For heartburn sufferers, food is divided into three categories: food that aggravates symptoms, food that decreases symptoms, and food that does not lead to symptoms. Most important is knowing which foods fall into which categories.

If the goal is to find foods that prevent heartburn, many foods can be eliminated because they relax the lower esophageal sphincter and contribute to heartburn symptoms. These are referred to as "heartburn triggers" and are generally fatty, spicy, starchy, and acidic. Foods such as cheeseburgers, ravioli, mashed potatoes, and oranges are foods that, after ingesting large portions in little time, give you a burning feeling in your chest followed by reflux into the esophagus. So one way to avoid heartburn symptoms is to avoid foods cooked in oils.

Then there are the foods that specifically prevent heartburn symptoms. Take, for instance, fiber. For general health, The American Heart Association recommends eating 14 grams of fiber per every 1,000 calories.[1] On a 2,500 calorie per day diet, that's 35 grams per day-over twice as much as the typical adult averages. However, for a decreased likelihood of heartburn, you should alter your diet to include over 35 grams of fiber per day, according to a 2002 study.[2]

Here are 4 foods that help prevent heartburn symptoms.

  • Whole grain bread. Next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a loaf of Pepperidge Farm bread. While each variety is tasty and nutritious, using Double Fiber for a sandwich (2 slices) amounts to 16 grams of fiber. And be sure to check out the Whole Grains Council for numerous ways of incorporating whole grains into your diet. Their eclectic recipes range from salads to dinners to desserts.
  • Garlic and onion. They'll jazz up the flavor of any dish to which they're added, but remember that they must be used in their dried, dehydrated powder form. Otherwise, they can aggravate your heartburn.
  • Apples and bananas. Anything apple-based-fresh, dried, juiced-should work. Cut up a few Granny Smith slices for after dinner, or, if you can handle the taste, find a recipe for apple cider vinegar. While there is little scientific research to substantiate the claim that apple cider vinegar gets rid of heartburn symptoms, the concoction is known as a "folk" remedy and has a sort of cult following. Also, eat a banana with breakfast, and eat it slowly. Bananas are natural antacids, but you should experiment with them, because they don't work for everyone.


  • Greens. Everyone knows that greens (broccoli, spinach, peas) with their natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, are extremely healthy. Incorporate them into your diet as a side dish with dinner.



    [2] Archana Jaiswal McEligot. "High Dietary Fiber Consumption is not Associated with Gastrointestinal Discomfort in a Diet Intervention Trial." Journal of the American Dietetic Association. April, 2002.