Top Foods That Cause Heartburn


Heartburn, or acid reflux as it is often called, is an exceptionally debilitating complaint.  It is often worse when lying down, which is why sleeping may be difficult.  It occurs when acid leaves the stomach and travels up into the esophagus.  There are many foods that cause heartburn, and each individual has different triggers.  Stress, certain medication, obesity and pregnancy are also causes of heartburn.  Nearly half of all pregnant women will suffer from heartburn during the second and third trimester.

It takes a while to discover which foods cause heartburn in an individual, that is why it is an excellent plan to keep a food diary which lists absolutely everything that is eaten, so the offending items can then be eliminated from the diet.


There are many foods that cause heartburn, and high on the list are all fried foods because of their high fat content.  These should always be avoided, not just because of the heartburn aspect, but also because fried foods are generally bad for your health.

One of the other foods that cause heartburn due to their fat content, is dairy.  Cheese and butter in particular have a high fat content, so a low fat cheese should be substituted for mature cheddar or eliminated altogether. Another culprit is meat – lamb, pork and beef all have a high fat content, so these meats should be eaten only once a week.  A better alternative is grilled fish or chicken.

Another of the foods that cause heartburn is most people’s favorite – chocolate.  Chocolate not only has a high fat content, but it also contains caffeine, which is another trigger for heartburn.  Theobromine is also a heartburn trigger which is present in chocolate.  All chocolate contains cocoa and sadly that is another ingredient which causes heartburn.  So chocolate is high on the list of foods that cause heartburn.


Spicy food is also on the list of foods that cause heartburn.  Mexican food, which is full of pepper and chili, and Indian food which has lots of curry spices should be avoided.  Perhaps cut it out completely or eat much milder versions of the same food and see if it makes a difference.


Many people are fine with eating onion and garlic but for some it is another trigger for heartburn.  This is why it is good to keep a diary of what it eaten, and when the attacks occur, in order to pinpoint what the triggers are.


The high acid content in tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes, makes them one of the foods that cause heartburn.


Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits have a high acid content and could trigger off an attack.  However, lemon juice has the opposite effect as it is alkaline.


Any food or drink which contains caffeine can cause heartburn.  That not only includes coffee, tea and cola drinks but also pastries, cakes and desserts which contain caffeine, such as coffee and chocolate cakes.

Fizzy or carbonated drinks should also be avoided.  It is not only the caffeine in cola drinks that cause problems but also the bubbles in the beverages which expand once they are in the stomach.  This adds to the pressure which causes heartburn.

Another in the list of foods that cause heartburn is alcohol.  Alcohol in a dessert will have just the same effect as drinking it.  Alcohol allows the valve at the base of the esophagus, where is goes into the stomach, to relax.  This obviously exacerbates the problem.

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