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Heartburn Diet

Foods to Avoid on a Heartburn Diet

There are certain types of food that can cause acid reflux or make it worse. As part of your diet for heartburn, you may want to avoid:
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Fried and fatty foods
  • Tomato products
  • Foods and drinks that contain caffeine
  • Alcoholic beverages.
Coffee and alcohol actually stimulate your stomach to make more acid than usual. Alcohol, chocolate, and fatty foods are believed to cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken. A weak lower esophageal sphincter combined with too much stomach acid can increase the symptoms of heartburn.
There are also other foods that may make your symptoms worse. These include:
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mustard
  • Certain spices
  • Vinegar
  • Carbonated beverages like soda
  • Citrus fruits and juices.
The first step in starting a diet for heartburn is to know the foods that can lead to heartburn or make your symptoms worse. The next step is avoiding the foods that cause your problems. If you love pasta with tomato sauce, see if this meal worsens your heartburn symptoms. If it does not, then this may be a food that you can continue to have as part of your diet.

Changing When and How Much You Eat

As part of your diet for heartburn, you should also change when and how much you eat. Eating smaller and more frequent meals is the first change. This is important to do, because large meals can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax more, make your stomach produce more acid, and put pressure on the sphincter from inside your stomach.
You should also not eat for at least two to three hours before bedtime, and you should avoid lying down after any meal. Acid reflux is less likely to be a problem when you are standing up, because gravity helps prevent food and acid from moving back up into your esophagus. Also, by not eating right before bedtime, your stomach is more likely to start empty the next day, so the levels of acid and food should be lower.

Heartburn Information

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