12 & 13.Raw Onion & Garlic
If you’ve recently popped a TUMS, consider telling your waitress to hold the onions. “Some people with heartburn find that it worsens with onion or garlic consumption. Often a small amount of the food will be okay, but larger amounts can cause additional heartburn,” says Rumsey, adding, “It helps to keep a food log and track your eating and your heartburn symptoms to see if these foods affect you or not.”
If you have plans for a happy hours after heartburn comes on, you should either reschedule or plan to stick to water. Alcohol causes the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, Rumsey tells us, which makes it easier for the acidic stomach contents to go back up the esophagus, exacerbating existing symptoms and bringing on new ones.
Eat This! Tip: If you find yourself out on the town after you’ve had heartburn, martinis and beer aren’t the only things you should avoid. Skip the carbonated beverages like soda, which can put pressure on the stomach, forcing stomach acid back up into the esophagus. And don’t light up! Smoking can also make heartburn symptoms a lot worse. It’s partly due to the nicotine, which is thought to relax the muscles in the lower esophagus that keeps acid in the stomach. But the fact that smoking also causes the mouth to make less spit also plays a role.
Sure, the healthy fats in this popular and trendy yogurt variety can boost satiety and help your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, but this isn’t what you should be spooning up if you’ve recently had trouble with heartburn. “Foods high in fat, like full-fat yogurt, can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Very high-fat foods also delay stomach emptying, which can also contribute to reflux,” Rumsey explains.
Since both fiery spices and dietary fat make heartburn symptoms worse, consider buffalo wings a Not That! after you’ve experienced pain in your chest or throat. “Spicy foods can trigger acid reflux, but that doesn’t mean spicy foods are out forever. Just be cautious if it irritates your stomach. Keeping a food journal can help determine which foods you eat cause uncomfortable symptoms,” says Koszyk. If you love wings, then you won’t want to miss our revealing report about worst restaurant chicken wings—ranked!
If you’ve recently experienced that horrible burning sensation in your chest or throat, keep that pint of ice cream where it belongs: in the freezer. “Foods high in fat, like ice cream, cause the ring of muscles in the lower esophagus to relax. When that happens, acid can trickle up and cause a burning sensation, contributing to reflux,” explains Rumsey.
People tend to forget that baked goods like donuts, cookies, and brownies don’t just have sugar. Many of them have tons of fat, too. And since high-fat foods take longer to digest, they tend to bring on heartburn and worsen existing symptoms, explains Koszyk. “It’s best to eat a smaller portion, eat slowly, or don’t eat it at all if you think there’s a chance they can cause more discomfort.” Even if heartburn isn’t an issue, always steer clear of worst supermarket cookies anyway!