Heartburn is an occurrence where you feel irritation and pain just below breast bone. Even though the term is known as heartburn it has nothing to do with the heart disease or a heart attack but the symptoms and the reactions may sometimes seem similar. The severe burning sensation and the irritation which occurs just below the breast bone area is due to the unduly release of the stomach juices. The oesophagus and the stomach are separated by a diaphragm and the movements are controlled by the LES muscles. When the acidity in the stomach increases due to larger release of stomach acids, the diaphragm fails to close in due to pressure or muscle dysfunction. Then the stomach acids flow back to the oesophagus and give the burning sensation. Many foods can trigger the symptoms and cause heartburn.
Foods That Cause Heartburn
Acidity in stomach can increase due to several reasons one of the main reasons being foods that you eat. Several foods which are acidic in nature, that is, their pH level is way below 7, give rise to the level of stomach acids. Foods which contain fat often lead to muscles relaxation and thus the diaphragm fails to close in time. You can also get heartburn if you immediately lie down after having a heavy meal. Heartburn may further leads to gas formation, bloating, blood in stool and vomiting. Some of the food items that trigger heartburn are:
- Red wine and other forms of alcohol
- Spicy food
- Onions, tomatoes, garlic and chilli
- Caffeinated drinks like coffee
- Citrus fruits.
Some Of The Foods That Cause Heartburn:
Relation of Tomatoes and Heartburn
Tomatoes can trigger the symptoms of heartburn. Even though tomatoes are filled with nutrients, the pH level of the vegetable is low. Furthermore, the acidity of the food is reduced initially by the saliva and the salivation process becomes slow when tomatoes are eaten. To beat this situation and help the salivation process neutralise the acidity things like sour balls can be taken as suggested by nutritionists.
Relation of Garlic, Onion and Heartburn
Not everybody suffers from heartburn due to garlic and onion; it is often found that these two vegetables do not stand on the safe side of patient suffering from heartburn. Doctors suggest maintaining a log book for the foods you take in daily in order to understand what is causing the heartburn. If you take in vegetables in a broth or in the boiled form, the effects may not be severe.
Relation of Peppermint with Heartburn
Peppermint may not trouble everybody with heartburn, but taking a peppermint candy or chewing gum after a heavy meal is suggested to be avoided. Peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscles which helps the diaphragm to open and close in time. Due to the relaxation of these muscles, the diaphragm fails to close in time or remains open for long allowing the stomach juices to flow up to the oesophagus causing the heartburn.
Relation of Alcohol and Heartburn
Alcohol is harmful for health since it cannot be easily digested. Also alcohol can trigger acid reflux and heartburn if taken in after a heavy meal. Research on heartburn refers that a single glass of red wine is not harmful to you but if the same glass is taken after a meal of pasta with tomato sauce or with steak, then heartburn can get triggered. Like peppermint, alcohol also relaxes the sphincter muscles controlling the movement of the diaphragm and therefore allowing a free flow of acid back up.
Relation of Caffeine and Heartburn
Caffeine is a big offender causing acid reflux and heartburn. Iced tea, coffee, soda and tea contain caffeine. Consuming 2 to 3 ounces of coffee daily might not cause any trouble, but being an avid drinker will trigger symptoms of heartburn.