If you are suffering from frequent acid reflux and heartburn, it is time to re-evaluate your diet and find out the various acid reflux foods to avoid.
Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach goes up to the esophagus which it should not do. Under normal circumstances, the muscle valve separating the esophagus from the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, closes tight to prevent food and acid from backing up to the esophagus. However, there are certain types of foods that relax the muscle therefore limiting its ability to perform its function. If the valve is not closed tight enough, acid seeps into the esophagus and can irritate and cause damage to the lining.
A List of Acid Reflux Foods to Avoid
To put a stop the frequent heartburn and discomfort brought on by acid reflux, here is a list of acid reflux foods to avoid which can help you stay away from foods that cause heartburn.
- Tomatoes – health buffs esteem this fruit for its beneficial lycopene that can lower the risk of certain cancers. However, tomatoes are also capable of relaxing the muscle valve that closes the esophagus to the stomach. People who are prone to heartburn and acid reflux are advised to lessen their intake of tomatoes or any dish that contain this fruit in any form i.e. tomato sauce on pasta. Many people consider tomatoes as staples and as there are no substitutes for tomatoes, a suggestion is for them to avoid eating tomatoes near bedtime.
- Crunchy foods – toast, popcorn, crackers, nuts, etc. can aggravate acid reflux by scratching your lower esophageal sphincter or LES.
- Alcoholic drinks – these can aggravate acid reflux by increasing the production of stomach acids and at the same time relaxing the LES. If you happen to drink alcohol after eating a large meal, then the more you are at risk of experiencing acid reflux and heartburn.
- Fried and fatty foods – these are acid reflux foods to avoid as they slow down digestion and the longer food stays in your stomach, the more acids are produced. High levels of acids increase the risk of heartburn.
- Carbonated drinks – these cause gastric distension and when your stomach is distended, pressure on the LES is increased promoting acid reflux.
- Citrus fruits – the most common acid reflux-inducing citrus fruits are lemons, oranges and grapefruits and if you are prone to acid reflux, eating a lot of these should be avoided.
- Coffee and tea – the caffeine content of these beverages also cause the LES to relax. Aside from acid refluxing into the esophagus, more sensitive individuals also experience regurgitation and dyspepsia caused by caffeine.
- Chocolate – are also acid reflux foods to avoid. Chocolates contain concentrations of theobromine which also relaxes the LES allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. If chocolates are simply a favorite of yours, choose dark, organic types and consume only 2-3 small squares a 2-3 times a week.
- Spicy foods – people who are prone to heartburn just don’t do well with spices especially garlic and onion.
Knowing which acid reflux foods to avoid can help you escape the discomfort caused by heartburn. In line with this, you should also find out which foods are good for acid reflux and include these in your diet.