Acid reflux can be painful. Burning in the throat, pressure in the chest, tension in the stomach… The symptoms go on and on, and they often don’t truly go away until you fall asleep.
Acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn, occurs when contents of the stomach travel back up through the esophagus. Since your stomach is so acidic, this process can result in an intense burning sensation and cause severe distress.
The condition is all too common. People who are overweight or pregnant are more likely to experience the pain, but really everyone is at risk. Even the youngest, healthiest of people can become afflicted — all it takes is one tiny trigger to set off a scorching episode.
Some foods are more common triggers than others. The last thing you want is to set yourself up for failure with a food that triggers heartburn. Get in the know about which foods you should avoid if you experience acid reflux.
It may be the greatest thing that ever happened to breakfast, but it’s one of the worst things that’s ever happened to your esophagus. The high fat content in pork and bacon makes them more difficult for you to digest, causing it to hang around in your stomach for longer. Opt for more easily digested lean meats instead.
Black pepper is a strong seasoning, and a little bit goes a long way. The more heavily seasoned a dish is, the more likely it is to cause heartburn. Avoid adding additional pepper to restaurant dishes and try cooking with other more mild spices on your own.
Foods with a higher fat content take longer for your body to digest. Therefore, cooking with butter can pile on your risk of acid reflux and your risk of eating too many saturated fats. Try cooking with oils and cooking spray instead.
Added sugars are one of the worst culprits for chronic heartburn. While natural sugars from fruit, honey, and maple syrup haven’t shown a correlation to acid reflux, overly sweetened candies and added sugars in soda have. Stick to natural sweeteners to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The bubbles from carbonated beverages expand even more inside your stomach. This puts pressure on your esophagus and can push food and liquid back up. While all carbonated drinks put you at risk for reflux, colas are particularly acidic and therefore much more dangerous.