- Soda & other Carbonated Beverages
Soda and other carbonated beverages are some of the main causes of acid reflux. The bubbles of carbonation expand inside the stomach, and the increased pressure contributes to reflux. Sodas with caffeine and those that are acidic (almost all) are even worse.
- Spicy foods
Pepper, Mexican food, chili, and any other food that is loaded with pepper or other spices can trigger heartburn, says Deepa A. Vasudevan, MD. Vasudevan is an assistant professor of family medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He tells WebMD that avoiding heartburn isn’t necessarily a matter of all or nothing. “If spicy food triggers your heartburn, avoid it. Then slowly reintroduce milder versions of whatever you like.”
- Tangy Citrus Fruits
Oranges, grapefruits and orange juice are classic heartburn foods. “These are very acidic,” says Robynne Chutkan, MD. Chutkan is the founder of the Digestive Center for Women in Chevy Chase, Md. and a gastroenterologist at Georgetown Hospital in Washington, D.C. “As a result of being so acidic,” she says, “they are likely to cause heartburn, especially when consumed on an otherwise empty stomach.”
- Fried Food
Fried food is the single most recognized cause of reflux. It is also the food most often associated with heartburn, which is chest pain from esophageal reflux.
Beer, liquor, and wine are believed to contribute to reflux. Many alcoholic beverages are not very acidic. However, alcohol is believed to relax the valve at the bottom of the esophagus (where it joins the stomach), leading to reflux.
- High fat Dairy Products
All high-fat foods cause reflux. There is no reason to believe that one high-fat butter or cheese is better than another in this regard. If you have reflux and a serious cheese habit, something has to give. Use a small amount of these foods as flavoring, but not as main ingredients. Low fat is better than no fat.
- High fat Meats
Acid reflux is caused by high-fat cuts of meat-beef, pork, lamb-which stay longer in the stomach and increase the chance of acid reflux. Try cutting back to a lean cut of meat and eat it only once a week.
One cup of coffee or espresso a day is fine, but people who drink coffee all day long are courting reflux-if they don’t have it already. Try switching to chamomile, which is the best herbal tea, or you can have one cup of green tea a day if it is lightly brewed.