Acid reflux is a serious condition affecting the gastrointestinal system in more than 20% of the population worldwide. Belching, heartburn, and acidity for more than 2 weeks are indications of GERD. The primary management of acid reflux involves dietary management. Acid reflux foods to avoid include spicy and oily foods, carbonated drinks, citrus foods, etc. Knowing about the acid reflux foods to avoid can help you to fight your acidity.
- The symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn can be minimized by a GERD diet
- Spicy foods, oily fast food, carbonated beverages, and citrus fruits are among the foods to avoid for acid reflux
- Avoiding late-night heavy meals, quitting smoking, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle are among the best practices to deal with acid reflux and heartburn
Acid reflux emerges when there is acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus. It causes a hot burning sensation in the chest, a bitter taste in the throat, and gassy bloating in the stomach. What you eat, on the other hand, can have an effect.
Acid Reflux Foods To Avoid
Here is a list of the worst acid reflux foods to control stomach acidity;
1. Are Caffeinated Drinks Bad for Acid Reflux?
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, aggravate acid reflux. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, allowing you to stay alert and prevent fatigue. Caffeinated beverages aggravate acid reflux while also having negative side effects in some people such as anxiety, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping.
Carbonated beverages cause the bubbles in your stomach to expand, increasing pressure and pain. Choose between plain water and decaf iced tea or choose caffeine-free teas.
2. Are Carbonated Drinks Bad for Acid Reflux?
Carbonated beverages are beverages containing dissolved CO2. Water, carbon dioxide, sweeteners, flavoring, colors, and acids are the primary ingredients in carbonated beverages. Spring water, beer, and soda, or pop, are examples of carbonated beverages.
Read Also: What Juice is Good for Acid Reflux?
3. Is Chocolate Bad for Acid Reflux?
Chocolate has a trifecta of acid reflux issues: caffeine, fat, and cocoa. Consuming cocoa can result in a surge of serotonin, causing your esophageal sphincter to relax and your gastric contents to rise. Caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can aggravate symptoms of heartburn hence it is listed among the acid reflux foods to avoid.
4. Is Peppermint Bad for Acid Reflux?
It also relaxes the sphincter that connects the esophagus to the stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter), which can result in gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn. It can exacerbate reflux symptoms in people with hiatal hernia and, predictably, those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Don’t be fooled by its reputation for stomach soothing; peppermint is an acid reflux trigger.
5. Are Citrus Fruits Bad for Acid Reflux?
Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, tangerines, limes, and grapefruit) are known to aggravate acid reflux symptoms. Citrus fruits contain acid, which causes reflux symptoms by relaxing the esophageal sphincter and exacerbating symptoms. Citrus fruits also contain more acid than other fruits, which will aggravate the symptoms of the majority of people.
Also Read: Benefits of Orange Juice
Grapefruit and orange – Citrus fruits’ high acidity relaxes the esophageal sphincter and worsens symptoms, so try to avoid them while struggling with acid reflux.
6. Is Tomato Bad for Acid Reflux?
Tomatoes contain two acids that cause heartburn: citric acid and malic acid. When you eat tomato-based products, your stomach produces gastric acid to help break down the foods in your stomach.
Avoid marinara sauce, ketchup, and tomato soup as well, as they are naturally high in acid.
Read Also: What Foods Neutralize Stomach Acid?
7. Are Fried Foods Bad for Acid Reflux?
Fried foods are among the worst foods for reflux. Skip the French fries, onion rings, and fried chicken and instead cook at home on the grill or in the oven.
Fried, greasy, and fatty foods can cause heartburn and acid reflux by preventing the lower esophageal sphincter from fully closing, allowing stomach acids to flow upward. Greasy, heavier foods are more difficult to digest, so the stomach empties more slowly, causing heartburn.
An air fryer is the best option if you want to enjoy crispy foods without deep frying in oil.
8. Are Snacks at Night Bad for Acid Reflux?
Avoid eating anything in the two hours before going to bed. Digestion gets slow at night hence consuming heavy meals and snacks at night can increase the chances of heartburn.
Lack of movement at night also makes it difficult to digest heavy meals at night. In addition, instead of two to three large meals per day, try eating four to five smaller meals throughout the day.
What Worsens Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux can be aggravated by the following factors:
- Going to bed shortly after eating
- consuming alcohol, coffee, or soda
- Eating large meals or late at night
- Consumption of triggering food (fatty or fried foods)
- Taking medications without first consulting with a doctor
How to Avoid Acid Reflux?
Other than avoiding acid reflux-causing foods, change your lifestyle to manage your acid reflux or GERD;
- Eat Small Meals: Instead of three large meals per day, eat small meals more frequently.
- Avoid Acidic Foods: Avoid the acid-producing foods mentioned above.
- Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle: Avoid strenuous exercise for a few hours after eating.
- Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight as directed.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking should be avoided because nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Avoid Late-Night Meals: Finish your meal 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
- Maintain Sleeping Posture: Your head should be 6 to 8 inches higher than your feet while sleeping.
1. Is yogurt good for acid reflux?
Yogurt is a good choice for acid reflux if it is not sour. It provides probiotics and proteins that soothe the inflamed gastric tract due to heartburn. Yogurt also imparts a cooling effect to the stomach and is one of the best GERD diets.
2. What helps acid reflux go away?
Ginger tea, certain fruit and vegetable juices, and plant-based milk may help people who suffer from acid reflux and heartburn. Avoiding citrus juices, carbonated beverages, and alcohol can also help reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms.