Taking a TUMS isn’t the only thing that helps. Consider staying away from these common foods when you’re suffering from heartburn.
If you’ve ever experienced a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat after downing a giant burrito at Chipotle, you’re definitely not alone. About 60 million Americans experience heartburn, or acid reflux, at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
To fight back, most of us simply pop an antacid and go on with our day. But have you ever noticed that sometimes your symptoms come crawling back, even after you’ve had a TUMS? And then the meds work just fine at other times? If you’re nodding your head “yes,” it’s likely because of what you’ve eaten after self-medicating.
According to the National Institutes of Health, certain foods exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms by carrying additional acid into the stomach and up into the esophagus, making you feel even more miserable.
Not only is this super uncomfortable, over time reflux can damage the esophagus, so it’s important to know how to identify these sneaky culprits so you can nip your heartburn in the bud!
To help you out, we’ve identified some of the top offenders below.
If a bout of acid reflux comes on after your afternoon snack, you’ll definitely want to steer clear of burgers, meatloaf, and anything else made with beef when dinner rolls around. The reason: beef tends to be high in saturated fat, which tends to linger in the stomach. ,
Eat This! Tip: If you absolutely must have beef, Koszyk suggests buying a leaner cut of meat or 93% fat-free ground beef to reduce the risk. “Portion size also matters so skip the one pound burger and go for the quarter pound,” she adds.
2 & 3Citrus Fruits & Juices
Typically wash down your antacid with a glass of OJ or grapefruit juice? Big mistake. “Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are acidic, so they can cause heartburn or make symptoms worse, especially when consumed on an empty stomach,” explains Alissa Rumsey MS, RD, CSCS.
Sad but true: your post-dinner chocolate fix is probably making your acid reflux symptoms worse. And yes, that holds true even if it’s the heart-healthy dark variety. “Chocolate is high in fat and contains caffeine which has been suggested to be a trigger for acid reflux,” says Koszyk. “If you just can’t deny that chocolate fix, eat a small portion since fattier food takes longer to digest. The longer the food stays in the stomach, the higher risk of getting reflux.” And once you’re feeling better, don’t miss our report on the best dark chocolates to ensure you’re picking the very best bar for your waistline and health.
After a bout of heartburn, chips are not your friend. “The oils and high-fat content found in chips can trigger acid reflux and make existing symptoms worse,” cautions Koszyk. “Watch your portion size and how fast you eat the chips, too. If you scarf them down quickly, they may sit in your stomach longer which can trigger additional reflux.”