5 Worst Foods for Acid Reflux
- Posted on: Feb 21 2015
It is estimated that 63 million Americans suffer from acid reflux disease, and if you are one of the affected, you know that acid reflux is a serious matter. There’s nothing worse than enjoying a plate of food and then shortly after you finish eating, there’s a burning feeling backing up into your esophagus. Some of the foods you are eating might be the cause of this, as some foods can worsen acid reflux symptoms by decreasing the tone of the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This prolongs the amount of time that food spends sitting in the stomach, which can cause the stomach to produce excess gastric acid, the chemical that is responsible for breaking down food. There are also some foods that cause the stomach to produce too much acid, so if you are one of the estimated 63 million that suffers from acid reflux, you might want to eliminate these 5 common trigger foods from your diet.
1. Fatty Foods
Fatty foods will spend more time hanging out in your stomach, as they are digested slowly; this gives gastric acid more opportunity to work its way up into your esophagus. In addition, high fat, low-nutrient foods can cause weight gain in some individuals; research published in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics shows that obesity can cause esophageal dysfunctions that are linked to acid reflux symptoms. So if you are going to enjoy a fat-loaded meal, make sure it’s a small one and make sure you are eating it at least a few hours before bed; if you lay down shortly after eating a fatty meal, you risk suffering from acid reflux in the middle of the night.
Tomatoes and tomato products are packed with malic and citric acid, both which can make the stomach produce too much gastric acid. Tomatoes can make your gastric acid levels rise high enough to make it force back up the esophagus. Cooking tomatoes won’t reduce the acidity enough to prevent acid reflux either, so next time you are making pizza sauce, trying whipping up some fresh pesto instead, and try to limit (or eliminate) tomatoes from your diet.
Onions is another food that should be eliminated, as there is a clear link between them and acid reflux; when you eat onions they stimulate gastric acid due to it prolonging the amount of time food sits in the stomach, so it will exacerbate heartburn and belching. Cooking onions might help some with acid reflux symptoms, but it might not be enough to stop excessive acid from forming, so instead try eating green onions and milder shallots as a replacement.
4. Carbonated Beverages
While one every once in a while may not trigger symptoms, carbonated beverages should be limited or avoided if possible. The gas that is released from carbonated beverages only increases gastric pressure, as the bubbles push on your stomach; this will stretch your stomach and will force the esophageal sphincter open. In addition to the bubbles, many carbonated drinks contain caffeine, which can trigger acid reflux in some people as it is highly acidic.
5. Citrus Fruits
Eliminating or cutting back on citrus fruits are a must if you want relief from acid reflux, as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and other citrus fruits are acidic and can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms due to their low PH content. If you are really craving something juicy and sweet, reach for pineapple instead; pineapple even contains the digestive enzyme bromelain, which can help digestion by helping break down protein. However, start off small at first with pineapple, as it does contain some potentially reflux-inducing citric acid.
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