Foods usually do not cause heartburn, but they can aggravate your condition and cause symptoms. Certain foods can cause symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows digestive juices to splash up into the esophagus, thus irritating the esophagus.
Everyone reacts to foods differently, so keep track of the foods you eat and your symptoms. Share this information with your doctor.
The foods that most commonly cause symptoms of heartburn include:
Acidic foods, such as:
- Citrus foods: oranges, grapefruits, and their juices
- Tomatoes and tomato products
Fatty or greasy foods, such as:
- Whole-milk dairy products, including cream
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
Some herbal products (eg, peppermint tea)
Be careful not to overeat and do not lie down right after eating. Both of these actions can cause heartburn symptoms. Give your body time to digest. Also, try to avoid late meals.
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American College of Gastroenterology. The American College of Gastroenterology website. Available at: http://www.gi.org/ . Accessed June 30, 2008.
Duyff RL. The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide . 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2006.
DynaMed Editors. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated June 14, 2010. Accessed June 16, 2010.