If you want to avoid having to turn to natural antacids or digestion aids take a close look at the foods that are known to cause heartburn and consider some of the foods that you might not expect to give you heartburn or stomach problems.
Foods Causing You Stomach Problems
There are certain foods that many of us eat and regret later because we experience stomach problems afterwards. This is much the same with heartburn. Spicy food for example is known to cause heartburn if it is consumed in large portions. Below is a list of other foods that are considered the worst offenders when it comes to causing heartburn.
• Fried foods (French fries, battered fish)
• Acidic foods (tomato puree or tomato sauce)
• Caffeine induced foods (coffee or chocolate)
• Carbonated drinks (soda pop)
• Alcohol (wine, beer, spirits)
• Fast food (burgers, hotdogs, pizza)
According to family physicians the above food items can create stomach problems for some people first and then heartburn follows. There have even been cases where people have thought they were having a heart attack and have been rushed to the hospital only to discover it was simply something they ate that triggered the burning and pain in their chest.
If you have a sweet tooth you might experience heartburn. Sugars force the body to produce acid and acid can cause heartburn. When you regularly consume foods that are high in fructose corn syrup you can expect to increase your risk of heartburn so it is wise to read the labels on all the products you purchase from the grocery store.
Interestingly, years ago people would pop a peppermint candy in their mouths to fight heartburn, but now experts, including staff at the Mayo clinic report that peppermint is a leading cause of heartburn.
Fish oil has been promoted as a preventer of heart disease; however, it can trigger heartburn. Some people are particularly sensitive to fish oils and experience extreme discomfort. Those who experience this problem often find that switching from fish oil to eating fish is a good option. Consumption of fish doesn’t normally trigger heartburn. For those who don’t like fish there are fish supplements in capsule form.
It has always been common knowledge that fried foods aren’t good for you and can cause stomach problems, but some studies have revealed that meat; no matter how it is prepared, can be a trigger for heartburn. Meat causes a burning sensation because it requires a lot of acid to break down the protein. This is why you will see people who eat large meat portions reaching for digestion aids.
There are foods that act as natural antacids. For example, bananas are considered a natural antacid. Since they are high in potassium, consult your doctor if you are taking a potassium supplement. Live cultured yogurt and foods that are high in fiber are also good natural antacids.
When Heartburn Progresses
Heartburn is a feeling that most of us have experienced at some point. It isn’t something to be alarmed about. However, in some cases it does become rather severe and can lead to a condition known as GERD, Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease. With GERD the contents of the stomach flow back into the esophagus. If left untreated it can lead to a number of complications.
Doctors and dieticians say the vast majority of heartburn cases can be avoided if people pay close attention to what they are consuming and to their portions. They say most of us can avoid that awful, burning feeling if we really try.