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Foods That Trigger Heartburn

Foods That Trigger Heartburn Foods That Trigger Heartburn Foods That Trigger Heartburn

Anyone who has experienced heartburn---a burning, esophageal pain that can extend from chest to the jaw---knows it's best avoided. A symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn can result in a cough or asthma-like symptoms. Often, it occurs after eating an overly large meal or after consuming a meal that contains offending foods. Because eating certain foods can lead to heartburn, it's a good idea to watch what you eat---and avoid triggers---when you're predisposed to the condition.

Spicy Foods

Although they've been shown to have certain benefits, fiery foods are believed to lead to heartburn among those who are already prone. That includes chili and many Mexican and Indian dishes. This is thought to be particularly true of foods containing hot capsicum peppers. However, mild versions of traditionally spicy foods may not cause ill effects.

Acidic Foods

Citrus fruit---be it grapefruit, oranges or orange juice---can be a major trigger of heartburn symptoms. This is especially true when ingested on an empty stomach. Tomatoes, while rich with lycopene, are very acidic and may bring on a bout of heartburn, as well. The same can be said of pickled foods.

Alcohol, Caffeine and Fatty Foods

Alcohol---particularly when ingested in conjunction with high-acid foods---is known to irritate the gastric system, while fatty foods---such as cheese, avocados and nuts---relax the lower esophageal sphincter. This, in turn, leads to heartburn. Fat also delays stomach emptying, another situation that can lead to heartburn. Caffeine---found in tea, chocolate, soda and coffee---is a recognized irritant, too.

The Rest

Anything that relaxes the sphincter muscle, which is positioned between the stomach and esophagus, can cause heartburn. Mint does just that, so it's best avoided. Some sufferers of heartburn also point to garlic and onion as instigators.

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