When you feel that burning pain in your breastbone, you know it all too well: heartburn. Almost everyone experiences it sometimes, as heartburn causes range from food to exercise to stress.[1] So one way to minimize the chance of having it is to scale back on those activities. If you get the pain when you jog, try low-impact cross training machines; if it comes when during a hectic of the day, try to reorganize your schedule. And if eating too many fatty foods gives you heartburn, cut back on the heavier, oil- and tomato-based dishes.

Indeed, food is the one of the main heartburn causes. But it's not just any foods; the more acidic a food is, the worse it is on the digestive system. Because the stomach lining uses acid to digest foods, acid is likely to creep into the esophagus and give you heartburn. It is no surprise, then, that heartburn is also referred to as acid indigestion.

Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is needed to grow and repair tissues in our bodies. It also maintains our cartilage, bones, and teeth--and helps our wounds heal. Because it is not fat-soluble and cannot be stored for later use, it should be consumed every day, which means 75-90 mg/day for adults.[2] And since our body does not produce it, we must get it from an outside source, namely foods and drinks. Here are some that are high in Vitamin C:

  • Green peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Where heartburn links with Vitamin C is in the fact that Vitamin C is naturally acidic. Therefore citrus juices, which tend to be naturally acid, are high in Vitamin C. This means that an everyday breakfast drink like orange juice can aggravate the digestive system and become one of many heartburn causes.

Nutrition experts at the National Heartburn Alliance say that citrus juices and tomato-based foods contribute to heartburn.[3] Given that those are extremely acidic and high in Vitamin C suggests that the vitamin can cause heartburn, and that despite all its benefits, taking in too much Vitamin C can increase your chances of getting heartburn.

However, each person is different. Just because you have heartburn doesn't mean you need to cut out all sources of Vitamin C. It may be that your heartburn is cause more so by how quickly you eat, how much you smoke, or how and when you lie down. If you have any concerns, the best bet is to see your doctor.



[1] www.nlm.nih.gov

[2] www.nlm.nih.gov

[3] www.heartburnalliance.com