What Should I Eat for Dinner to Avoid Heartburn?

Medically Reviewed on 11/5/2021

Foods to eat

Acid reflux takes place when the acid from your stomach touches the esophagus, causing pain and irritation. Good foods to eat for dinner to avoid heartburn include leafy greens, non-citrus fruits, ginger, oatmeal, healthy fats, seafood and aloe vera juice.
Acid reflux takes place when the acid from your stomach touches the esophagus, causing pain and irritation. Good foods to eat for dinner to avoid heartburn include leafy greens, non-citrus fruits, ginger, oatmeal, healthy fats, seafood and aloe vera juice.

Getting acid reflux or heartburn every once in a while is nothing to be concerned about. However, some people get heartburn and belch after every meal. Having acid reflux as you get in bed can be nauseating and uncomfortable. 

Here are 11 meal-planning tips to prevent heartburn. 

Eat leafy greens 

Acid reflux takes place when the acid from your stomach touches the esophagus, causing pain and irritation. Some dairy foods increase the likelihood of this happening. 

Vegetables, on the other hand, are heart-healthy foods low in sugars and fats. Make sure you eat veggies for dinner to prevent heartburn. Some good vegetables to eat are cauliflower, broccoli, beans, cucumbers, and potatoes. 

Eat ginger 

If possible, add ginger to your recipes as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used as a natural remedy against digestive problems and heartburn. 

Alternatively, you can sip on ginger tea after dinner. Grate ginger or put a slice in boiling water. Add half a teaspoon of sugar if the taste is too strong for you. 

Ginger is also good for your heart health since it contains antioxidants that ward off chronic diseases such as heart ailments and high blood pressure.‌

Non-citrus fruits 

If you like snacking after dinner or want to add fruit to your dinner plate, it should be citrus-free. Some good examples are pears, apples, melons, and bananas. They are less likely to trigger your heartburn than citrus fruits. 

Oatmeal for breakfast 

If you know you will eat out with friends at dinner or plan to consume something that has previously caused you heartburn, prepare for the night with your morning meal. Oatmeal may sound a bit boring, but it is excellent in preventing acid reflux. 

Eating a bowl in the morning will keep you heartburn-free the whole day. 

Healthy fats 

Healthy or unsaturated fats are good for your heart health and also prevent acid reflux. Cook your dinner in olive oil since it is a rich source of good fats. You can also use sesame oil or sunflower oil for the same effect. 

Do not eat saturated fats, such as palm oil, butter, cured meats, bacon, cheese, or cakes at dinner, as they will cause heartburn. 

Chewing gum

No one expects chewing gum to come as health advice, but it can help lower the risk of heartburn. Chew gum after dinner. It will stimulate the production of saliva, which helps move the contents of your dinner from your stomach to the small intestine quickly. 

Seafood 

Seafood also lowers your chance of getting heartburn. Plus, it is good for heart health since it contains omega-3 fatty acids. You can poach, bake, broil, or grill fish, whichever way you prefer. 

Drink aloe vera juice 

We bet you only knew about the benefits of aloe vera for your face. However, the natural sun damage repairing agent is also great for heartburn. If you get heartburn frequently, especially after eating certain foods, drink aloe vera juice after dinner to relieve heartburn. 

If you do not have it growing at home, buy pre-made aloe vera juice or smoothies from the store. 

Food to avoid 

Some foods can trigger heartburn because they delay the process of digestion and peristalsis, which is the movement of food from the gut to the intestines. Here are some foods you should remove from your dinner meal plan ideas. 

Fried food 

Fried food has extra fats since you use oils to prepare them. These additional fats slow down the process of stomach emptying, leaving the food content inside for a longer time. 

When food stays in the stomach for an extended period, the acid may spill into your esophagus for a while after finishing dinner. 

In most cases, heartburn lasts as long as the stomach is not emptied. 

You do not necessarily have to stop eating fried foods altogether, but make sure you consume them in moderation. It is also good to skip them at dinner if they make it difficult for you to sleep comfortably. 

Fast food 

Occasionally, we all love having a movie night with a pizza, chilling on the couch. However, if this becomes a habit, it can lead to acid reflux. Fast foods have a high concentration of refined carbs and fats that can cause heartburn. 

Spicy foods

Recipes containing spices, such as black pepper, are known to be heart-healthy foods. However, they mostly contain capsaicin, a compound that slows down digestion. Therefore, your stomach stays full for a long time, increasing the risk of acid reflux. 

A study showed that chili powder slowed the digestion process in the participant. Avoid using chili powder in your dinner recipes. 

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Medically Reviewed on 11/5/2021
References
SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publishing: "The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between."

International Journal of Preventive Medicine: "Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence."

John Hopkins Medicine: "GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn)."

Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology: "The effect of chilli on gastrointestinal transit."

Natural Medicine Journal: "An Effective, Natural Treatment for GERD: Aloe Vera Syrup."