List of Acid Reflux Causing Food Items to be Avoided


Different kinds of foods can cause acid reflux. Acid reflux is referred to the condition when the acid from the stomach backflows to the esophagus. This is caused due to the damaged or weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES closes to avert the food present in the stomach from moving up to the esophagus.

Given below is a list of some foods that cause acid reflux and hence should be avoided

Tea, Coffee, and Soda
Caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee and soda trigger the symptoms of acid reflux. Even decaffeinated tea can trigger acid reflux as well. It is best to avoid them altogether.

Although delicious, it is one of the food items that cause acid reflux. The high content of fat in cheesecake causes the issue.

If you get acid reflux due to indigestion and gas; vegetables like broccoli will increase gas in your digestive system which will trigger acid reflux in return.

Citrus Fruits
The acid containing the citrus fruits will trigger acid reflux because they calm the lower esophageal down. Moreover, citrus fruits have more acid which aggravates the symptoms in most people.

Liquor of any kind like wine, beer, etc. causes acid reflux symptoms in two ways. Firstly, the alcohol calms the lower esophageal sphincter muscles letting the acid into the esophagus and secondly, alcohol helps in producing more stomach acid, which in turn causes acid reflux.

Spicy Foods
Among the most common causes of acid reflux, spicy food is one of them. If you suffer from the condition of acid reflux, it is best to avoid hot and spicy foods like curry and chili.

Both dark and milk chocolate are known to cause acid reflux. It contains a compound known as theobromine which relaxes the esophageal sphincter muscles thereby allowing the acid to travel upwards to the esophagus.

Tomatoes and all other tomato-based foods contain a high amount of acid. They make the lower esophageal sphincter muscles relaxed in the same manner as chocolate does. You must avoid food products like ketchup, tomato soup, and marinara sauce.

Large Meals
If you eat a large meal before two to three hours of bedtime, you are putting extra pressure on the esophageal sphincter muscles. It is always suggested to avoid going to bed at least an hour after eating.

Meat is an extremely hard item for the tummy to digest. Protein-rich foods like lean chicken, fish, and turkey create less acid since they are lower in fat but red meat like a juicy steak needs more acid in the abdomen. Limit the intake of meat to two to three times in a week and always chew your food properly before gulping it. It is always better to avoid meat as much as possible. Eat raw fruits and vegetables instead.

It may be fine for some to drink a cup of creamy and cold milk to relieve acid reflux symptoms temporarily but it is better to drink a glass of water instead. Milk creates acid secretion in excess especially when you drink milk in full stomach making the situation worse.

Cheese has high-fat content, and this kind of food relaxes the stomach and delay the process of digestion. This puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter letting the acid creep through. Some of the high-fat cheeses include Gouda, cream cheese, cheddar, stilton, and Parmesan. Whereas low-fat cheeses include ricotta, cottage cheese, etc. Cheese sauces are the worst of all items since they include butter and heavy cream as well.

Processed Baked Foods
Desserts like cookies and brownies create an acidic environment especially the ones full of preservatives and artificial colors. Foods that rank highest on the charts for being acidic include enriched flour, refined white sugar and hence you must avoid eating them.

Fried Food
Fried foods and food items high in trans-fats are extremely challenging to digest. These create a mess on the digestive tract. These foods are quite heavy and thus slow down the digestive process, leaving acids in excess which eventually moves upward to the esophagus. Moreover, they stay longer in the digestion tract too creating increased pressure on the stomach.

It is interesting to know that though mint candies and tea help to relieve stomach upset it also worsens symptoms of heartburn. The numbing effect of this herb relaxes the esophageal sphincter thereby making the stomach acid to attack the esophagus.

Onion and Garlic
Onion and garlic are triggers for those who suffer from heartburn. It is true that garlic is touted to be a healthy food item and is recommended for people who have an upset stomach. If you suffer from the same condition, it is important to eliminate onion and garlic from your diet to test if this improves your symptoms. You can spice up your food with other kinds of herbs to enhance the flavor.