You might get heartburn after indulging in Mexican food, but you probably shouldn't blame the cilantro. The pungent leafy herb is added to a number of spicy dishes in a variety of cuisines to help temper the heat, according to the author of "The Herbal Kitchen." While it's possible that cilantro may be one of your trigger foods, it may also help prevent heartburn. If you're experiencing heartburn, consult your doctor to identify the underlying cause.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Heartburn and Diet
Heartburn is common and occurs when the contents of your stomach regurgitate into your esophagus causing pain and discomfort. While spicy foods and eating portions that are too large are often the likely culprits of your heartburn, a number of common foods are also linked to the discomfort. Cilantro is not a food commonly associated with heartburn, but that does not mean it may not cause trouble for you.
Cilantro and Digestion
Peppermint & Hiatal Hernia
Cilantro is considered a digestive aid, according to "Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Health Professionals: A Holistic Approach to Consumer Health." It may help relieve gas, bloating and indigestion 4. How it helps digestion is not explained, however. As an herb in your food, cilantro may also help balance spiciness, which may help improve tolerance.
- Cilantro is considered a digestive aid, according to "Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Health Professionals: A Holistic Approach to Consumer Health."
- As an herb in your food, cilantro may also help balance spiciness, which may help improve tolerance.
Is Cilantro Your Heartburn Trigger Food?
If you're uncertain of the cause of your heartburn, you may need to experiment with different foods to identify the ones that cause trouble and eliminate them. You can do this by first omitting the foods that commonly cause heartburn, then experiment with the foods that you think may cause trouble, which may include cilantro. Record your intake and your symptoms and make adjustments to your diet as necessary.
Tips for Managing Heartburn
Stomach Discomfort at Night
In addition to avoiding the troublesome foods, certain lifestyle changes may help you better manage your heartburn. Eating smaller meals and drinking between meals may help relieve some of the abdominal pressure. Also, Penn Medicine suggests you up your intake of fruits and veggies to get more fiber to prevent constipation. Staying upright for at least two hours after you eat and having your last meal three hours before you go to bed may also help.
- In addition to avoiding the troublesome foods, certain lifestyle changes may help you better manage your heartburn.
Peppermint & Hiatal Hernia
Stomach Discomfort at Night
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Bloating
Foods That Are Bad for Asthma
Does Decaffeinated Coffee Cause Bloating?
What Are the Causes of Waking Up With Nausea?
Chest Pressure and Swallowing Air While Eating
Why Does My Stomach Rumble?
Foods That Cause Gas, Belching and Heartburn
Can You Eat Anything to Get Rid of Heartburn?
- The Herbal Kitchen; Kami McBride
- Food.com: Kitchen Dictionary: Cilantro
- Penn Medicine: Managing Heartburn With Diet
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Health Professionals: A Holistic Approach to Consumer Health; Linda Baily Synovitz and Karl L. Larson
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. 10 tips to prevent reflux disease. 2013.
- Harvard Medical School. Gastroesophageal reflux: More than just heartburn. 2014.
- Harvard Medical School. Take control of your heartburn.
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- Harvard Medical School. What to eat when you have chronic heartburn. Updated October 22, 2019.
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- National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & causes of GER & GERD. Updated November 2014.
- Harvard Medical School. 8 ways to quell the fire of heartburn.
- Mendes-filho AM, Moraes-filho JP, Nasi A, et al. Influence of exercise testing in gastroesophageal reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Arq Bras Cir Dig. 2014;27(1):3-8. doi:10.1590/S0102-67202014000100002
- Cleveland Clinic. Why does your heartburn always seem worse at night?. August 17, 2017.
- Cleveland Clinic. GERD (chronic acid reflux). Updated December 6, 2019.
- Allampati S, Lopez R, Thota PN, Ray M, Birgisson S, Gabbard SL. Use of a positional therapy device significantly improves nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux symptoms. Diseases of the Esophagus. 2016. doi:10.1111/dote.12495.
- Ness-Jensen E, Hveem K, El-Serag H, Lagergren J. Lifestyle intervention in gastroesophageal reflux disease. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology : The Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2016;14(2):175-182.e3. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2015.04.176
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.