Acid reflux is a condition that impacts many people and makes them very uncomfortable, especially right after they eat. It’s a condition where hydrochloric acid in their stomach tries to come back up into the esophagus which causes heartburn and an upset stomach. If it gets serious enough, acid reflux can even damage the tissue of the esophagus.
The formal name for acid reflux is Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. This is a very common problem, and some people suffer from it every day. It can be caused by a number of things, including too many spicy foods, overeating, in general, a stomach ulcer, lacking digestive enzymes, or a number of other factors. A proper diet can help alleviate some of the symptoms of acid reflux. There are certain acid reflux foods to avoid to help reduce or, in some cases completely eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux.
Fried and fatty foods slow down digestion and cause food to remain in the stomach for long periods of time. This increases pressure on the stomach, and food can be forced back into the esophagus. Heartburn is often caused by fried food. The high-fat content in fried food makes it one of the acid reflux foods to avoid.
Chocolate has theobromine which occurs naturally in cocoa, coffee, and tea. This ingredient causes the lower part of the esophagus to relax which allows food to flow back up the esophagus. Chocolate is also high in fat which causes reflux. If you love chocolate and can’t live without it, eat dark chocolate, it isn’t as high in fat as milk chocolate, but really, all chocolate is bad for reflux.
Spicy Foods such as chili, peppers, and other spices contribute to acid reflux. Some people also have problems with garlic, ginger and onions as well.
Citrus Fruits contain citric acid, which adds to acid reflux. Tomatoes, grapes, oranges, and cranberries all have high citric acid content. Some fruits also cause the lower part of the esophagus to relax, which allow food to flow back into the esophagus and causes acid reflux.
Alcohol consumption can also lead to acid reflux. Alcohol relaxes the valve at the lower end of the esophagus, where it joins the stomach, which allows food to flow back into the tube. The best idea is not to drink, but if you do, have only one drink and do not drink acidic mixers such as orange juice, soda or cranberry juice at all.
Peppermint is not good to eat if one is prone to acid reflux. Many people enjoy an after dinner mint, but these can result in heartburn and acid reflux.
High-fat cuts of meats, including beef, pork and lamb which stay longer in the stomach increase the chance of acid reflux. Choose, instead a lean cut of meat and eat meat only once a week. Furthermore, avoid higher fat ground beef, chicken nuggets, buffalo wings, etc. These can cause acid reflux, too.
Dairy products, especially high-fat products such as cheese, milk, and sour cream are all acid reflux foods to avoid. All high-fat foods cause acid reflux and dairy products are no different. Avoid any dairy with a high-fat content, especially late at night when it can stay in your stomach and not process through and possible flow back into the esophagus.
Desserts such as brownies, butter cookies, donuts, etc., pretty much anything with high fat or chocolate. These rich, chocolate or high-fat desserts will all cause acid reflux and heartburn.
Soda and other carbonated beverages are some of the primary causes of acid reflux. The bubbles in carbonated beverages expand inside the stomach and this increased pressure makes the acid reflux worse. Sodas with caffeine and those which are acidic, an almost all are, are even worse on acid reflux. Many sodas were tested and the worst for acid reflux were Coke, Diet Pepsi, and Tab. All sodas are bad for acid reflux, so it is recommended that anyone prone to acid reflux refrain from drinking sodas all together.
Caffeine is also bad for acid reflux, especially if it is more than one cup per day. Individuals who drink cups and cups of coffee or caffeine soda throughout the day are very likely to develop acid reflux disease. It is recommended to drink chamomile tea or one cup of lightly brewed green tea.