Mangoes & Heartburn

Acid reflux is a common chronic disease that affects millions of people in the U.S. It happens when acid travels up the food pipe, causing burning and irritation. Although fruits are generally acidic, some fruits for acid reflux may be preferred.

Mangoes may trigger acid reflux.
Image Credit: serezniy/iStock/GettyImages

Acid reflux is characterized by a burning pain in the chest known as heartburn. One way to prevent heartburn is to limit intake of irritating or acidic foods, such as fruit. Though not confirmed by scientific evidence, one food combining technique recommends those suffering from indigestion do not mix fruit, which are acidic foods, with starches. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

What Is Heartburn?

Acid reflux and heartburn go hand-in-hand. Acid reflux also goes by the name gastroesophageal reflux (GER). According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, acid reflux happens when the contents of your stomach travel back up the esophagus. If stomach acid comes in contact with the lining of your esophagus, acid indigestion or heartburn occurs. An estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population experiences this painful phenomenon.

Though it sounds intimidating, occasional heartburn is no cause for concern. Mayo Clinic notes that symptoms are usually worse after meals and when lying down, though frequent episodes may be a sign of a more serious condition. If you experience severe chest pain, symptoms more than twice a week, difficulty swallowing or difficulty breathing, you may need to see a doctor.

Repeated instances of acid reflux or heartburn per week can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophagus. GERD is manageable with medication and lifestyle changes, though serious cases may require surgery.

Read more: The 10 Worst Foods for Acid Reflux

Mangoes and Acid Reflux

If you experience acid reflux regularly, one way to soothe your symptoms is to consume fruits for acid reflux and avoid triggering foods. Highly acidic foods, or foods with a pH balance of less than 7, may make symptoms worse since they can increase the acidity in the stomach.

Fruits for acid reflux may not be the best choice as fruits generally have a low pH score, meaning they are high-acid. However, some examples of higher pH fruits for acid reflux include ripe mangoes, figs, cherries, bananas and honeydew melon. Other examples of low-acidic or non-acidic foods include many vegetables, soy, beans, lentils, grains, healthy fats and herbal teas.

Since mangoes are a lower-acid fruit, it is possible that mangoes will not worsen your heartburn. However if you experience heartburn after consuming mangoes, you may want to avoid them altogether. Mangoes are also associated with digestive health benefits, so it is unlikely that a moderate amount of mangoes can cause heartburn. They are more likely to ease digestive discomfort.

When eating a high-acid diet consisting of acidic fruits and other foods, you can prevent heartburn or alleviate acid reflux symptoms by balancing it out with low-acid or high-alkaline foods. For example, you can mix fruit with milk, which is less acidic, or mix fruit with eggs, which is alkaline.

Read more: 14 Surprising Facts About Mangoes

How to Prevent Heartburn

To help manage heartburn, Harvard Health Publishing recommends consuming smaller meals more frequently instead of three large meals per day. They also recommend avoiding foods that are associated with heartburn: fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, chocolate and carbonated drinks.

Since heartburn may occur when lying down, it is recommended to avoid lying down for several hours after a meal. Other lifestyle changes to prevent heartburn include wearing clothes that do not restrict the abdomen, healthy weight loss, sleeping at an incline and quitting smoking.

Is This an Emergency?

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections, it is best to call your doctor before leaving the house if you are experiencing a high fever, shortness of breath or another, more serious symptom.
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