According to Healthline, more than 60 million Americans are affected by heartburn. It’s one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux, a condition where acid rises up from the stomach to the esophagus. While, normally, a ring-like muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter prevents stomach acid from rising, individuals with acid reflux experience a weakening of this muscle. The escape of acid into the esophagus is one of the primary reasons people living with this condition experience heartburn. Fortunately, you can avoid this by steering clear of these seven foods.
If you have acid reflux, you might want to cut back on the avocados. Foods with high-fat content, like nuts and cheeses, trigger heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter and allowing stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus. They also stimulate the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which has also been found to do the same. As much as it hurts to nix the cheese, the heartburn that might result could hurt even more.
Beverages with caffeine
Java lovers, beware. Drinks with high caffeine content, like coffees, teas and energy drinks – can irritate your esophagus, particularly if it’s already inflamed by acid reflux. The irritation could alter the function of the esophageal sphincter, possibly triggering a rise of stomach acid, causing heartburn.
Because of their high acid content, citrus fruits and juices – like orange and grapefruit – might cause symptoms of acid reflux. Particularly, they could worsen feelings of heartburn. Generally, citrus juices should be avoided on an acid reflux-friendly diet.
Chocolate (unfortunately) is another common trigger of heartburn in individuals with acid reflux. Chocolate, like other foods with high-fat content, relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and allows acid to enter the esophagus. Chocolate also induces serotonin, which has been found to relax the lower esophageal sphincter. We know, heartbreaking. And sadly, this heartbreak can’t be mended with a bar of chocolate.
Spices like cayenne and chili aggravate the sensations of heartburn, particularly in individuals with acid reflux. Instead of spices that could trigger your heartburn, try adding safer flavor enhancers to your food, like cinnamon, herbs and ginger.
If you experience heartburn from acid reflux, you might want to try eliminating onions from your diet. Onions are a common trigger for heartburn and contain high amounts of fermentable fiber, which could cause belching and exacerbate your acid reflux symptoms, particularly heartburn.
Like many of the other foods listed, alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, triggering feelings of heartburn. Alcoholic beverages might also increase the levels of acid in your stomach, leading to a heightened risk of heartburn. Plus, excessive drinking could be directly destructive to the lining of your esophagus. If you experience symptoms of acid reflux, it’s recommended that you keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.