Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a burning chest and you start thinking you are having a heart attack? People with heartburn can definitely relate to this. Heartburn can affect almost everything you do, keeping you from sleeping at night and functioning well during the day.
Even though heartburn triggers vary from person to person, there are certain food and drinks that are more prone to allowing stomach acid to splash up into your esophagus. Below is a list of some of them:
Tomatoes and Citrus Fruits/Juices
The high acid content in these foods is commonly known to exacerbate heartburn. That also includes pizza, sadly, which can be a double-whammy due to the next category of culprits.
Foods High in Fat
Cheese, fries, prime rib and ice cream can cause heartburn. That’s because fat slows down the emptying of the stomach, which puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter. That doesn’t mean you can never eat Chicken Inn/ Chicken Slice again—just be careful.
Garlic, Onion and Spicy Foods
Not everyone who suffers from heartburn has a problem with these. But it’s a good idea to eliminate them on a trial basis if you’ve already done away with acidic and fatty foods and still have problems.
This is unfortunate, for sure, but coffee works negatively in two ways. It’s been shown to decrease the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter, which invites stomach contents to come in. Caffeine also stimulates acid secretion. If you love coffee, try one with low acidity.
Mint and Chocolate
Like coffee, these foods can chemically cause the lower esophageal sphincter to loosen, triggering acid reflux. But while mint—and mint gum—can cause problems, chewing gum in general has been shown to have a beneficial effect on heartburn because it increases saliva, which helps neutralize stomach acid. Just choose a flavor other than mint if it bothers you.
The carbonation in soda can cause the stomach to distend and bloat, placing extra strain on the lower esophageal sphincter.
While alcohol is a known contributing factor to heartburn, it affects everyone differently. Try limiting yourself to one drink or not drinking for two hours before bed.