If you’ve ever experienced the pain of heartburn, you know that this is a condition that many people would rather avoid. In fact, heartburn is known to affect approximately 60 million Americans every month. The more severe or acute heartburn cases end up in the ER.
Along these same lines, of the 60 million Americans that experience heartburn pain, over 60 percent of these individuals use OTC medication to treat their symptoms. And this includes the medication Zantac. However, Zantac has been linked to stomach cancer. And as a result, this has triggered numerous lawsuits for compensation.
But instead of treating the problem after heartburn sets in, it’s a much better practice to be proactive and prevent the source. And the source is the food that you consume.
If you want to avoid the pain of heartburn, try avoiding the following foods.
Of all the likely culprits, it’s those literally mouth-watering spicy dishes that we love the most which are much more likely to give you heartburn. And while some spicy food is actually healthy for you in moderation (spices do promote healthy circulation), too much of it can be a bad idea.
The main ingredient in most spicy foods comes from peppers. More specifically, the resin inside the peppers contains a compound called capsicum. And believe it or not, this is actually a main ingredient in defense-grade pepper spray.
Capsicum can slow the rate of digestion by more than half its normal time. As such, this can cause a buildup of stomach acid that can breach the esophagus. Additionally, the capsicum itself can further irritate the esophageal lining, causing a double dose of heartburn pain.
So as a best practice, it’s best to consume spicy foods only in moderation, and never late at night before bed.
While it might seem obvious that adding more acid to your stomach can cause heartburn, studies suggest that the cause for heartburn after consuming beverages high in citrus content is largely unknown.
Despite discrepancies in research, several studies performed on control groups show that out of nearly 400 people tested, nearly 70 percent of those in the studies developed heartburn after consuming either grapefruit or orange juice–two of the most highly acidic fruit juices.
The same is true for consuming foods that are high in acid content. Basically, while orange juice can trigger heartburn, eating oranges can also cause this effect as well.
While some doctors might agree that moderate alcohol consumption can relieve stress and actually be healthier than consuming sodas and other sugary beverages, moderate and especially excessive alcohol intake can produce heartburn.
Drinking alcohol can actually cause mild to severe heartburn in several ways. And the primary reason why is that alcohol relaxes the muscles, including the esophageal sphincter which closes the stomach off to the esophagus.
If this “door” to the esophagus is open when you’re digesting food, stomach acid can escape into the esophagus, thus triggering heartburn.
Any food with a high salt content can easily trigger heartburn, as salt causes a chemical reaction with most acidic compounds. And along with this, a heavy salt intake can also increase hypertension, and this can also trigger other, more serious, health problems.
Studies performed regarding salt intake also showed that those who added salt to their meals had a 70 percent greater chance of developing heartburn. While in other studies evidence suggests that those who consume heavily salted meals on a regular basis, such as with fast food, were 50 percent more likely to develop severe reflux and heartburn symptoms.
Keeping your diet in check is the best way to avoid the pain of heartburn. As a best practice, try to modify your diet or practice portion control. Remember, the more food you consume, the harder it is to digest. So, when it comes to heartburn prevention, moderation is key.