A painful bout of acid reflux or heartburn is more than an annoyance. It can lead to much bigger issues like ulcers and esophageal cancer.

But you can lessen your chances of both, as well as reduce your chances of heartburn, by reading this list.

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Here are 11 foods to avoid when you have heartburn and acid reflux.

1.) Chili

Perhaps this seems like a no-brainer, but even mild chili can exacerbate problems associated with acid reflux and heartburn.

It’s best just to avoid this hearty dish altogether. Stick to a nice, basic soup instead.

2.) Soda

Aside from lemonade or cranberry juice, soda is one of the worst beverages for your stomach.

Not only is it often caffeinated, but it contains carbonation, which can bloat your stomach and increase the chances of acidic splashing.

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3.) Garlic

Great for seasoning but terrible for acid reflux and heartburn, garlic can loosen the gateway valve to your stomach.

You’ll have bad breath and a serious case of heartburn if you ingest even a slight bit of garlic.

4.) Citrus

Fruits like oranges, limes, and lemons are great ways to zest up a meal or make a delicious cocktail.

But citrus is one of the biggest foods to avoid when you have heartburn. Even if you’re barely susceptible, the acidity can greatly damage your stomach.

5.) Coffee

Everyone needs a little pick-me-up in the mornings. But if you’re someone who enjoys a cup or two (okay, or three or four) of Joe in the morning, you’re greatly increasing your chances of heartburn.

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Studies have shown a correlation between increased stomach acid and coffee due to both its acidic nature and extremely high caffeine content.

6.) Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, relax the stomach muscles much like soda.

After even a few sips, your muscles begin to relax a little too much, allowing for an easier flow of acid.

7.) Chocolate

This one hurts us, too. Even though chocolate can help with depression, like coffee, it contains a surprisingly high amount of caffeine.

Eating chocolate after a hearty meal or on an empty stomach is even worse. If you can’t seem to kick the habit, break out small portions or limit your consumption.

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8.) Fatty Meats

Like chocolate, fatty meats can be enjoyed in extremely small portions on special occasions.

But foods such as pork, beef, and dark chicken meat increase stomach acid and relax the stomach valve.

9.) Fried Foods

Fried foods are a guilty pleasure for most of us. And yet they do damage to more than just our waistline.

The oils, breading, and salt content, combine to make a delicious treat that you’re sure to pay for later on.

10.) Tomato Sauce

What’s a good bowl of pasta without a nice helping of tomato sauce?

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This classic Italian tradition can add some zest and spice to your pasta. Unfortunately, it can also add a whole lot of acid to your esophagus.

Bonus) Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets may be delicious, but they combine the side effects of the last two foods you should avoid if you have heartburn, fried foods, and fatty meats.

If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, snagging a box of McNuggets can sideline you for the rest of the day.

Last Thoughts on Foods to Avoid When You Have Heartburn

Erasing or minimizing these foods from your diet can be tough. Be sure to consult a nutritionist and physician for easier alternatives or you can try these natural heartburn remedies.

You can still enjoy the foods you love without suffering from intense fits of heartburn or acid reflux.

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Check out eDrugSearch’s home remedies for great advice on great meals that promote a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing flavor!