20 Foods That Cause Heartburn, Reflux, and Burning

Some foods such as onions, beer, peppers or coffee can cause heartburn, reflux or burning. This is due to the presence of certain substances, such as caffeine and alcohol, which irritate the stomach, causing gastric contents to return to the esophagus.

However, the foods that cause these symptoms can vary from person to person, and you should always seek guidance from a nutritionist to identify which foods are causing the discomfort. In general, having a healthy and balanced diet helps prevent and improve discomfort. See how to follow a diet to relieve reflux .

When heartburn and burning symptoms are very frequent, it is important to consult a gastroenterologist who will evaluate the symptoms presented and indicate the most appropriate treatment, which may include the use of medications that reduce the production of gastric acid.

Main foods

The main foods that can cause heartburn, reflux and burning are:

1. Coffee

Coffee can worsen reflux symptoms because it is rich in caffeine, a substance that irritates the stomach lining and increases the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, which is the muscle that keeps the lower part of the esophagus closed, preventing food and gastric acid from returning to the esophagus.

Other drinks that contain caffeine and should be avoided are black tea, green tea and mate tea, for example. Check out other foods that contain caffeine .

2. Beer

The alcohol present in beer causes irritation to the lining of the esophagus and stomach, as well as relaxing the esophageal sphincter, causing symptoms of heartburn and burning.

Additionally, other alcoholic beverages, such as wine, whiskey, and vodka, also stimulate the production of acid by the stomach, increasing the risk of heartburn.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate, especially white and milk chocolate, is rich in fats, so it is digested more slowly, delaying gastric emptying and increasing the production of acid in the stomach.

In addition, chocolate also contains caffeine, which irritates the stomach lining, and theobromine, a substance that stimulates the production of serotonin in the body, a hormone that increases the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, causing or worsening reflux symptoms.

4. Citrus fruits

Citrus, or acidic, fruits such as orange, pineapple, passion fruit, kiwi and acerola, are rich in acids that can increase stomach acidity and relax the esophageal sphincter, worsening heartburn and burning symptoms in some people.

Read also: Acidic fruits: what they are and how they affect the stomachtuasaude.com/fruits-acid

5. Peanuts

Despite being very healthy, peanuts are an oilseed rich in fats, which increases their digestion time in the stomach, stimulating the production of gastric acids and, therefore, can cause or worsen the symptoms of reflux and heartburn, especially if consumed in large quantities.

6. Onion

Onions, especially when raw, cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and can irritate the stomach of some people, causing heartburn and burning, which can also affect the throat and chest.

7. Avocado

Because it is rich in fats, avocado is a food that takes longer to be digested in the stomach, increasing the production of gastric acids and thus being able to cause symptoms such as burning and heartburn in some people, especially when consumed in large quantities.

8. Peppers

Peppers such as cayenne, black or black pepper contain capsaicin, a component that causes an increase in the production of acid by the stomach, leading to symptoms of reflux, heartburn, burning or stomach pain.

9. Ice cream

Ice cream is a food rich in fats, which increase the time it takes for food to be digested in the stomach, causing or worsening symptoms of reflux and heartburn.

Furthermore, ice cream is rich in sugar, a type of simple carbohydrate that reduces the contraction of the esophageal sphincter, facilitating the passage of stomach acid into the esophagus and causing reflux.

10. Tomato

Tomatoes and foods made from this vegetable, such as tomato sauce, tomato juice, or ketchup, contain high levels of malic and citric acid, substances that irritate the stomach lining and can cause heartburn, burning, or reflux in some people.

11. French fries

Because they are a food rich in fat, French fries stimulate the production of acid by the stomach and the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which increases the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. This causes stomach acid to return to the esophagus and cause reflux, heartburn, burning, indigestion and a feeling of bloating.

In addition to French fries, other fried foods that also cause heartburn and burning include pastries, coxinha and breaded foods in general.

12. Soda

Soda contains chemicals such as citric acid and phosphoric acid, which increase stomach acidity, worsening or causing symptoms of heartburn, reflux or a burning sensation.

In addition, the carbon dioxide that produces the fizz in soda also increases pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter, causing stomach acids to reflux into the esophagus.

13. Bacon

Bacon causes symptoms such as heartburn and burning because it is a food rich in fat, which is why it is digested more slowly in the stomach and stimulates the production of acid in the stomach.

14. Mint and Peppermint

Mint and peppermint, when consumed daily or in large quantities, can cause irritation of the esophageal mucosa, increasing gastroesophageal reflux and the burning sensation.

15. Coconut

Because it contains a high fat content, coconut is a food that stimulates the production of gastric acid and therefore can cause symptoms such as heartburn, burning and reflux, especially when consumed in large quantities.

16. Sugar

Sugar is a type of simple carbohydrate that promotes relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, facilitating the passage of stomach acid into the esophagus and thus causing reflux and heartburn. Learn about other foods rich in simple carbohydrates .

17. Whole milk

Whole milk is rich in fats that increase digestion time, favoring the production of acids in the stomach and causing burning and heartburn in some people.

18. Garlic

Garlic can irritate the stomach lining and stimulate the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, causing reflux, heartburn, and burning in some people.

19. Sparkling water

Sparkling water can cause heartburn and reflux because it contains carbon dioxide, a chemical that increases the pressure of the esophageal sphincter, thus stimulating the return of stomach acids to the esophagus.

20. Yellow cheeses

Because they are foods rich in fat, full-fat cheeses such as gouda, gorgonzola, cheddar and parmesan take longer to be digested, increasing the production of acids in the stomach and causing heartburn and burning.

What to eat for heartburn, reflux and burning

Some foods recommended for heartburn, reflux and burning are:

  • Vegetables,such as broccoli, lettuce, carrots, arugula, zucchini, beetroot and chayote;
  • Fruits,such as banana, apple, pear, grape, mango, papaya, watermelon and melon;
  • Lean proteins,such as chicken, eggs, fish, tofu and turkey;
  • Legumes,such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and soybeans;
  • Low-fat dairy products,such as skim milk, low-fat yogurt and white cheeses;
  • Tubers,such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams and taro;
  • Beveragessuch as water, caffeine-free teas and decaffeinated coffee;
  • Natural herbssuch as oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme.

 

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