What to Eat for Heartburn

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A woman is eating a slice of toast.
A woman is eating a slice of toast. (Image: John Lund/Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Getty Images)

When you have heartburn, a symptom of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, food can sometimes seem like the enemy. Heartburn occurs if the lower esophageal sphincter muscle relaxes when it shouldn’t, causing stomach contents to leak into the esophagus. Some foods, particularly those that have low acidity levels, can help reduce your risk of heartburn. Avoiding your trigger foods and speaking with a dietitian or doctor about your diet is recommended.

Low-Acid Foods

Foods that are particularly good for heartburn sufferers typically have low acidity levels and are bland. They include lean meats; whole grain breads, pasta and rice; green vegetables; and root vegetables -- excluding onions. Fennel and parsley may also be helpful. Foods and drinks that can help calm stomach upset, such as ginger and chamomile tea, are also smart choices. If you have a craving for fruit, try papaya, melons and bananas since they have low acid content.

Eating small amounts of food at meals and staying upright for at least 3 hours after eating may help reduce symptoms as well.

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