts of beef, so if you have problems with heartburn you may want to avoid these.  Instead try these cuts of beef; sirloin tip, top round, eye of round and top sirloin.  Low fat cuts of beef can be tough so marinate or stew the meats for best results.

8.  Coffee and caffeinated drinks.  Coffee and caffeinated drinks are high in acid, which can exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux.  Caffeine relaxes the esophageal sphincter which allows stomach acid to damage your throat.  If you think you have to drink coffee or caffeinated drinks, moderation is key and cut the caffeine early in the day.

9.  High fat cheeses.  These types of cheeses can relax your stomach and delay digestion.  This puts pressure on your esophageal sphincter and can let acid creep through.  High fat cheeses include cheddar, cream cheese, gouda, parmesan, and stilton.  Better choices for cheese, which are low in fat would be cottage cheese, ricotta, and other types of reduced fat cheeses.

Everybody is different so one of these may not affect you at all, while there may be something not on the list may affect you greatly.  This is by no means a comprehensive list.  These are just some that are more common among people.

I hope you learned something from this post.  I know I did while writing it.  🙂

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