Top 9 Heartburn Trigger Foods to Avoid

Regurgitation of food or acid into the stomach is a frequent yet unpleasant symptom.

Painful burning that starts in the lower chest and spreads to the throat and mouth is a common description. Those who suffer from heartburn may also have a bitter aftertaste.

If you suffer from heartburn regularly, you may have observed that certain meals might trigger or aggravate your symptoms.

To diagnose heartburn, look for the classic symptoms: chest pain, stomach discomfort, and a sour aftertaste. Acid reflux, commonly called heartburn or acid indigestion, occurs when stomach acid rises into the esophagus. GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux, often known as heartburn, occurs more than twice weekly.

Nine foods that may trigger heartburn are listed here. There are other suggestions for dealing with acid reflux.

Acidic Foods

Many people have heartburn after consuming citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and pineapples. That's particularly true if you consume citrus fruits first thing in the morning. Citrus fruits, being very acidic, may contribute to heartburn symptoms by increasing the amount of acid in the stomach. Avoiding heartburn by avoiding citrus fruit juice is also a good idea.

Because of their high acid content, tomatoes are also a major cause of heartburn. Tomatoes on pizza and pasta are just as much a part of the diet as those eaten raw in a salad or sliced on a sandwich.

Fried & High-Fat Meals

Pizza, burgers, and wings may trigger GERD symptoms. The rate at which the stomach empties can be slowed by eating fatty, spicy, or fried meals. They may also contribute to acid reflux by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach.

In addition, capsaicin, a chemical component in chili peppers, may be concentrated in greater amounts in some spicy meals. The capsaicin in chili peppers can increase the pressure in the esophagus and the frequency of esophageal spasms. Spicier foods are associated with a worsening of GERD symptoms.


Alcohol use has also been linked to a higher risk of developing GERD. Furthermore, like other depressants, alcohol can cause the LES to loosen, allowing more stomach acid to enter the esophagus.

Nevertheless, the frequency and quantity of alcohol use might exacerbate GERD symptoms. As an illustration, excessive alcohol consumption is thought to contribute to GERD symptoms.

One research also indicated a decreased association between GERD and little or no alcohol use. On the other hand, a person may get GERD symptoms if they drink more often (more than three to five times per week).


Peppermint and spearmint are two types of mint that have a reputation for calming upset stomachs. Yet, there is a possibility that some mint varieties trigger heartburn in some people.

Scientific research suggests that peppermint may contribute to heartburn by lowering LES pressure.

While mint may aggravate GERD symptoms in some individuals, it appears to be rare.

If heartburn is a problem, cutting out mint items from your diet may be helpful.


Several people have heartburn after consuming coffee. One or two cups of coffee in the morning may be manageable, but you should know your limits. Remember that many soft drinks, including tea, contain caffeine, so if you're trying to avoid heartburn, it may be wise to limit your consumption of these drinks.


The occasional chocolate bar probably won't give you heartburn, but a big piece of chocolate candy or a big serving of chocolate mousse for dinner may. If you feel chocolate is a heartburn trigger, you may want to save it for rare occasions and eat only a tiny amount at a time.


Many people have heartburn symptoms while eating onions, garlic, or spices; raw onions, a very acidic meal, are particularly problematic. If onions are cooked properly, their power can be reduced, and you may only need a tiny amount. Instead, some success with a milder onion flavor using a sweeter type like Vidalia.

Hot and Spicy Cuisine

Most people know that spicy food is one of the main things that gives them heartburn. Still, no one knows exactly how they cause acid reflux.

Still, research showed that people with GERD who took chili capsules had better gastric accommodation when the stomach's upper part relaxes after eating. Studies have shown that people with GERD have a stronger stomach reflex. Acid reflux can happen if the LES loosens up more than usual.

The same study found that people with GERD who took the chili capsules had more severe heartburn and abdominal pain than those who took a placebo.

In a study of 4,633 Iranians, (PUBMED, National Library of Medicine, Epub 2019 Aug 30) researchers found that men who ate a lot of spicy food were likelier to get heartburn than women.

If your esophagus is already sore and sensitive, eating spicy foods can worsen your heartburn.

You may be getting heartburn because of the spicy foods you've been eating, so you should probably stop eating them.

Carbonated Soft Drinks and Sodas

Several people say that drinking fizzy drinks gives them heartburn.

These drinks may change how acidic stomach acid is and how much the esophageal sphincter relaxes, two things that can cause heartburn.

Drinking soft drinks before bed makes you more likely to get heartburn at night.

Some research has found a link between drinking soft drinks and having more GERD symptoms.

If you get heartburn when you drink carbonated drinks like soda, you should cut back or stop drinking them.


It's important to remember that avoiding the pain of heartburn can be as simple as recognizing and avoiding the things that set off your GERD in the first place. Having occasional heartburn is typically not a cause for alarm. Nonetheless, you should consult a medical professional if your heartburn is persistent or severe enough to disrupt your regular life.

If you suffer from heartburn, you should talk to your doctor about taking medication to alleviate the condition. See a doctor immediately if you have problems swallowing or notice a change in the color of your feces. These may be precursors to something more serious. Endoscopy may be necessary if you have persistent, severe heartburn that no medicine seems to help.