The 3 Worst Foods for Heartburn (#3 Will Surprise You)

Heartburn is when you have a burning feeling in your throat and chest. This is usually caused by stomach acid traveling backward through your esophagus, which is called acid reflux. If this happens to you a lot, there are certain foods you should avoid. These three foods have always been the worst for me:

1. Tacos and Nachos

Spicy foods can do a real number on your stomach and esophagus. Drive-thru tacos, burritos and chili can be tempting, but if you have heartburn, I guarantee you’ll end up paying for it later. Why is Mexican food so bad for reflux?

For one thing, jalapenos and other spicy peppers (including chili powder) make your stomach
take longer to digest food. A lot of Mexican fast food also has tons of fat, from fried tortillas and different kinds of cheeses to slow-cooked beef and guacamole. The longer this fatty food sits in the stomach, the higher the chance of heartburn. Plus, if your esophagus is already irritated, spicy foods make the burn much worse. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Mexican food at all. Make some grilled fajitas at home with chicken and sauteed veggies. Eat fish tacos with soft shells instead of fried ones. Remember to lay off the hot peppers and you’ll be fine.

2. Coffee

Say it ain’t so, Joe. Having to cut back on coffee was a sad surprise for me, but better a broken heart than suffering from heartburn. Any caffeinated beverage, including coffee, green tea, soda and energy drinks, can provoke acid reflux. They relax the valve that’s supposed to prevent food from going back into the esophagus, which causes stomach acid to leak through.

However, caffeine doesn’t have this effect on everyone. Some people can drink coffee just fine, but orange juice causes a strong heartburn attack. Other people have problems with red wine. If you’re having heartburn a lot, do an experiment. Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks for just one week. If your symptoms improve significantly, then coffee may be one of your acid reflux triggers. Personally, I haven’t stopped drinking coffee, but now I limit myself to one cup a day.

3. Pizza

Everybody loves pizza. Americans eat about 3 billion pizzas a year, or 46 slices of pizza per
person. Sadly, if you have heartburn, pizza doesn’t love you back. This easy, cheesy, grilled and delicious Italian favorite combines several of the worst foods for heartburn all in one:

• Tomato sauce
• Cheese
• High-fat meats
• Lots of salt

Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus are one of the most common triggers for acid reflux. They increase the amount of gastric acid in your stomach, making it easier for heartburn to happen. High-fat meats and cheeses take a long time to digest, putting extra pressure on your esophageal valve and pushing stomach acid upwards.

What Else To Avoid

Preventing heartburn often means changing how and when you eat. A stomach that’s completely stuffed is more likely to have acid reflux problems. Also, try to avoid eating anything at least two hours before lying down for bed.

The best way to avoid heartburn is to learn your personal triggers and avoid them. You may not need to cut foods out of your diet completely. Just eat less of them, swap high-fat ingredients for low-fat ones, and don’t snack at night.

Samantha - August 9, 2020

I am so “far over the hill” that I am actually seeing the end of life, with all it’s concerns, looming quite close. I decided to switch to a vegan diet low in acidity and fats to help my chronic heartburn, and found a recipe for “notomato” sauce that is a great substitute for the usual pasta sauce. I was about to add a dollop of red wine to the sauce (for flavor) when a friend reminded me of the acidity in wine. So you may want to add wine to your list of things to avoid.

C. Russell - August 11, 2020

Thanks for info. I was aware of these triggers, but I know there are many who do not.

Tholakele - September 3, 2020

Thank you so much for this valuable info. I didn’t know coffee is that bad. What happens if you add a little baking soda? I read this somewhere but when I tried it, it changed the taste.
Thank you again for mentioning all the triggers.

Doreen - October 13, 2020

Try seeing a health practitioner. Many times a person is low in hydrochloric acid, especially as we age.
This can also cause heartburn.

Comments are closed