Please verify your email address to receive email notifications.

Enter your email address

We have sent you a verification email. Please check your inbox and spam folder.

Unable to send verification, please refresh and try again later.

  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What foods should I avoid if I get heartburn easily?

    Related Topic
    I am pretty sure heartburn is related to my diet… what foods/behaviours should I eliminate to reduce my chance of heartburn?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    A/Prof Daniel Novakovic

    Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon

    Dr Daniel Novakovic is an Australian Otolaryngologist (ENT Surgeon) with postgraduate international dual subspecialty fellowship training in the fields of Laryngology and Head and Neck … View Profile

    Different people experience different triggers for their gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms (including heartburn).

    Generally there are a few key foods that commonly make symptoms worse. These include:

    1) Caffeine - Caffeine containing foods including coffee, tea, chocolate and many carbonated drinks can make reflux worse in a number of ways. Caffeine can decrease the pressure of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) which is a tight ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus (food pipe) that normall stays closed to prevent stomach contents ‘refluxing’ back up towards the throat. Caffeine is also known to increase acid secretion by the stomach.

    2) Spicy foods

    3) Fatty / rich foods - the combination of spicy and rich / fatty foods (such as a hot cream based curry) will increase stomach acid production and also decrease LES pressure

    4) Acidic foods - acidic foods in themselves do not cause reflux. Some people experience throat symptoms of reflux - so called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR). In these people eating acidic foods may reactivate stomach enzymes in the throat and continue to give them LPR symptoms of throat irritation, chronic cough and throat clearing even when they are on adequate acid suppression medication

  • Dr Michael Elstein

    GP (General Practitioner)

    I am an anti-ageing/wellness expert and author of ‘Eternal Health,’ and ‘You have the power.’ I have appeared on radio and television and currently have … View Profile

    This is an excellent answer with comprehensive recommendations. If you are still struggling check out this article. It mentions intolerance to foods and you might find that having food allergy/reactivity assessed is useful.  Funnily enough I have often found that patients benefit when getting their production of stomach acid boosted rather than suppressed.

  • 1


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Great recommendations by Dr Novalovic, its best to seek out the expert advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) for practical advice on how to avoid those foods which cause heartburn without compromising nutritional adequacy of the diet. You can find an APD at

answer this question

You must be a Health Professional to answer this question. Log in or Sign up .

You may also like these related questions

Ask a health question

Empowering Australians to make better health choices