By Melinda Hershey, Health Educator
If you're trying to keep heartburn at bay, there are certain foods you should avoid. Here are 10 of the biggest heartburn offenders to watch out for!
Cheese, french fries, steak and other fatty foods slow digestion and can cause added pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)--which makes heartburn symptoms worse. Cut back on your portions of rich foods to alleviate your symptoms.
Onions and garlic are two of the most common heartburn triggers since they are found in so many types of cuisines. From restaurant meals to jarred and canned goods, it's important to check whether onions and garlic are used as a base if you're a heartburn sufferer.
Tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste are all highly acidic—so put down the pizza, salsa and pasta sauce! In fact, try to stay from sauces altogether, since many canned and bottled versions tend to have a high acid content for preservation reasons.
A combination of acid and carbonation makes soda and other bubbly drinks a no-no for those with frequent heartburn. Swap out your soda for fruit-infused water—you'll save yourself calories and indigestion!
Although peppermint is know for soothing an upset tummy, it actually stimulates acid production and can make heartburn worse. Forgo that after-dinner mint or chewing gum to stop heartburn in its tracks.
Spicy foods are a classic heartburn trigger. Try ordering milder versions of your fiery favorites, or learn to make your own using tamer substitutions.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit are high in acid, which can aggravate heartburn. If you can't go without your glass of orange juice in the morning, check your grocery for a ''low acid'' version. Additionally, try not to consume citrus fruits on an empty stomach.
Sad, but true--chocolate tends to loosen the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which encourages more acid to escape and cause heartburn. Ease up on the sweet stuff for sweeter relief.
Alcohol causes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, which can trigger heartburn. Alcohol can also lower inhibitions, causing you to indulge in other heartburn-inducing foods like cheesy pizza or deep-fried French fries.
Caffeine can be a big trigger for heartburn, so go easy on coffee, tea and caffeinated beverages (think cola). However, heartburn responses vary by individual, so cut back to what works for you. Maybe try having one cup of coffee per day instead of your usual three, and see how you feel from there.
You will earn 5 SparkPoints