Top Food and Drink Giving You Heartburn




First of all, what is heartburn?

Heartburn  is when acid from the stomach shoots up into the esophagus, causing that burning like feeling down the throat – this is why heart burn is also referred to as “acid reflux.” I once had it described to me as a burp that won’t come out, which I think is probably the best description of how it feels!

Heartburn is an incredibly uncomfortable thing and just about everyone will experience heartburn at some point in time. There are certainly ways to prevent acid reflux, and the prevention starts with food and drink. You don’t have to necessarily cut back on all of the food and drink that can cause heart burn, but cutting back and just being aware of the top offenders is good for your to know in case you start experiencing heartburn, or if you want to prevent heart burn in the first place.

Below lists the top food and drink causes of heartburn:

Coffee

Sadly, yes, coffee can promote heartburn. Coffee is acidic and contains caffeine, both of which are known causes of acid reflux. To decrease these effects, add some almond milk and/or drink cold brew instead which is much less acidic. You could also go for decaf coffee to decrease most of the caffeine content of this beverage.

Personal note:

We drink Bulletproof coffee everyday which mixes MCT oil and butter, and this mixture seems to prevent acid reflux in both of us – literally never have felt heartburn after drinking Bulletproof coffee. You can read more about adding butter to your coffee here.

If I’m not drinking Bulletproof coffee, then I drink cold brew with almond milk because I’ve found this is much easier on my stomach compared to regularly brewed coffee and does not give me acid reflux.



Tea

Tea contains caffeine, and caffeine is a known promoter of acid reflux. Go for decaf tea to cut back on the chance of reflux.



Carbonation

This includes all types of bubbly drinks, most notably soda. Soda is especially harsh because of the carbonation plus the caffeine, both of which can upset the stomach and cause reflux. 



Alcohol

Alcohol is another trigger for acid reflux. The worst tends to be carbonated types such as beer.

Citrus

Oranges, limes and lemons are definitely a common culprit of heartburn and should be limited if you get heartburn after ingesting. Sorry again, but this definitely includes orange juice and mimosas.



Spicy foods

Spicy sauces are not your friend when it comes to heart burn. Hot spices are a great way to add flavor to your meals, however, they can also promote heartburn. 

Note: This does not mean “spices” this means “spicy” which means cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are super healthy for you, but they are highly acidic meaning they are a trigger for heartburn.

Note: This includes all tomato products including tomato sauce, ketchup, and salsa. 

Fried foods

Fried foods are one of the greatest causes of heartburn. Instead of fried, go for baked or poached foods which are also much healthier!



Peppermint

Peppermint is a tricky one because it can be soothing if you have nausea, but also has the ability to cause acid reflux.

Chocolate

Unfortunately, this is another tasty food item that can cause heartburn. Chocolate contains caffeine which promotes acid reflux. Go for dark chocolate which has the least amount of sugar which should help diminish reflux.



Main takeaways..

As you can see, it seems like everything good causes heartburn, right!? The good news it that not all of these foods will cause heartburn in everyone. Everyone is different in terms of how much a food or drink can promote acid reflux, and a little bit of each of the above is unlikely to cause problems. That being said, it is good to know the foods and drinks that can cause heartburn so if you start having symptoms you know what is likely causing it.

A little bit of heartburn here and there is not going to hurt you, but if you are constantly having heartburn definitely see you healthcare provider because heartburn can lead to serious complications if left untreated. 

It is important to note that this is not a full list, and there are other foods and drink that may cause heartburn for one person that don’t affect another and vice versa.

References

  1. epocrates.com
  2. Uptodate.com




About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy-league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab

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