11 Foods That Can Cause Heartburn

6. Salt

Consuming table salt or salty foods may increase reflux, a risk factor for heartburn.

For instance, one study found that people who added table salt to their meals had a 70% higher risk of reflux than people who never added salt.

The same study also found that people who consumed salted foods at least three times a week had a 50% higher risk of reflux than people who never ate salted foods ().

However, it’s not completely understood how salt intake might increase the risk of reflux.

It’s possible that people who consume salty foods also eat more fried and fatty foods.

In that case, those foods are a more likely trigger for heartburn than salt alone.

SUMMARYConsuming table salt and salty foods has been linked with heartburn. However, its influence on the condition is not fully understood.


7. Onions

Onions, especially raw onions, are a common trigger for heartburn.

Like other foods on this list, onions may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which may cause acid reflux and symptoms of heartburn ().

In one study, people with heartburn ate a plain hamburger on one day, followed by an identical hamburger with onions on another day. Eating the burger with onions significantly worsened heartburn symptoms, compared to eating the burger with no onions ().

In addition, onions are a rich source of fermentable fiber, which may cause belching. Belching can aggravate acid reflux symptoms (25).

The fermentable fiber onions contain is made up of FODMAPs, a group of compounds that may trigger digestive issues.

SUMMARYOnions, especially raw onions, may cause acid reflux and heartburn symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. In addition, onions are high in fermentable fiber, which may promote acid reflux symptoms.



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8. Alcohol
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