Foods That Cause Heart Palpitations
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Foods That Cause Heart Palpitations

Overview

There are several kinds of foods that cause heart palpitations in individuals. These foods differ with individuals. But first, what does the term heart palpitation mean?

Heart palpitations refer to the feeling of an individual’s heart pounding or fluttering, or skipping a beat. They may occur due to stress or after exercising. Certain foods do not just cause these, but there are some added ingredients that may result in heart palpitation. Apart from foods, certain medications, supplements and other factors can lead to heart pounding.

causes of heart palpitations
Picture courtesy: Easy Immune Health.com

Heart palpitations are not dangerous, but they are not normal occurrences either. They can be a sign of arrhythmia and, thus, should not be taken for granted. If they reoccur often, the individual should seek medical help.

They can occur while eating, after eating or at about anytime. They are known to occur in individuals who are allergic or sensitive to certain foods.

When these heart palpitations occur, an individual may exhibit the following symptoms:

Heart palpitations symptoms
Picture courtesy: Cleveland Clinic

What are foods that cause heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations after eating can be caused by several kinds of foods.

  • Foods high in carbohydrates  
  • Sodium-rich foods (canned or processed foods)
  • High sugar foods 
  • Spicy, rich foods   
  • Salty foods

As stated earlier, certain ingredients in foods can also cause the heart to pound, flutter or skip a beat. These ingredients include:

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – This is contained in some processed foods. It may trigger heart palpitations in people who are sensitive to it.
  • Theobromine – This is a naturally occurring ingredient in cacao plants and, thus, is found in chocolate. In people sensitive to theobromine, it can increase their heart rate.
  • Tyramine – Tyramine can cause heart palpitations after eating and may also result in increased blood pressure. It is found in alcohol, aged cheeses, dried fruit and cured meat.
  • Caffeine – This may be found in chocolate, coffee, soda, energy drinks and tea.

Certain supplements that cause heart palpitations include ginseng, valerian, hawthorn, ephedra, senna, aconite root and bitter orange. Certain medications taken for allergies, insulin, high blood pressure, diet pills, antibiotics, heart disease medications, etc., can cause heart palpitations.

Caffeinated Foods and Drinks 

Caffeine is an ingredient in some foods and drinks, such as chocolate, soda, tea, coffee and energy drinks. Caffeine is beneficial to the heart. It may cause the heart to raise after eating, but there is not enough research to prove this.

Sugar

Sugar and sugar-rich foods can result in heart palpitations after eating. Hypoglycemic people should avoid these foods.

Alcohol

A review of research done in 2016 showed that excessive intake of alcohol could cause arrhythmia. Arrhythmia can lead to heart palpitations after eating. Individuals for whom alcohol may trigger heart palpitations should avoid the intake of alcohol.

High Sodium Foods

Foods that contain sodium possess salt in large quantities. Foods rich in salt include pizza, cheese, bread, canned soups, savory snacks, etc. Eating too much of these salty foods can cause serious problems in people suffering from heart rhythm conditions.

Spicy Foods

Spicy-rich foods can trigger heart palpitations. These foods can lead to heartburn. They can sometimes cause the heart to beat fast. 

How to stop heart palpitations after eating?

To decrease the risk of heart palpitations.

  • Making certain lifestyle changes.
  • Maintain a healthy, moderate weight.
  • Avoid stress, but if it cannot be completely avoided, steps should be taken to reduce it.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • An individual who is suffering from anxiety or depression should start taking treatment.
  • Individuals should avoid what they eat, and those foods that cause heart palpitations should be cut off.
  • Decrease the intake of salt and sugar.
  • Reduce the intake of alcohol.

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