Fried food – A southerner’s worst enemy. The same fried foods that we love to eat in the south are brutal for someone with acid reflux. These foods retain a lot of oil in the coating. Foods high in fat such as fried foods take a longer time to digest, which in turn puts pressure on your stomach and esophagus. With your stomach staying full for longer, it increases the risk of heartburn.
Mint – Have you heard of mints being able to settle upset stomachs? This may be true, but this herb can also worsen heartburn. When looking for natural ways to treat heartburn, try ginger.
Spicy food – Some people find that after eating spicy food, there is massive heartburn. Others find that eating spicy foods may help to calm chronic heartburn. The spice in foods can affect the acid levels in your stomach. This creates somewhat of a hostile environment that can promote acid reflux. Try to reduce the spice in your food if you find that it triggers heartburn.
Cheese – Any foods that are high in fats, like cheese, can delay digestion by sitting in your stomach. This puts pressure on your LES and can let acid in. Gouda, Parmesan, cream cheese, stilton, and cheddar are high in fat. Cottage cheese, ricotta, and other cheeses have reduced fat. Don’t order or cook anything with a cheese sauce if you are not looking for heartburn!
Tomatoes – These juicy little red things can trigger heartburn. Fresh or canned, they can be high in acid. If you struggle with heartburn while eating foods with tomatoes, try cooking without them and consider other foods that stem from tomatoes that may cause the same heartburn, like salsa or ketchup.
Chocolate – The 1, 2, 3 threat. 1 – Chocolate is high in fat, taking longer to digest. 2 – It’s high in caffeine, which relaxes the LES and allows stomach acid to creep up. 3 – Chocolate is a relaxant, releasing pleasure hormones in your body. This can relax the LES. Pregnant women, chocolate may not always be your friend. Be cautious of eating chocolate if you’re trying to stay away from heartburn.
Garlic – Onion and garlic, part of every meal in the south. These are common triggers for people who suffer from heartburn. Although garlic may be good for some people to eat when they have upset stomachs, try eliminating garlic and onion to see if it helps to relieve heartburn.
Oranges – Citrus fruits are high in acid content. When trying to eat healthier, reach for non-citrus fruits, like apples, bananas, melon or berries. If you have to have citrus fruits, have them earlier in the day. No one wants to go to sleep with heartburn, so it is better to try to get it out of your system earlier.
Butter – Now we just know that people hate southern culture. First fried food, then spicy food, then tomatoes and now the butter. Fatty foods such as butter can cause heartburn. Try using a nonstick pan and a touch of cooking spray. You may also try grilling and steaming your foods. Instead of adding butter to the tops of your food, try herbs instead for flavor.
Candy – Sugar, although delicious, is a bad choice if you’re struggling with heartburn. Candy can cause acid reflux. Some candies, especially those with Vitamin C for flavor, can make candy very acidic, which is dangerous when trying to avoid heartburn.
Here you can learn more about the Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD Diet .