Acid Reflux? Here Are 10 Foods You Should Avoid
The entrance to your stomach is usually closed by a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES opens when you eat food and closes immediately after. If your stomach produces too much of acid, the acid can back up through the valve and into your esophagus. You can experience a burning, painful sensation in your chest called heartburn. The other symptoms of acid reflux are dyspepsia and regurgitation. If the symptoms occur at least 2 times a week, then you might be suffering from a stomach disease called gastroesophageal refulx disease (GERD). GERD can be caused by genetic abnormalities in the stomach, certain types of medication, and your food choices. A lot of foods lead to the build up of acids in your stomach and prevent the LES from closing properly, which lead to uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Here are a list of foods you should avoid if you suffer from acid reflux.
Even though tomatoes are delicious and contain healthy nutrients, you should avoid them if you are prone to acid reflux. Tomatoes contain a high amount of citric acid and malic acid. Consuming them can cause the acid accumulated in your stomach to back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
Onions have been known to cause heartburn by relaxing the LES, which keeps the food from flowing back into the esophagus. It also contains some volatile oils that increase gastric secretions in the stomach, causing acidity.
3. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits, sweet lime, and tangerine are rich in citric acid. Lemon is one of the most acidic fruits in the world, with a pH almost as low as 2. Consuming citrus fruits when suffering from acid reflux will increase the acidity in your stomach and will further aggravate your condition.
Caffeine relaxes the LES, allowing food to go back into your esophagus to cause heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn at night, it is fine to drink a small cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but gulping down caffeine throughout the day causes serious heartburn.
Peppermint has a soothing effect on the stomach by relaxing the stomach muscles. Since it also relaxes the LES, it aggravates the symptoms of acid reflux.
Sodas are acidic in nature due to which they lower the pH of your stomach. Drinking soda also creates a pressure in your stomach which causes the LES to open. This allows your food to easily back up into your esophagus and cause heartburn.
Chocolate allows the LES to stay open for a longer period of time that is normally does. This allows your food to seep back into your esophagus and cause chest pain. The caffeine in chocolate is one of the causes for this problem.
8. Fried Foods
Fried, fatty foods relax the LES, slow down digestion, and stay in your stomach for a long period of time. They can slowly back up into your esophagus and cause that uncomfortable and painful feeling in your chest. Fatty foods also lead to obesity and people who are obese can experience symptoms of heartburn more often than lean people do. Regularly eating a fatty diet leads to long-term heartburn.
Alcohol is known to have a relaxing effect on those drinking it. It not only relaxes your mind but relaxes the LES as well. Drinking alcohol allows the food to easily back up into your esophagus. It also increases the amount of acid produced in your stomach.
10. Spicy Foods
If you regularly consume spicy foods that contain a lot of peppers and hot spices, you should replace them with milder options. The compound capsaicin, that makes peppers hot irritates the inner lining of the esophagus and the stomach, which causes the symptoms of acid reflux.
If your suffer from heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux for long periods of time, your should consult a doctor. Accumulation of acids in the esophagus for an extended period of time might lead to cancer. You should increase your consumption of sour foods, which cause you to produce more saliva. Since saliva is alkaline in nature, it can reduce the acidity of you stomach and provide some relief.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.