The scorching sensation in your chest that occurs after a heavy meal could be an indication that you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn – a common condition that most people have experienced at some point in their lives. It is caused by the upward flow of stomach juices into your esophagus. Sometimes the discomfort can be so disconcerting that you are left wondering whether or not you are having a heart attack!
In more than 90% of the cases, the type of food you eat plays a significant role in causing heartburn. Here’s a list of 10 foods to avoid, so your heartburn symptoms can be controlled or eliminated:
- Citrus Fruits: Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are quite acidic and can cause heartburn, especially when consumed on an empty stomach.
- Spicy Foods: Foods loaded with chili pepper, and other spices can trigger heartburn.
- Peppermint: An after-meal mint is a bad idea if you are prone to getting heartburn. Peppermint relaxes the sphincter between your stomach and your esophagus increasing the likelihood of heartburn.
- High-Fat Foods: Foods such as a ribeye steak or a greasy hamburger are difficult to digest and require the production of a lot of digestive juices that can spill over into your alimentary canal.
- Carbonated Beverages: These beverages tend to cause stomach distention which put pressure on your esophageal sphincter resulting in overflow of gastric contents.
- Tomatoes: They are highly acidic and best avoided if you have heartburn symptoms.
- Chocolate: It causes relaxation of the esophageal sphincter allowing the digestive juices access to the esophagus.
- Caffeine: Two cups of coffee a day may be fine, but if you tend to have a lot of coffee or any other beverages that contain caffeine throughout the day, you are likely to worsen your heartburn symptoms.
- Alcohol: Excessive consumption of beer, wine, or any type of alcohol can trigger heartburn as alcohol causes relaxation of the esophageal sphincter.
- Garlic: Although it has many apparent health benefits, you may be better off without garlic if you have heartburn.
In addition to the above-mentioned list, keep a food log to track down specific-food triggers that may be unique to your condition.
If your heartburn symptoms do not seem to be improving despite avoiding known triggers, book an appointment with your doctor or visit the specialists at Greater Houston Gastroenterology.