Acid reflux is one of the most common, yet most annoying conditions to deal with. The symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation in the chest, a bitter taste in the throat and stomach bloating.
Acid reflux happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) misbehaves, thus forcing stomach acids back in the belly.
There are many causes to acid reflux include obesity, laying down, bending at the waist or smoking. Alongside with these, some of the other acid reflux trigger includes blood pressure drugs, severe exercise, and poor dieting.
Unfortunately, improper dieting falls among the key triggers of acid reflux, with a number of products irritating the esophagus or disrupting the stomach performance.
Top 10 Foods to Avoid when Dealing with Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Chocolate is able to spark up heartburn, and there are three reasons behind it. For one, chocolate contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, both of which can lead to reflux.
In fact, theobromine can tighten the lower esophageal sphincter, thus leading to more serious form of acid reflux. In addition, chocolate is high in fat, which takes time to digest, and can cause reflux.
Finally, cocoa in chocolate can upset the intestinal cells, making them unable to relax. If you are a fan of chocolate, always go for dark chocolate, but consume it in moderation.
Alcohol is a direct cause of reflux and upsets the esophagus tremendously. In addition, alcohol can also affect the gut health and affect the esophagus. As a result, you can experience a more serious form of acid reflux.
According to a study drinking over 210 g of alcohol can become a direct trigger of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Also, a 2010 study noted that alcohol can damage the esophageal and gastric mucosa. Ideally, you should avoid alcohol, but when drinking it, stick to 1 to 2 drinks a day.
Due to caffeine, coffee can easily provoke acid reflux. Even if you are a fan of coffee, it is best you substitute it with black or green tea, which are a far healthier option.
Coffee can lead to hypertension and upset the stomach, while also accelerate gastric emptying. Of course, all of the above can be considered direct acid reflux causes. Not just coffee, if dealing with acid reflux, make sure to avoid all caffeinated drinks.
Patients diagnosed with GERD should avoid tomatoes at all costs. Rich in malic and citric acid, tomatoes affect the gut and esophagus, leading to acid reflux. Together with tomatoes, avoid all sorts of tomato-based products, including ketchup and sauces.
5. Carbonated Drinks
From colas to sodas, carbonated drinks don’t do the body good. In addition, these can easily cause heartburn and severe acid reflux.
Among other side effects, carbonated drinks are not as easy to digest, making the stomach work harder. On top of it all, carbonated beverages are high in acidity and if you do drink them, limit the content to one drink in the morning.
6. Citrus Fruits
All citrus fruits are acidic and can, therefore, lead to digestive tract irritation. Additionally, it is never recommended to eat these fruits on an empty stomach, as they aggravate the gut and esophagus.
Instead of citrus fruits, choose highly alkaline foods such as pears, bananas, apples, and melon.
7. Fatty Meats
Beef, pork, and lambs are considered a serious cause of acid reflux. Being high in fat, these meets are not at all recommended for consumption.
Due to their high-fat content, these meats are difficult to digest and can exit the body for a longer time. The same goes for all other meats which are fried or processed, so it is best to avoid them altogether.
Peppermint serves as a great soother to the gut, but if over-consumed, it can lead to heartburn and acid reflux. On one hand, peppermint is healthy, but in people suffering from GERD, it can worsen the performance of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Garlic is super powerful and has great health properties, but at the same time, it can lead to heartburn. The reason for this is because garlic boosts the acidic content in the gut, making it harder to eliminate.
At the same time, garlic relieves pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter, which is why digestive acids travel back to the body. If you are a fan of garlic, take it only in small amounts. The same effects can also be caused by onions.
Cheese is high in fat and can, therefore, cause severe reflux and heartburn. High in fat, cheese is more difficult to digest and can push the food back to the esophagus.
Cheese can also trigger a greater stomach acid production, thus causing even more serious heartburn. Some of the main cheesy culprits include cheddar, Parmesan, cream cheese, and Stilton. If you cannot go without cheese, opt for ricotta and low-fat products.
- Regardless of which foods upset your stomach, it is best to avoid them entirely.
- Don’t eat at least two hours before going to sleep.
- Divide your meals into 4-5 smaller portions.
- Don’t use exaggerated seasoning in your food.
- Always choose fresh and organic herbs and spices if cooking.
- Drink 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 8 oz. of water to avoid reflux side-effects.
- Chew gums for half an hour a day.
- Never lie down after a meal, but engage in a lighter activity.
- If you choose to take a nap, place a pillow beneath you.
- Consume more fruit, with the best-being honeydew, apples, and watermelon.
- Drink ginger tea to soothe the gut.
- Eat mustard, which is full of minerals and will soothe your stomach.
- Drink one cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before going to bed.
If you fail to see any improvements in symptoms or effects, make sure you schedule a doctor’s appointment to get the issue under control.