Foods to Avoid When You Have Acid Reflux
What you eat can make your acid reflux and heartburn worse. You may need the help of your GI doctor to identify which foods are triggering your acid reflux or heartburn.
What Acid Reflux Patients Need to Avoid
In general, these are the foods that people prone to acid reflux should watch out for:
Fatty and Acidic Foods
- Fried Foods
Why do you think fried food is on top of this list? It’s because fried foods are greasy. Grease in the stomach causes irritation, which can result in the release of stomach acid to the esophagus. This is true not just for fried meats, but even for fried vegetables.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons and lime, have a lot of acid. If you have acid reflux, try to avoid eating these fruits because of the acid they put into the stomach. If you do, you may feel the acid overflow to your esophagus. Moreover, citric acid makes your esophagus relax, and so it is easier for you to have heartburn.
- Tomatoes/Tomato Sauce
You need to avoid tomatoes and meals prepared from tomatoes because these are naturally acidic. The foods to avoid include ketchup, tomato soups and marinara sauce. As with eating citrus fruits, the extra acid put in your stomach could splash back up to your esophagus.
Chocolate is a favorite comfort food for many people, so it’s difficult to avoid. But there’s a strong reason for people who suffer heartburn to avoid this. It contains both fat and caffeine, which trigger heartburn. If you must eat, choose dark chocolate. But as much as you can, stay away from chocolates.
Carbonated, Caffeinated and Alcoholic Drinks
- Carbonated Drinks
There are two reasons why you should not drink carbonated beverages. First, many carbonated beverages are also caffeinated. Caffeine can irritate the stomach and cause acid reflux. Second, if not caffeinated, this type of beverage puts gas into your stomach. Your tendency is to burp to release the gas. Stomach acid will escape as well making your heartburn worse.
- Alcoholic Drinks
Any GI doctor advises people to avoid sugary drinks, such as alcoholic beverages, because they are likely to cause upset stomach and heartburn. In addition, alcohol can relax your esophageal sphincter as you drink. It’s the reason why you definitely need to avoid alcohol if suffer from acid reflux.
Some colas contain caffeine, but the amount is nothing compared to coffee and espresso. Taking in all that caffeine would mean serious heartburn for you. If you don’t want to give up the taste of coffee, take decaffeinated coffee. Tea contains caffeine, too. So be careful.
Now that you know which foods and drinks can spell trouble for your acid reflux, take heed to avoid them as much as you can. You might have a hard time doing it, but you’ll be thankful for not needing to put up with the constant feeling of stomach pain due to hyperacidity and heartburn.
Photo credit: By Peg93 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons