Host a Heartburn-Friendly Gathering: Dinner Party Foods that Help Heartburn
If you suffer from heartburn, going to a dinner party can be a stressful event. Your host may serve something that triggers your acid reflux, and you don’t want to be rude and refuse to eat. But if you’re the one hosting a party, there are some foods you should avoid serving and some foods that help heartburn to ensure that you and your guests don’t experience that uncomfortable burning feeling.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
When putting together a menu for a dinner party, think about your own trigger foods. You certainly don’t want to serve something to your guests that makes you feel terrible! While these foods don’t cause heartburn in everyone, use this list as a guideline for ingredients and flavors to avoid so that you and your guests won’t experience acid reflux:1,2
- Coffee and tea. Caffeine can aggravate heartburn. If you serve coffee or tea at your dinner party, choose decaffeinated options.
- Carbonated drinks. The bubbles in carbonated drinks expand in your stomach and can lead to pressure and pain for those who frequently experience acid reflux.
- Chocolate. While rich, fudgy brownies always sound like a great idea, they contain cocoa, caffeine and fat. These three ingredients can trigger reflux.
- Peppermint. For some people, mint can be soothing. For those who suffer from heartburn, though, it can be a trigger for pain and discomfort.
- Grapefruit and orange. These high-acid fruits can relax the esophagus and make reflux more likely.
- Tomatoes. The high acid content of tomatoes can worsen heartburn symptoms. Avoid tomato-based sauces, soups and dishes.
- Alcohol. You may want to serve wine or cocktails to your guests, but alcohol can stimulate the production of stomach acid while relaxing the esophagus, making reflux more likely.
- Fried foods. There’s no denying that fried foods are delicious, but the extra fat and grease make this one of the worst options for acid reflux.
Overly fatty meats, like short ribs, or spicy foods containing chili powder can lead to digestive distress for you and your guests.2
What Foods Help Acid Reflux?
Now that you know what foods and seasonings to avoid, take a look at some options for foods that help heartburn sufferers, and keep these in mind when planning your party:1,2
- Fibrous foods. Foods that are high in fiber can make you feel full, so you’re less likely to overeat. Think about whole grains, like couscous and brown rice, root vegetables and green vegetables.
- Alkaline foods. Acidic foods can create more stomach acid and relax the esophagus, which causes reflux. Foods that can help heartburn include alkaline foods, which help to neutralize more acidic foods and are less likely to cause reflux. Some examples of alkaline foods include cauliflower, fennel and nuts.
- Watery foods. Foods with higher water content can dilute stomach acid, minimizing heartburn symptoms. When planning a dinner party menu, think about brothy soups and salads with lots of cucumbers.
Lean proteins are great for acid reflux, but be sure to remove skin and any excess fat.2 Skip the fryer and opt for baking, broiling and grilling.2
Heartburn-Friendly Dinner Party Menu Ideas
When inviting guests over for a party or a meal, think about heartburn-friendly foods that will satisfy without triggering heartburn symptoms.
One option is to start with a simple green salad with cucumbers and low-fat dressing. Then serve roasted sweet potatoes alongside grilled broccoli and cauliflower, brown rice and a lean, grilled pork tenderloin. This meal is high in fiber and low in fat. Serving multiple courses will keep you and your guests from eating too quickly, potentially triggering heartburn.
Another option is to grill out in the yard, make some lean turkey burgers and serve them on whole wheat buns. If you opt for beef, try to get the leanest kind you can. Throw vegetables on the grill, like zucchini and sweet peppers, to keep things nutritionally balanced.
Once you understand what foods and seasonings you should avoid, putting a menu together for a gathering can be easy. It can also be helpful to talk to your guests and ask them about their dietary preferences and whether they have any trigger foods that you should avoid.
However, even the most carefully curated menu may not agree with everyone. It’s smart to have TUMS on hand for quick heartburn relief. Try TUMS Smoothies for smooth-tasting relief from heartburn symptoms that may occur after eating. Use as directed.
- The Best and Worst Foods for Acid Reflux. University Hospital. https://www.uhhospitals.org/Healthy-at-UH/articles/2014/04/best-and-worst-foods-for-acid-reflux. Accessed 10/12/22.
- GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn). Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/gerd-diet-foods-that-help-with-acid-reflux-heartburn. Accessed 10/12/22.