3 Foods That Can Cause Heartburn

Heartburn is very uncomfortable for those who suffer from it. It can also lead to reflux, a problem that becomes worse over time. 
3 Foods That Can Cause Heartburn

Last update: 29 March, 2021

Heartburn isn’t only unpleasant, it can also cause esophageal damage if it recurs too often and turns into reflux. This process is closely linked to dietary habits and foods that can cause heartburn. Although there are individuals with a predisposition to this condition.

Hence, we’re going to tell you which foods to avoid if you have a propensity for heartburn. Keep in mind that some habits, such as lying down after eating, can favor the development of this process since they hinder digestion.

Foods that can cause heartburn

The following three foods or meals increase the risk of heartburn within minutes of consumption.

Chilli peppers

People with digestive problems or with structural tube alterations, such as ulcers, should avoid the consumption of hot peppers or other derivatives with this flavor. This is because they stimulate acid secretion, which unbalances the medium’s pH and can cause discomfort.

After this takes place, it’s normal to experience reflux or the sensation of liquid rising up the esophagus. This can cause nausea in the most extreme cases.

A study published by Clinics in Geriatric Medicine has demonstrated that, when this condition occurs frequently, a change is generated in the epithelium of the stomach. This pathology is known as Barret’s esophagus. In addition to digestive consequences, there are those who speculate that this disease could end up as cancer.

Fried food: foods that can cause heartburn

Fried foods can cause heartburn.

Fried foods are characterized by the presence of trans-fatty acids. These have an inflammatory effect and can also cause heavy digestion. Their consumption increases the risk of suffering from heartburn apart from other more serious health problems in the long run.

However, unsaturated lipids have the opposite effect. According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, omega-3 is capable of reducing the spread of helicobacter; one of the causes of gastritis that can also be responsible for heartburn. On the other hand, trans-fatty acids can promote bacterial growth.

Foods with a high content of additives

Most food additives have undergone a safety study. This doesn’t take away the fact that their digestion is incomplete or inefficient in many situations. In fact, there are cases in which the intake of these chemical elements can exert an effect on our pH, making it more acidic.

For this reason, it’s advisable to avoid the consumption of those industrial ultra-processed foods in people with a tendency to suffer from heartburn or reflux problems. Fast food also leads to this same issue due to its content in flavorings and preservatives.

Heartburn remedies

Just as there are foods that can cause heartburn, there are others capable of neutralizing the process. Dairy products are the greatest exponents of this group since they have a basic character that quickly blocks acidic compounds in the stomach and balances our pH.

Dairy products can help neutralize heartburn.

For this reason, one of the dietary strategies for people who frequently have heartburn problems is to drink a small glass of milk after large meals. It reduces the risk of experiencing heartburn, which in turn, reduces any discomfort.

There are even those who take this habit systematically before going to sleep, so as not to wake up in the middle of the night with a feeling of reflux.

You can modulate heartburn with your diet

As you now know, there are foods that increase heartburn and there are others that decrease it. The causes of this process can be several.  However, it’s clear is that the frequent consumption of antacids as a solution method is harmful in the long run. These drugs are capable of increasing the risk of stomach cancer.

Due to this, if you’re prone to heartburn, you need to take care of your diet in order to balance your pH and avoid reflux situations that can be negative if they persist over time. If you have more doubts or suffer from this problem frequently, speak with a doctor to find the origin of the problem.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Otaki F, Iyer PG. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Barrett Esophagus in the Elderly. Clin Geriatr Med. 2021 Feb;37(1):17-29
  • Ikezaki H, Furusyo N, Jacques PF, Shimizu M, Murata M, Schaefer EJ, Urita Y, Hayashi J. Higher dietary cholesterol and ω-3 fatty acid intakes are associated with a lower success rate of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy in Japan. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.