Heartburn is a symptom you experience when the esophagus is subjected to acid reflux which is due to improper digestion. Heartburn causes a burning sensation in the chest along with pain. Have you ever felt bloated and acidic when you wake up in the morning and wondered if it was last night’s dinner that caused it? If you have experienced these, then you’ve probably suffered heartburn.
Causes of Heartburn
What you eat plays a major role in causing heartburn. All kinds of food react differently in our body and it is very important to know which food might be interfering with your digestive process. Overeating can also cause heartburn because it puts extra pressure on the stomach and digestive system than what it can handle.
Top 7 food that triggers heartburn include:
- Acidic food
Oranges, orange juice, and grapefruits are heartburn food. They are very acidic and are likely to cause heartburn. All kinds of meat are acidic in nature and high in protein. Most dairy products are acidic too and can cause heartburn. You can substitute the protein that comes from meat with vegetarian sources like soya, grains like ragi and oats. Avoid eating citrus fruits or food that are acidic on an empty stomach.
- Garlic, onions, and tomatoes.
These are acidic and likely to cause heartburn because the body takes a longer time to digest them which can create an imbalance. Onions, especially raw onions are a common trigger for heartburn. They are fermentable fiber which can cause belching which aggravates acid reflux symptoms leading to heartburn.
- Spicy food.
Spicy food causes heartburn. They contain a compound called capsaicin which slows digestion rate and these means that food will sit in the stomach for a longer time¸which is a risk factor for heartburn.
Food that is loaded with pepper, vinegar, and chili can trigger heartburn. If spicy food triggers your heartburn, then avoid it as much as you can and switch to a milder version of the same dish.
Peppermint is a heartburn trigger food because it relaxes the sphincter muscle that lay between the stomach and esophagus which allows stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. If you experience heartburn after consuming peppermint, its best to avoid it.
- Caffeine and alcohol.
Too much caffeine stimulates the production of acid in the stomach which can cause heartburn. Coffee, soda, tea, and other food that contains caffeine can cause heartburn. If you are prone to heartburn, you can reduce the intake of these foods. Wine, beer or your favorite cocktail can also trigger heartburn. Energy drinks contain high caffeine and should be avoided if you are prone to heartburn.
Chocolate is another trigger for heartburn, it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter which allows stomach acid to escape into the esophagus and thereby leading to heartburn.
It is widely believed that consuming milk can treat heartburn. However, drinking whole milk can cause heartburn, not relieve it. Researchers suggest that whole milk increases stomach acid production leading to heartburn. It is best to avoid milk or reduce the intake if it gives you heartburn.