Suffering from acid reflux is a different experience for each person: while some people only experience some mild discomfort and moderate heartburns from time to time, others wake up in the middle of the night in terrible pain.
Sadly, due to the different manifestations of the acid reflux, it is practically impossible to identify the foods that cause heartburns with pin point accuracy. And, for the vast majority of people in this condition, avoiding heartburns is a lengthy trial and error process.
The good news is that over the years, physicians have been able to notice several aliments that frequently appear as heartburns triggers. Here are the most common foods to cause refluxing in the vast majority of patients.
Due to high acids concentrations, the citrus fruits are one of the main aliments to avoid if you are an acid reflux patient. The fruits, especially lemons, oranges and grapefruits are known to relax the lower esophagi area and will practically invite the acid from the stomach to flow back into the esophagus and cause heartburns.
Even though some acid reflux patients believe that only certain types of coffee cause heartburns, the truth is that all coffee decreases pressure in the lower esophagi region and produces the reflux. In addition, it is important to note that caffeine itself is not the sole ingredient that leads to heartburns and the other components are known to aggravate the symptoms as well.
Alcohol (wine and beer)
Alcohol can lead to refluxing or aggravate the current symptoms in two ways: not only does consuming alcohol increase the production of acid in the stomach, but it also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter making it easy for the acids to rush back in. Moreover, drinking alcohol – even moderately – is often associated with eating greasy foods, which further contribute to making the symptoms worse.
Pepper, chili, onions and garlic are all known to cause heartburns even in people who are not suffering from acid reflux. I can’t even begin to imagine what they can do to a acid reflux patient with a more sensitive stomach.
Sodas, sparkling water and pops are known to contribute to the swelling of the stomach. If the stomach is swollen, then it will put pressure in the lower region of the esophagus and promote reflux.
Because of the antioxidants, tomatoes are known to reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers. However healthy they may be, they are contraindicated for acid reflux patients mainly because in some cases they cause the abnormal relaxation of the lower esophagus. Since there is no real substitute for tomatoes and the delicious sauces that utilize them as the base ingredient, the only recommendation in this case is to avoid eating tomatoes near bedtime.
Similar to tomatoes, chocolate and chocolate based products are known to cause an over-relaxation of the lower esophagi region and consequentially, reflux. However, if you love chocolate, you don’t have to give it up altogether, but rather refrain from eating too much (2 or 3 squares several times per week).
Even though everyone loves fried foods, the truth is that they are actually bad for us since they are processed harder and the digestion is slowed down. Because the food is kept in longer, that causes increased pressure on the stomach as well as boost the secretion of acids. Again, you don’t have to refrain from eating fatty and fried foods completely, but rather make sure that you don’t eat too much and try not to have friend meals in the late afternoon.
Everywhere you turn, you cannot help but notice crunchy foods advertised as nutritional, the boost of energy that you need or that snack to keep your stomach busy until you have some time to eat properly. However, for patients with acid reflux, cereals, nuts, crackers and other crunchies will usually aggravate heartburn symptoms, as they scratch the digestive tract.
While there is nothing more refreshing than having a mint after a rich meal and the popular belief is that peppermint is the ultimate tummy soother, this is in fact a heartburn and reflux trigger because it relaxes both the lower esophagus and the stomach, allowing the acids to flow back in the digestive tract.
I am Chad Faith, freelance writer for VaporCigarette.com and I enjoy writing about various health topics from the newest discoveries in the medicine niche to other associated topics such as the vapor cigarette.
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