5 foods that are known to trigger a heartburn condition

The lower esophageal sphincter acts as a barrier to prevent stomach acid from passing into the esophagus under normal conditions. The ring-shaped muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter closes by itself and only opens when you belch or swallow.

However, this isn’t the case for those who have acid reflux because their muscles are frequently weaker, which is one of the reasons why they frequently get heartburn.

Nevertheless, doctors assert that you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) if you have heartburn more frequently than twice a week. It’s also crucial to remember that heartburn is not a requirement for having GERD.

All the same, some things are known to cause heartburn, and they include alcohol, some medications, specific foods, and pregnancy.

Here are some of the foods that are known to cause heartburn:

1. Citrus fruits

As surprising as it sounds, oranges, grapefruits, and orange juice are classic heartburn foods.

And according to the founder of the Digestive Centre for Women in Chevy Chase, Md. and a gastroenterologist at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C. Robynne Chuktan, MD, the aforementioned fruits are very acidic and more likely to cause heartburn as a result of their nature when consumed on an empty stomach.

2. High-fat foods

However, studies have shown that there are two ways high-fat foods can trigger heartburn.

First, they may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that acts as a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. When this muscle relaxes, stomach acid can escape from the stomach into the esophagus and cause heartburn.

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Second, high-fat foods stimulate the release of the hormone cholecystokinin. This hormone may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause acid reflux.

5 foods that are known to trigger a heartburn condition

3. Spicy food

Recent studies have shown that spicy foods often contain a compound called capsaicin, which may slow the rate of digestion.

And when this happens, foods are likely to sit in the stomach longer than usual, which is a risk factor for heartburn.

For example, one study showed that consuming chili that contained chili powder slowed the rate of digestion. In addition, spicy foods may irritate an already inflamed esophagus, and this can worsen heartburn symptoms.

Thus, it is advisable to reduce your intake of spicy foods if you’re prone to heartburn.

4. Onion

Although the health benefits of onion are priceless, studies have shown that it is a common trigger for heartburn, especially when it is consumed raw.

And this is because it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, which may cause acid reflux and symptoms of heartburn.

Recent studies have also shown that onions are a rich source of fermentable fiber, which may cause belching; and belching can aggravate acid reflux symptoms.

5. Milk

Although milk is commonly consumed to treat heartburn, studies have shown that drinking whole milk may actually cause symptoms, instead of relief.

As a matter of fact, a recent research suggests that whole milk may increase stomach acid production, which is a risk factor for heartburn.

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