Diet PlansGastrointestinal & Respiratory

Foods That Make Heart Burn Worst

Diet plays an important role in heartburn. Many foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows food to escape into the esophagus and cause heartburn

The acidic taste in your throat and the fiery feeling in your chest. The chronic restless cough and the difficulty swallowing , these are common symptoms of the acid reflex.

It is best described as a painful, or a burning sensation that occurs in lower chest area.
Heartburn is very common symptom of acid re-flux, a condition where the stomach acid escapes into esophagus(the tube that delivers food and beverages to your stomach)
Normally, the stomach acid cannot escape into esophagus because of the barrier called lower esophageal sphincter. This is a ring of muscle that naturally stays closed, and normally only opens when you swallow or do belch
However, in the people with the acid reflex, this muscle is often weakened. This is one of reason why people with the acid reflex experience heartburn .Diet plays an important role in the heartburn.

Foods That Cause Heartburn

1. Onions


Onions, are nutritious, contain a ferment-able fiber the fructooligosaccharides, which may relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the reflex.
One study compared the people’s symptoms after consuming the burger with raw onions compared to one without the onion-eaters had significantly more heartburn.

2. Booze


Alcohol also relaxes that sphincter, triggering the heartburn in the process.
While findings in this area are controversial and varied, many studies have found that the drinking in excess may increase risk of reflux, especially since the excessive alcohol intake can directly damage esophageal and gastric mucosal lining. It’s not surprising, then, that in survey of heartburn sufferers, as many as 67 percent of the respondents felt that booze was to blame.

3. Peppermint


Peppermint is thought to reduce the lower esophageal sphincter tension, which makes it easier for the stomach acids to creep up. One study found that the eight percent of heartburn patients reported complaints after consuming the peppermint, and a large systematic review reported heartburn as one of major side effects of the peppermint consumption.

Researchers believe that the spearmint may cause heartburn by irritating the lining of esophagus
Another study of more than the 500 people found that those who consumed the peppermint tea daily had twice risk of heartburn

4. Chocolate


Chocolate contains both the caffeine and the theobromine, both of which can cause lower esophageal sphincter to relax and allow the stomach acid to escape.

One study also found that in comparison to the simple sugar solution, the chocolate significantly increased the heartburn symptoms within just an hour of indulging.

5. Salty Snacks

salty snacks

The research on salt and the reflex is not really working in our favor. One study found that the people who ate the salted foods three times or more each week increased their risk of the heartburn by up to 50 percent!
Another study found that the risk of the acid re-flux increased as much as 70 percent in people who added salt to their food, suggesting that we could really stand to take salt shaker off  table.

6. Fatty Meats

fatty meats

Fat stimulates release of  hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which has been shown to relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause the re-flux. It can also delay the gastric emptying as fat is digested and absorbed slower than other foods, increasing  likelihood that stomach acids get up in our body
One study looked at a wide range of the dietary considerations and found that cholesterol, the saturated animal fats, as well as the fat, in general, were some of most likely perceived culprits of the reflux symptoms.

7. Full-Fat Dairy

full-fat dairy

low-fat dairy doesn’t seem to have the same effect, so reach for the non-fat or low-fat options if you find it bothers you.

People commonly consume the milk to treat heartburn. However, the drinking whole milk may actually cause the symptoms, not relieve them
In fact, the research suggests that whole milk may increase the stomach acid production, which is a risk factor for the heartburn .
In one study of almost 400 people with the heartburn, approximately 38% reported the heartburn symptoms after drinking whole milk.

8. Coffee


Coffee may help perk you up, it actually may do opposite to our esophageal functions, relaxing lower esophageal sphincter and increasing risk of re-flux.

One report found that about one-quarter of the heartburn sufferers found the coffee caused them pain. While one study found a significant decline in the heartburn symptoms with the decaffeination, they also found that just adding caffeine to the water didn’t cause the ill effects, signaling that there are likely other factors, like the acidity.

9. Tomatoes



70 percent of the heartburn sufferers citing tomatoes or tomato juice as cause, it’s not surprising that these antioxidant-rich made the list.
While tomato juice is the notoriously acidic, one study found that the patients experienced the reflux symptoms even when pH of the drink was adjusted to the neutral.

10. Citrus Juice

citrus juice

Anyone who is prone to heartburn and reflux knows how easily a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice can ruin an otherwise lovely Sunday brunch.
With natural acidity, the range and grapefruit juices are among some of biggest heartburn offenders, with 67 percent of one survey’s participants citing them as the literal pain.

Another study found the grapefruit juice to have worst effect out of all other drinks and juices. If you love your citrus, try watering it down and adding single shot to tall glass of water.

A study of 382 people with heartburn, 67% of the participants experienced heartburn after the consuming orange juice
In another study of approximately 400 people with the heartburn, 73% experienced the heartburn after drinking orange or grapefruit juice. The findings suggested that amount of acid in citrus juices responsible for causing the heartburn symptoms

11. Spicy Food

spicy food

Spicy foods are the notorious for causing heartburn.
They often contain a compound called the capsaicin, which may slow rate of digestion. This means the food will sit in stomach longer, which is the risk factor for heartburn .
One study showed that consuming chili that contained chili powder slowed rate of digestion
In addition, the spicy foods may irritate an already inflamed esophagus, and this can worsen the heartburn symptoms
Therefore, it’s best to reduce your intake of the spicy foods if you have the heartburn.



Consuming the table salt or salty foods may increase the reflux, a risk factor for heartburn.
For instance, one study found that the people who added the table salt to their meals had 70% higher risk of the re-flux than people who never added the salt.
The same study also found that the people who consumed the salted foods at least three times a week had a 50% higher risk of re-flux than the people who never ate the salted foods

13. Sodas And Carbonated Beverages

sodas and carbonated beverages

Sodas and the carbonated beverages are also the common culprits of heartburn.

In one study, the scientists observed sleeping patterns of more than 15,000 people, finding that approximately 25% experienced the nighttime heartburn.

Another study found that the people who consumed the carbonated beverages had a 69% higher risk of developing the re-flux symptoms like heartburn

Foods That Relieve Heartburn Symptoms

1. Gum


Research has shown that the chewing sugar-free bicarbonate gum can help the increase saliva production and clear esophagus of the painful acids. We recommend keeping a pack handy in case any of  offending foods mentioned make it onto your plate

2. Whole-Grain Bread

whole grain bread

One study found that the participants who ate higher fiber bread were twice as likely to relieve their heartburn symptoms than those who ate the lower fiber bread.
While exact rationale for this association is largely unknown, it’s believed that the fiber reduces the nitrites in stomach that otherwise play a role in relaxing sphincter.

3. Fruits And Vegetables

fruits and vegetables

You know you don’t need another reason to get fruit and veggie fix, but hey, here it goes. In addition to providing the healthy dose of that the reflux-reducing fiber, produce also is rich in the vitamins A, C, and E, which have the protective effect against reflux thanks to their antioxidant properties. Just be sure to avoid any of higher acid veggies like oranges, lemons, citrus, and tomatoes. (source) (source)


The good news is that about the 95 percent of sufferers can trace the symptoms back to particular food, meaning, with the little detective work, you can figure out what to eat and what to avoid. We’ve gone ahead and done some of grunt work for you. Try to build burn-free meal by avoiding these common foods that cause the heartburn.Diet plays an important role in heartburn

For more related articles click below:

What Are The Common Risk Factors For GERD

How To Treat Acid Re-flux!

How To Test Food Adulteration At Home

Is organic food really that good for health?

Best Foods For Your Skin To Glow

Self life hacks

Doctor by profession and blogger by passion

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