Summer. It’s a wonderful time of the year, the time for vacations and cook-outs, for beaching and memory making, for letting loose and enjoying yourself. For many people, one of the best summer memories and experiences can also be tied to foods, whether it’s your grandmother’s potato salad you only get once a year at your family reunions, the local donut store your family frequents on their annual beach trip, your favorite summer kebabs, or simply cracking open a cold Coke on a warm summer day with your toes in the sand.
For frequent heartburn sufferers, though, summer looks a little different. It’s a two-month danger zone with pain lurking around every corner. It’s a time of guilt and regret, of resigning yourself to the fact that letting loose comes at an uncomfortable price, and that price is heartburn.
The problem is that, unbeknownst to us, many of our favorite summer foods are also serious heartburn triggers. Foods that you wouldn’t even expect can end up keeping you up at night or have you doubled over in pain, and in most cases you don’t even know why the heartburn is happening. We fail to make that connection between food and heartburn, and end up suffering unnecessarily.
Don’t fall victim this year! Knowing what foods to avoid will go a long way towards helping you navigate through the summer without triggering any bouts of heartburn. Here are 12 summer foods that cause reflux:
Corn on the cob with butter
Corn on the cob. It’s a classic summer food, and it’s one that’s almost impossible to avoid. The good news is that it’s not the corn that’s the issue. You can still enjoy corn this summer, whether it’s on the cob, boiled, grilled, or however else you like to prepare it. The trick to avoid triggering heartburn is to cut the butter out of the equation. Butter is a notorious heartburn trigger, so when you slather it onto your corn you’re pretty much asking for a disaster! Leave the butter behind and enjoy the corn by itself or with different seasonings instead.
This one is one of the trickiest triggers, because we assume that kebabs are a relatively healthy option. Unfortunately heartburn doesn’t care too much about how “healthy” something is. Beef is notoriously high in fat and can be very greasy, which makes it a heartburn no-no. You don’t have to give up kebabs entirely, though! Try chicken, veggie, or fish kebabs instead.
I know, I know. This one isn’t very surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. If you’re anything like I am, the chances of you cutting potatoes out of your summer are probably sitting right around 0%. That’s ok. You don’t have to remove potatoes completely from your life, you just need to try to find ways to minimize how fatty and greasy they are. There’s nothing wrong with opting for a baked potato or baking your French fries instead of frying them. It’s possible to prepare potato dishes that still satisfy those carb cravings while minimizing your risk of heartburn.
This one may take the cake for the most depressing heartburn trigger ever, because who doesn’t love ice cream? Ice cream and summer are essentially synonymous. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, like two peas in a pod. Unfortunately, ice cream also brings heartburn into the equation. It’s high in dairy and fat, which makes it a serious trigger. If you’re intent on taking your chances anyways, try to avoid higher risk flavors like chocolate and mint, since they’re more likely to trigger heartburn. If you’ve got crazy willpower and are looking for an alternative to ice cream this summer, you can opt for a sorbet instead! It’s bound to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Grilled onions and peppers
In case you haven’t gotten the memo, hot dogs are bad for heartburn. And apparently so is everything you’d ordinarily put on them. Grilled veggies are huge during the summertime, firstly because they’re delicious, and secondly because they’re fairly healthy. That being said, when selecting your vegetables to grill this summer, try to stay away from onions and peppers if you want to avoid heartburn. Onions are a notorious trigger for digestive distress, and and spiciness of peppers can easily cause heartburn. Get creative and try squashes, zucchini, or other veggies instead!
Whether they’re hot or chili, dogs of any kind are probably something you should avoid this summer if you regularly suffer from heartburn. Hot dogs are high in fat, which makes them fairly likely to trigger heartburn after consumptions. Add some spicy, tomato-based chili and your chances of triggering heartburn are essentially tripled. If you’ve got to have a grilled dog this summer, consider branching out and trying one made of lean beef, veggies, or even a turkey dog. It won’t be exactly the same, but it also won’t leave you in agony?
Heartburn isn’t fun, and it’s certainly not something you want plaguing you this summer. Thankfully, familiarizing yourself with how different foods affect heartburn can go a long way towards making your summer a much more enjoyable one. Be sure to make smart choices when selecting which summer delicacies to treat yourself to this year, and remember to minimize your exposure to heartburn triggering foods.
Suffering from chronic heartburn and think it might be something more than just diet issues? We’d be more than happy to sit down with you and check things out. Schedule a consult today and kiss heartburn goodbye!