Acid reflux is one of the most commonly searched health issues on the Internet. A large number of people around the world suffer from this including children. If reflux happens more than twice a week, it is considered as GERD or gastroesophageal disease. Contents of the stomach go back up to the esophagus including the hydrochloric acid that is housed in the stomach to help digest food and this can be very painful. But the good this is that this can be managed with the right kind of food. Read on below to find out 11 worst foods to avoid if you suffer from acid reflux.
Alcohol is one of the greatest enemies of acid reflux specifically red wine and beer. Alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter making the stomach acid go back up. If a large meal is followed by alcohol, you are raising your risk of having heartburn. To be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, you can eat a smaller meal and just a little bit of alcohol.
9. Fatty Food
Oily food is a big no-no for those who have acid reflux. Food that is high in fat is harder to digest thus putting pressure on the stomach and esophagus. It makes your stomach stay full longer thus triggering it to produce more acid. Instead of frying your food, go for poaching or grilling. Aside from minimizing the symptoms of heartburn, it also saves you from the extra calories.
8. Spicy Food
While some who are suffering from GERD find spicy food to calming to the stomach, a lot of patients also complain of massive heartburn after eating a spicy dish. Actually spicy food can increase the acid levels in the stomach that promotes acid reflux. Decrease the heat in your meals.
Despite being considered a food high in antioxidants, tomatoes can also be bad for GERD sufferers. They are very high in acid and can upset the stomach. Also be wary of food made from tomatoes like ketchup and salsa.
Oranges and other citrus fruits which are high in Vitamin C are also high in acid content. You can look to other more alkaline sources of Vitamin C like melons and apples, pears, and bananas. However, if you really are a fan of citrus fruits, you may take it earlier in the day so as not to trigger your reflux by bedtime.
It is known that mint can ease upset stomachs. However, you also have to know that it can also relax your esophageal sphincter which can lead to heartburn. One substitute for mint is ginger. You can take ginger tea before bedtime to decrease the chances of overnight heartburn.
Aside from being high in acid, coffee also contains caffeine that is also known to relax the esophageal sphincter. If you are a coffee lover, just limit your daily intake so as not to trigger or aggravate your symptoms.
Soda can be very harmful to people with acid reflux. Its carbon dioxide content can force open your esophagus and allow acid to escape from the stomach. Drink water instead. But if you still insist on your soda, you can let it sit out for a while until it becomes quite flat before drinking it.
Sugar is one of the ultimate enemies of a person with GERD. Sometimes, candies are fortified with Vitamin C and some preservatives and which can make the candy very acidic. Instead of candies, you can go for natural fruit sugars instead.
Chocolate is a double whammy when it comes to acid reflux. Aside from being high in fat, it is also rich in caffeine that is known to relax the esophageal sphincter. Women who are pregnant should be more cautious in eating chocolate as they are more at risk for heartburn.
Acid reflux can be challenging but you can still take control of this. Just like what they always say – moderation is key. You may keep a food journal just to help you find your triggers then you can work your way out from there. Good luck!