Top Foods That Start (& Stop) Heartburn

by in Healthy Tips, November 13, 2009

Tomato Sauce
The trouble usually starts when you find a dish so delicious that you can’t get enough (it happens to the best of us). Of course, a few hours later, when indigestion kicks in, you’ll wonder: “Why did I eat so much?” Before you overdo it, check out our list of foods that kick up heartburn (and why) and ways to cool it down.

Burning Foods
Heartburn is that burning sensation you get when stomach acids jump up into the esophagus. We’ve all had that icky feeling, but you can avoid it but passing on foods that help stoke the fire.

    Some top culprits:

  • Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits and juices made from these fruits tend to cause heartburn, especially when consumed on an empty stomach. If you’re worried about not getting enough vitamin C, choose alternate vitamin C-rich foods that aren’t so acidic such as potatoes, bell peppers and kale.
  • Tomatoes: Though they’re chock full of good-for-you lycopene, the acidity in tomatoes can be irritating for those who are prone to heartburn.
  • Spicy foods: Yep, the old saying is true — spicy foods can trigger heartburn (in some folks). If you’ve ever found yourself with a bit of burn after eating Mexican fare or chili, you might want to opt for less spicy versions of your favorites.
  • Fatty foods: French fries, fried chicken, gravies and creamy sauces are examples of high-fat foods that can bring on the flames. Instead, choose lower-fat options such as grilled chicken or fish with a touch of olive oil.
  • Peppermint and spearmint: An after dinner mint can sooth bad breath, but stir up trouble elsewhere. Both peppermint and spearmint oils tend to relax the muscle that keeps acids in the stomach and make it easier for them to slip back into your esophagus.
  • Alcohol: The holiday season inevitably includes alcohol with all the food, a not-so-friendly combination for heartburn sufferers. A glass of wine isn’t the issue; it’s when you eat tons of foods (including several heartburn-triggering ones) and top the feast with multiple alcoholic drinks. Like the mints mentioned above, alcohol relaxes the muscle between the stomach and esophagus and makes it easy for acids to escape.
  • Chocolate: If you’re a chocolate lover like me, this might come as a shock, but chocolate is on the heartburn list for the same reason as alcohol.

Preventing the Burn
The causes of heartburn vary widely, and the same foods don’t irritate everyone. If you’re not sure what’s triggering yours, keep a food diary to pinpoint the culprit. In the meantime, stick with nonirritating foods. This list published by the Heartburn Alliance can help guide you to better choices.

Meanwhile, if you’re suffering, try these simple ways to help prevent the burn. And if it’s too late and you’ve already got it, we have a few tips to dampen the blaze:

  • Eat smaller meals: If you find yourself having more heartburn than usual, split your large meal into two smaller ones. Have some soup and salad, then wait an hour or two to have the main course.
  • Cut down the alcohol: Stick to one glass of your favorite cocktail, beer or wine, or avoid it completely.
  • Don’t drink liquids at meals: Drink between meals instead of with them. This will fill your stomach less and alleviate some of the discomfort.
  • Wear loose clothing: Tight clothing that presses against your belly just makes it worse.
  • Avoid lying down after eating: Use gravity to your advantage — stand or sit after
  • Medications: Antacids and numerous other over-the-counter medications are always options, but if you find your heartburn worsening, see your doctor.
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Comments (15)

  1. Krikri says:

    The substitution of potatoes and bell peppers makes a great choice. These are foods we eat everyday but presumable know less about their nutritional vale. People see potatoes are meant for carbs but the post highlights its vitamin C properties.

  2. sudarto says:

    I once had a problem on my stomach. I used to eat late time. Finally, my stomach hurt. And healing is very difficult. It takes many years. In addition to the meal could not be late, kind of food should also be safe and healthy.

  3. Lilo says:

    I was eating some delicious yukon gold sauteed potatoes for lunch when checking my emails, and discovered they are good for me!

  4. Nancy says:

    Garlic capsules or apple cider vinegar are excellent for heart burn/indegestion!

  5. Frank Pulitano says:

    I love french fries, what can I eat instead?


    • Suse says:

      Cut the potatoes as you would for fries, pour a little olive oil on a baking pan, and toss the potatoes around the pan to coat, add the seasoning of your choice but for some reason Paprika makes the baked potatoes taste fried to me. Cook in a pre-heated 425 degree oven (if you put them in a cold oven then heat it, the potatoes absorb the oil and just taste soggy.) for 15-30 minutes, the time depennds o the cut and how many are in the pan.

  6. What is the alternative for french fries and hamburger?

  7. Linda says:

    baked sweet potato fries and a buffalo burger. buffalo is much lower in fat than beef.

  8. Reba says:

    A fresh apple and a stick of celery works wonders for acid reflux and calms your stomache naturally. It is a cost effective natural remedy and healthy as well.

  9. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different users like its aided me. Good job.

  10. Jenny says:

    From some days I've suffer my heartburn problem and already I've try some way to reduce my heartburn but not enough handful to me. Your heartburn food conception is very handful to me. That helps me a lot to get relax from this heartburn.

  11. marcie florance says:

    does vinegar actually help? I wondered if it would make the pain a bit worse. Do you take it straight up or dilute it? Thanks, MF

  12. Nancy says:

    Take a TBLSP or so with some water. Make sure its Apple Cider vinegar and not white disstilled. I believe vinegar helps balance the acidity(?), it won't hurt you because its a natural product. My husband and I and other family members have done this for years.

  13. Natalie says:

    I take apple cider vinegar tablets. They really do help! Especially for acid reflux. They sell them in the vitamin isle.

  14. connie says:

    sweet potato fries cut sweet potatoes in strips and bake on a shallow pan

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