Acid Reflux Foods to Avoid
Getting acid reflux from time to time isn’t anything to worry about, particularly after having too many glasses of wine or eating a full pizza yourself.
However, if you find yourself reaching for an antacid (liquid or pills) all the time, you most likely need to re-evaluate what you’re eating.
Note that your diet won’t necessarily trigger GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), a condition where the acid in your stomach constantly rises to your mouth via the esophagus.
However, what you eat can aggravate these uncomfortable symptoms.
These symptoms include a burning sensation in the chest, also known as heartburn, and less common symptoms such as bloating, chronic cough, and regurgitation.
Not sure which foods can worsen your acid reflux? No need to worry this review will discuss them in detail and give you some tips on combatting acid reflux.
Taking alcohol, particularly red wine, in large quantities can exacerbate acid reflux.
Red wine relaxes the esophageal sphincter’s lower part, making it more likely for acid to enter the esophagus and eventually your mouth.
2. Carbonated Drinks
There are two things in carbonated drinks, such as soda, that can exacerbate your acid reflux symptoms. The first is carbonation, and the second is caffeine.
The carbonation in sodas causes your stomach to bloat and increases the internal pressure as well.
Combining the rise in internal pressure and the calming effect of caffeine on the LES will increase your acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.
Cola soda, energy drinks, and even some citrus-flavored sodas all have caffeine.
The more caffeinated drinks you have in a day, the greater the chances of your LES (lower esophageal sphincter) failing to function properly.
Like coffee, chocolate has some traces of caffeine which calms the LES. Chocolate also releases serotonin when consumed.
Serotonin is a hormone that regulates moods, including calming stress. However, serotonin calms the LES, thereby causing acid reflux.
4. Citrus Fruits
Because citrus fruits have high amounts of citric acid, they cause the gut to produce more acid. As a result, your gut is more occupied, increasing the chances of acid reflux symptoms.
Keep in mind that you won’t experience acid reflux symptoms every time you eat citrus fruits, but if you have a tendency to take orange juice daily, you might want to moderate your consumption if you notice a spike in acid reflux symptoms.
Coffee is an integral part of most people’s day, and the caffeine inside it helps a lot of people to kick-start their day and have high energy levels throughout the day.
However, this caffeine in coffee also hinders the workings of the LES.
One cup of coffee a day might not exacerbate your acid reflux symptoms, but the lingering question is how much caffeine is in your coffee?
High caffeine coffee is bad if you have recurring acid reflux symptoms, so you should limit your consumption.
Milk and its resultant products are rich in fat which worsens heartburn.
When you have recurrent GERD symptoms such as heartburn, consuming high-fat dairy products such as cheese and ghee will exacerbate your symptoms.
What’s more, frozen dairy products such as ice cream can inhibit the LES’s (lower esophageal sphincter’s) function.
As a result, the acid inside your gut can backwash into your esophagus and eventually your mouth.
7. Fatty and Greasy Foods
Fatty meats and fried foods such as bacon, crisps, French fries, and sour cream tend to have a calming effect on the esophageal sphincter.
When this sphincter is relaxed, more acid will be allowed into the esophagus, thereby irritating it.
High-fat foods are also absorbed slowly, meaning they sit longer inside your gut, causing the gut to produce more acid.
8. Garlic and Onions
Thanks to their tangy flavor, garlic and onions are commonly used in many dishes. Their tangy flavor means they contain acid, which will worsen your reflux symptoms.
Peppermint is known for its calming effects on an irritable bowel, but it has the opposite effect on acid reflux.
Peppermint relaxes the digestive muscles like fatty foods, so if you have reflux symptoms, stay away from peppermint supplements and teas.
Tomatoes are known for their rapid growth, which has made them a staple in most foods. Their savory or umami flavor makes most delicacies tasty, including lasagna and pizza.
Tomatoes are also rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C. Unfortunately, tomatoes are also very acidic, which means they will increase the acid levels in your gut.
Black pepper, chili flakes, cayenne powder, hot sauce, salsa, wasabi, and other spicy additives make your meals sumptuous.
However, spices are rich in a substance known as capsaicin which gives them their spicy flavor.
Capsaicin also boosts the production of acid in the stomach and causes inflammation of the mucous membranes in the digestive tract.
This substance can also irritate the esophageal sphincter and worsen GERD symptoms.
How Else Can You Prevent Acid Reflux?
Apart from changing the foods you eat, your physician might also ask you to change how you eat. Here are some of the recommendations you’re likely to get:
Avoid Tight Clothes Around Your Waist
Don’t wear clothes that restrict movement in your waist region.
If your clothes pressure your abdomen when you take a meal, they will also put pressure on your oesophageal sphincter, thereby aggravating acid reflux symptoms.
Don’t Eat Snacks Unless You’re Hungry
You might feel like having a snack even after you’ve had a proper meal which will, in turn, put pressure on your stomach and aggravate acid reflux symptoms.
Eat Smaller Portions
Eating smaller portions can reduce the pressure inside your stomach, allowing the LES to function normally, and reducing acid reflux symptoms.
High stomach pressure will relax your LES allowing acid to climb up the esophagus.
You’re less likely to consume a lot of food or irritate your esophagus and stomach if you take small bites and chew your food properly.
Don’t Lie Down After Meals
Don’t lie down after having a meal; you’re less likely to aggravate acid reflux symptoms if you sit upright for about two to three hours.