When you’re young, it’s easy to think you’re invincible. You recover from injuries faster. You can get up in the morning with no aches and pains.
Time catches up with all of us, though, and your body changes. Where you might have been fine living on a pizza-and-beer diet in college, by the time you’re in your thirties, it’s harder to get away with that sort of thing.
You might have loved certain foods in the past, but you may find that they give you heartburn as you get a little bit older. That’s unfortunate, but you have to do as your body dictates, and that means taking it easy on foods that you can’t digest as easily.
Let’s look at some foods to watch out for if you’re trying to avoid heartburn.
One thing to keep in mind is that this isn’t something that afflicts just you. Actually, 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn each month. Heartburn is:
- Discomfort or burning pain
- Something usually affecting the upper chest, but sometimes the throat and neck
It’s a painful condition, but usually not a serious one. You can treat it with some antacid or sometimes prescription medication in extreme cases.
One of the things that gives many people heartburn is spicy foods. That might be some chicken vindaloo from your favorite takeout Indian joint, or perhaps it’s your uncle’s famous five-alarm chili.
You might have been able to shovel down a big bowlful when you were younger, but you may have to opt for milder options as you get older. You will have to experiment a little bit to see what your body can tolerate now.
If you love having a few drinks from time to time, it’s distressing to think that alcohol can give you heartburn. However, that is often the case. You can get heartburn from:
Many times, people report getting heartburn from wine, especially red wine. It varies from person to person, though. You might try some different alcohols. Some of them might touch off your heartburn while you can tolerate other ones better.
Some people grapple with heartburn if they eat foods with a strong or distinct flavor. That might be something like onions, black pepper, or garlic.
The good news in these instances is that you can often alter basic recipes so they don’t emphasize these ingredients as much. If a recipe calls for tons of garlic or onions, you can scale back the amount, or you can eliminate them if you must.
That’s easy enough in your cooking. If you’re eating out at a restaurant or a friend’s house, you might have to ask about the ingredients before you try something like a soup or pasta dish.
It’s a little inconvenient, but far better to check those ingredients beforehand rather than getting struck with a sudden acute heartburn case.
Some people get heartburn when they ingest caffeine. The usual culprits are the various coffee drinks or teas. You might also have to watch out for caffeinated sodas.
Caffeine-free coffee and tea options often exist, and soda options as well, so look into those. You could ask your host if they have that, and you can stock your home with ones that don’t trigger your heartburn.
You might also have to avoid things like coffee ice cream and treats with caffeine in them. If you’re mindful of these things, then it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to adjust your behavior.
Some people love chocolate, so you’ll be sad to hear that this is another potential heartburn trigger. Maybe the occasional bonbon won’t do it, but a big dish of chocolate ice cream could be a bit too much for your body to handle.
Much like caffeine, alcohol, etc., you’ll probably have to experiment a little bit. A bite of chocolate may not overwhelm your system, or it may be just a few chocolate items that irritate your condition.
If you have a sweet tooth, then many treats don’t involve chocolate. If you find that you’re particularly sensitive, then you might have to explore some of them.
For some people, specific things like tomatoes or peppermint can trigger heartburn. Everyone is different. Some individuals will only experience it if they really go overboard with something, while with others, your heartburn has a hair-trigger.
You’ll have to experiment as you get older to figure out where you are on this spectrum.