Heartburn Trigger Foods: Can Spinach Cause Heartburn?

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real-spinach-73911_640Heartburn is caused by excess stomach acid making its way back up from the stomach into the esophagus causing inflammation and often a burning sensation and upset stomach.

It usually happens after a heavy meal or when you lie down too soon after a meal.

If heartburn happens often or gets too serious, it can cause serious damage to the tissues of the esophagus.

When it becomes serious and happens often, it becomes acid reflux and can turn into Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD.

Certain foods can trigger heartburn and some may ask can spinach cause heartburn? The answer is no, in fact spinach is a food which can help to relieve heartburn.

Adding spinach to your diet provides additional minerals and vitamins, as well as fiber which aids with digestion.

Heartburn is prevented by good digestion and a balanced diet which includes fresh vegetables is a good way to prevent heartburn.

Heartburn can start from irritation caused by many things, but the primary cause is when the LES muscle is not working correctly.

This muscle opens and closes to allow food into the stomach, but is not supposed to allow anything out.

When it is not working correctly, it may not close completely and it will allow stomach acid to leak out and this acid can work its way up the esophagus and cause burning and inflammation which results in heartburn.

There are many reasons for the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to stop working correctly including eating a heavy meal which fills the stomach too full and puts too much pressure on the muscle preventing it from closing correctly.

That is why including fresh vegetables such as spinach can help prevent heartburn. This is why the answer to the question can spinach cause heartburn is no.

Fresh vegetables make you feel fuller sooner so that you do not eat as much and so do not get heartburn from eating such a heavy meal.

Eating fatty and fried foods slows down your digestion and will cause these foods to remain in your digestive tract for long periods of time.

This increases the pressure on the stomach and on the LES which can also prevent it from closing correctly.

When this happens, excess stomach acid can leak and cause heartburn. The high fat content in fried food makes this type of food really high risk for heartburn and acid reflux as well.

Being overweight can also cause heartburn and acid reflux because the extra weight can put pressure on the stomach which in turn, places pressure on the LES.

When this happens, the LES may not close correctly allowing stomach acid to leak into the esophagus.

Acid reflux prengencyPregnancy can cause similar issues with the LES because of the pressure the fetus can place on the stomach and other organs which can then place pressure on the LES.

When this happens and the LES is prevented from closing crrectly, the stomach’s acid may leak and travel up into the esophagus causing pain and inflammation.

Another possibility for heartburn is when a hiatal hernia forms. This is a small tear in the diaphragm allowing the stomach to poke through the hole pressured by the diaphragm.

Drinking alcohol can cause heartburn in some people because alcohol can be an extreme irritant to the stomach and its lining.

Nearly all people who are alcoholics are diagnosed with GERD and many who are only recreational drinkers experience bouts of heartburn and acid reflux.

There is also a link between hypothyroidism (an underperforming thyroid) and acid reflux/heartburn.

This link was first discovered in 1982 during peer-reviewed research and should always be considered as a possibility.

Some medications also cause heartburn or acid reflux, so if you start a new medication and suddenly start experiencing heartburn or acid reflux, immediately tell your doctor.

It may be possible to get an alternate medication or there may be a way to manage the heartburn.

Some other causes of heartburn or acid reflux include laying completely flat or declining where gravity can work to make heartburn or acid reflux symptoms worse.

If your symptoms seem to be worse when you are lying down, try elevating the top half of your body, not just your head.

Some people find that drinking beverages with caffeine make their heartburn and acid reflux symptoms worse and that using any product with nicotine does as well.

Both caffeine and nicotine cause the stomach to increase production of stomach acid which contributes to heartburn and acid reflux.

Any type of ulcer can cause heartburn or acid reflux, so if you experience heartburn more than twice per week or if your symptoms persist or get worse, consult with your doctor to ensure it is not something that needs treatment.

There are certain foods which can trigger heartburn and acid reflux in certain individuals and what may trigger a reaction in one person may not in another.

You may have to try various foods and keep a log of what reaction you get with what food before you know which foods are trigger foods for you.

There are certain foods which seem to generally cause heartburn in most people and these are spicy foods, fatty foods, and alcohol.

Can spinach cause heartburn? The answer is no, in fact spinach can often help alleviate the symptoms of heartburn.

There also seems to be a genetic link which makes some individuals predisposed to heartburn or acid reflux, although it is unknown exactly what the factors are that make this so.

This is a very small percentage of the population, but these individuals seem to make excess stomach acid and tend toward a faulty LES function.

Heartburn and acid reflux are found in a large percentage of the population, but can be treated and even prevented with attention to diet and lifestyle.

 

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