8 Foods That Can Cause Heartburn & Top Treatments

Today I’m going to show you 8 foods that can cause heartburn and without doubt, you should avoid them if you suffer from heartburn. I will also provide the best top tips for how to treat heartburn effectively.

The breakdown of today’s article:

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux is a common condition that often leads to a burning pain in the lower chest area, known as heartburn.

The number of people experiencing at least one acid reflux attack a week has risen from 11.6% to 17.1%  in just over a decade.

At the entrance to your stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS). Normally, the LOS closes as soon as food passes through it. If the LOS doesn’t close all the way or if it opens too often, acid produced by your stomach can move up into your oesophagus. This can cause symptoms such as a burning chest discomfort called heartburn. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than twice a week, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

High-fat foods have been linked with heartburn. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just include unhealthy fast foods high in saturated fat but also healthy and nutritious foods like avocados, cheese and nuts. 

What foods commonly trigger heartburn?

Onions

Onions, while very nutritious they are high in a fermentable fibre called fructooligosaccharides. This form of fibre may relax the muscle of the LOS and increase reflux.

If you struggle with raw onions, try cooked onions as some people experience less or no issues with cooked onions.

Chocolate

Yes, I know! Unfortunately, chocolate is also on the ‘no-no list’. Chocolate is comprised of polyphenols, caffeine and theobromine. Even though polyphenols are phytochemicals found naturally in plant food sources with antioxidant properties. People with SIBO overgrowth may have increased gas production from their ingestion which puts excessive pressure on the LOS and weakening it over time.

Furthermore, our gut produces around 80% of serotonin (the happy chemical). When eating chocolate serotonin levels increase which further relaxes the LOS and trigger reflux.

Mint

Mint has a lot of medicinal benefits, but despite its benefits, mint supposedly weakens the LES as it is a natural smooth muscle relaxer. A study surveyed 2000 individuals with heartburn and found a clear connection between heartburn and consumption of peppermint.

Salty snacks

I always recommend to my clients to switch salt for fresh herbs and spices. They are not only more nutritious but also add a specific flavour to your meal. One study found that people who ate salted foods three or more times a week increased their risk of heartburn by 50%.

Fatty meals

It comes to no surprise that fatty meals cause heartburn. Fat stimulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CKK) that relaxes the LOS. Out of the three types of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats), fat takes the longest to digest. This delays gastric emptying and so food stays in your stomach for a longer period of time increases the chances of the stomach acids to creep up to the oesophagus. 

Coffee

Many of us love our morning cup of coffee. I often struggle to even function before my cup of a strong Vietnamese coffee But even though coffee may help in perking us up, it doesn’t seem to favour our heartburn at all. One study found that about one-quarter of heartburn sufferers found coffee caused them pain.

What about decaffeinated coffee or tea?

Good news! Decaf is okay! It looks like decaffeinated beverages and teas are not responsible for GERD. 

Citrus juices

I am a huge fan of lemon water. I believe it is the perfect way to start your morning, kick-start your digestion and rehydrate after a good nights sleep. However, if you are a heartburn sufferer it may be better to avoid citrus juices and rather incorporate foods like papaya, full of papaya enzymes that promote better digestion.

Tomatoes

If you suffer from heartburn forget about tomato pasta or a bowl of tomato soup. Almost 70% of heartburn sufferers report tomatoes or tomato juice as the main cause of their heartburn.

Tomatoes are naturally acidic food. When one study looks at reflux symptoms with a tomato drink that was adjusted to a neutral level, the symptoms remained. This explains that it is not the acidity of the tomatoes causing you heartburn but other components in tomatoes.

As a good alternative, you can try whipping up a red bell pepper sauce instead or pesto based pasta.

How to relief heartburn?

Nobody loves that feeling like your chest is on fire, especially after eating a big greasy meal. Heartburn, if occasional or regular is not a pleasant experience, but you can find ways how to relieve this burning sensation.

  1. Bed Wedge Pillow for acid reflux/heartburn

It’s simple! When you sleep the acid in your stomach is more likely leak out into the oesophagus as you are sleeping on your back. A wedge pillow slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent this from happening. This very simple and effective strategy can help improve your quality of sleep and avoid experiencing heartburn in the morning.

Supportiback® Comfort Therapy Bed Wedge Pillow - Memory Foam, Washable Cover - Doctor-designed For Back & Neck Pain, Better Breathing & Circulation, Acid Reflux

Supportiback® Comfort Therapy Bed Wedge Pillow 

Memory Foam | Washable Cover | Doctor-designed For Back & Neck Pain | Better Breathing & Circulation | Acid Reflux!

 

        2. Traditional Chinese heartburn medicine capsules (GinSen)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is one of the oldest systems of medicine – more than 3,500 years older than traditional Western medicine. TCM treats a number of issues and approaches treating ailments from a holistic perspective, looking at the body as a whole and aims to find disharmony between the organs.

When your heartburn gets to the level you have to go and reach for some form of a food supplement a 100% natural TCM is the way to go! You want a product that is clean and effective, in other words, it does the job without creating further side effects.

I found a PERFECT  product that can be used to relieve your heartburn along with:

  • Acid reflux
  • Stomach pain
  • Stomach bug
  • Vomiting bloating
  • Dizziness
  • and of course heartburn!

This natural remedy supports stomachs natural healing and de-stressing stress due to an unhealthy lifestyle. It works by relaxing the stomach Qi and regulating Stomach natural cycle. Qi or Energy, as the Chinese express it, is at the very heart of TCM.

A prime herbal formula free from dairy, wheat grain, gluten, added sugar and soya and so it is perfect for people with the Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and also it is vegan-friendly.

Traditional Chinese medicine for heartburn capsules (GinSen)

Heartburn | Acid Reflux | Stomach Pain | Stomach Bug | Vomiting Bloating | Dizziness | Natural Remedy | Food Supplement | Traditional Chinese Medicine

      3. Hire a nutritionist

Dealing with chronic heartburn can be frustrating, depressing and annoying. What if that burning sensation can disappear or be eased to a minimum? A diet specific for heartburn has been proven to improve the symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux and GERD and all it takes is a little bit of commitment and right guidance from a qualified specialist to help you end your misery.

Do you suffer from heartburn? Feel free to book a FREE 30-minute session with a nutritionist specialising in digestive health and finally get some answers that Dr.Google can’t answer for you?