Categories: Disease

10 Foods That Cause Heartburn, Reflux and Burning


Discover the 10 Foods That Cause Heartburn, Reflux, and Burning.

Some foods such as onions, oranges, peppers, or coffee can cause heartburn, reflux, or stomach burns.

This is due to the presence of some substances, such as caffeine, which can irritate the stomach wall or relax the stomach sphincter, which makes the gastric contents able to return to the esophagus.

To avoid heartburn and burning, it is important to avoid including these foods in the diet, and it is recommended to give preference to foods that do not cause stomach irritation such as fish, egg whites, bananas, pears, carrots, or sweet potatoes, for example.


When heartburn and burning symptoms are very frequent, the gastroenterologist must be consulted to assess the need to start a more appropriate treatment, which may involve the use of medications that reduce the production of acid in the stomach.

1. Coffee

Coffee is rich in caffeine, a substance that can irritate the stomach lining and cause a burning sensation and heartburn.

In addition, caffeine increases esophageal sphincter relaxation, facilitating the outflow of stomach contents into the esophagus, worsening reflux symptoms.


Other drinks that contain caffeine and should be avoided, especially for those who suffer from reflux, are black tea or mate tea, for example.

A good way to avoid caffeinated drinks is to replace regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee or drink teas such as ginger or fennel tea, which, in addition to not containing caffeine, have calming properties for the stomach, helping to reduce the symptoms of heartburn, reflux, and burning.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate is rich in fats and caffeine that stimulate the production of acid in the stomach, in addition to increasing the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, causing reflux symptoms such as a burning sensation in the stomach and throat and indigestion.


In addition, chocolate also contains theobromine, a substance that stimulates the body’s production of serotonin, a hormone associated with the sensation of pleasure and well-being, but which can also increase the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, and cause or worsen reflux symptoms…

To avoid the symptoms of heartburn, burning, or reflux, it is recommended not to consume chocolate often, even dark chocolate, as it has a greater amount of caffeine and theobromine, worsening the discomfort in the stomach.

3. Spicy foods

Spicy foods such as cayenne, black or black pepper, paprika, or pepper, for example, have in their composition a component called capsaicin, which slows down digestion, making the food stay longer in the stomach.


This causes an increase in the production of acid by the stomach, causing irritation in the stomach and esophagus, and leading to symptoms of reflux, heartburn, burning sensation, or stomach pain.

A good way to avoid consuming spicy foods and make tasty food is to replace the spicy ones with herbs such as oregano, basil, or thyme, for example, which do not harm the stomach.

4. Raw onion

Onions, especially if they are raw, are an acidic food that causes the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, which is a muscle that acts as a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach and, if relaxed, facilitates the exit of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing typical reflux symptoms such as heartburn and a burning sensation that can reach the throat and chest, in addition to the stomach.


In addition, raw onion has a high content of fructooligosaccharides, a type of fiber that, when fermented by the digestive system, increases gas production, which causes bloating and stomach pain, in addition to frequent belching that can worsen symptoms of reflux.

To consume onion and avoid the symptoms of heartburn, burning, or reflux, you can use the dehydrated version of onion, because, in the dehydration process, its acidity is reduced.

5. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, pineapples, mandarins, kiwis, and acerola, for example, are rich in acids that, in addition to increasing stomach acidity, relax the esophageal sphincter, which makes the stomach acid rising to the esophagus, worsening the symptoms of heartburn and burning.


A good option to replace acidic fruits is to give preference to other fruits such as melon, watermelon, apple, and banana, which are light, easy to digest, and do not increase the acidity of the stomach.

6. Fried foods

Fried foods such as French fries, pastries, or coxinha, for example, are foods rich in fat that stimulate the production of acid by the stomach and the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which increases the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter.

This makes the stomach acid more easily escape into the esophagus and causes reflux, heartburn, and a burning sensation, as well as poor digestion and a bloated feeling.


A good way to avoid the consumption of fried foods is to prepare cooked, grilled, or baked foods, for example, as it reduces the amount of fat and the risk of causing or worsening the symptoms of reflux, heartburn, or burning in the stomach.

In addition to fried foods, other high-fat foods should also be avoided such as cakes, mayonnaise, butter, ice cream, whole milk, or even avocados, cheese, and nuts.

7. Tomato

Tomatoes and tomato-based foods such as sauce, tomato juice, or ketchup contain high levels of acids such as malic and citric acid, which in addition to irritating the stomach lining, relax the esophageal sphincter muscles, causing heartburn, burning sensation, or reflux.


A good way to replace tomato sauce in meals is to make a sauce by cooking 2 large carrots, 1 beetroot, water, salt, and herbs to taste, mixing everything in a blender, and using it in salads or pasta, for example.

8. Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol present in alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, or whiskey, for example, is quickly absorbed by the digestive system after ingestion and can irritate the lining of the esophagus and stomach, in addition to causing a relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, causing the heartburn and burning symptoms.

Also, some alcoholic beverages, especially wine and beer, stimulate the production of acid in the stomach, increasing the risk of heartburn.


9. Carbonated drinks

Carbonated beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks or sparkling water have flavor chemicals, such as citric acid and phosphoric acid, which increase stomach acidity and relax the esophageal sphincter, worsening or causing the symptoms of heartburn, reflux, or a feeling of burning.

In addition, the carbon dioxide, which produces the effervescence of these drinks, is transformed into acid in the stomach, causing an imbalance in the stomach acidity and triggering the symptoms of heartburn and burning in the stomach.

10. Mint and peppermint


Some studies show that foods with mint and peppermint, such as candies or teas, when consumed daily or in large quantities, can irritate the lining of the esophagus and increase gastroesophageal reflux and the burning sensation.

The ideal is to avoid frequent or daily consumption of mint and peppermint, so as not to cause or worsen the symptoms of burning in the stomach.


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