What are the foods that can cause acid reflux?

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Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus due to a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES, a muscle ring at the esophagus’s base, usually prevents such reflux. However, when weakened or relaxed, it allows digestive juices and food to return, causing discomfort. Acid reflux symptoms can vary depending on what you eat; how your body reacts to one food may differ from how it reacts to another.

Symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Nausea
  • Chronic cough
  • Hoarseness (voice changes like huskiness/scratchiness)
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

The best way to cure the symptoms of acid reflux is to avoid foods that may trigger it. Alternatively, you can even Buy Lansoprazole from a trusted source for instant relief. Here are foods that may cause acid reflux.

1. Soda

Carbonated beverages such as sodas trigger reflux due to carbon dioxide, causing stomach bloating and increasing pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. Additionally, the acids and caffeine in sodas are also common reflux triggers, leading to symptoms and improving the chances of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), characterized by recurrent acid reflux.

2. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, grapefruits, oranges, and pineapples naturally contain large amounts of citric acid, making them highly acidic. The acid present in these fruits can cause the LES to relax and trigger the symptoms of reflux. Berries also contain significant amounts of citric acid.

Some compounds in citrus fruits can increase the risk of GERD by weakening the LES. It also slows down the time it takes for the stomach to empty after eating.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate has methylxanthine. It is a chemical in cocoa trees that has effects that resemble caffeine. It can even cause your LES to relax. Chocolate also causes your intestines to release a large amount of serotonin, a chemical messenger known as the “feel-good hormone.” Too much serotonin triggers LES relaxation and causes acid reflux symptoms. Chocolate also has acidic cocoa powder, caffeine, and fat, which can lead to reflux.

4. Tomatoes

We all know that tomatoes are packed with healthy nutrients. But did you know that they also contain malic and citric acid, which can exacerbate heartburn in people with acid reflux? Avoiding tomatoes is crucial, and it’s wise to restrict the intake of tomato-based products like juice, marinara sauce, and ketchup for better management of acid reflux.

5. Spicy Foods

Ingredients like tabasco sauce, peppers, sriracha, and chilies are flavorful and can spice up your favorite foods. However, a study found that spicy foods were the main trigger factor of acid reflux and GERD symptoms. Of the 85 surveyed, 62% reported spicy foods as their primary acid reflux trigger.

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6. Fried Foods

Fried food items are harder for your stomach to digest, easily triggering heartburn symptoms. Common examples of fried foods are french fries, chicken nuggets, and corn dogs.

Research suggests that fried foods can stimulate the release of esophageal irritants like bile salts and cholecystokinin—a gastrointestinal hormone that stimulates protein and fat digestion. It can promote LES relaxation and cause heartburn.

7. Alcohol

Alcohol can harm the esophagus, weaken the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), and increase the risk of GERD. It also dehydrates, worsening acid reflux symptoms. Healthcare providers often recommend avoiding alcohol during GERD flare-ups. If you cannot abstain completely, limit one drink daily and avoid acidic mixers to manage symptoms and promote esophageal health.

8. Late-Night Snacks

Eating snacks before bed can magnify acid reflux flare-ups. Late-night meals are often followed by lying down, making it challenging to keep contents in the stomach from traveling back to your esophagus. This causes heartburn or regurgitation. To avoid the symptoms, doctors recommend people with acid reflux to avoid lying down after eating no later than three to four hours before bed.

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9. High-Fat Dairy

Although high-fat dairy foods provide essential nutrients for bone health, these foods can trigger heartburn. Try swapping out high-fat dairy products with low-fat alternatives to manage the symptoms. Some examples are-

  • Fat-free or 2% milk as an alternative to whole milk
  • Low-fat yogurt instead of full-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheeses instead of high-fat cheeses

Choosing low-fat alternatives for high-fat butter may also be helpful to curb your symptoms.

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