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Acid reflux refers to a burning sensation that is felt in the lower chest. This sensation is due to the reverse flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. It occurs when the gastroesophageal sphincter is unable to prevent the regurgitation of semi-digested food content. This food, now mixed with hydrochloric acid from the stomach, has a corrosive effect upon the food pipe. This causes burning and pain. Acid reflux can have a serious impact on gastrointestinal health if it occurs very frequently over an extended period. Several internal and external stimulants can trigger acid reflux in individuals. Here are some to avoid to prevent gastric discomfort.

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Alcohol

Consumption of too much alcohol, particularly red wine, can have a major effect on the digestive system. It can cause acid reflux and acid regurgitation, which happens when the acid in the stomach burns the throat. Typically, alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter. This causes the acid to move back into the throat, thus causing acid reflux.

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Spicy Food

All the mouthwatering spices and heat that give spicy food its flavor can provoke acid reflux. Spicy dishes can disturb the acid levels of your stomach, thereby relaxing the esophageal sphincter. For some people, onion and garlic, which are also present in many spicy dishes, can spur acid reflux. If you find out that spicy foods trigger heartburn, try cutting them down in your diet.

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Fried Foods

A supersized cheesy pizza along with garlic bread and fries right before you hit the bed is a great way to spur acid reflux. Fried foods in large portions consumed late at night will surely trigger heartburn. Though fatty foods may look tasty and crispy, these are high on fats and take longer to digest. Fried foods have high amounts of oil, and they can add greater pressure on the esophagus. This makes the stomach stuffed and increases the chances of acid reflux.

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Beef

Beef is one of the hardest foods for the stomach to digest. High-fat cuts of beef or lamb may seem harmless, but their high-fat content puts you at a greater risk for acid reflux. Try to include lean cut beef in your diet. Some lean varieties of beef include sirloin tip, top sirloin, and top round. For tender meat, marinate your beef.

Chocolate

Chocolate is comfort food for many, but it can cause episodes of acid reflux. Chocolate contains caffeine and cocoa, both of which trigger reflux. Moreover, it also contains the stimulant theobromine, which also causes reflux. To continue indulging in your favorite treat, switch to dark chocolate. This type of chocolate has less sugar and more beneficial minerals, and it doesn't provoke acid reflux.

Soda

Carbonated and caffeinated drinks can boost the acid content in your belly. On entering the stomach, the carbonated bubbles expand, which adds pressure on the stomach lining. This can cause acid reflux. Sodas that are high in caffeine are even worse for those who experience acid reflux.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes and food products that contain tomatoes, like sauces, juices, soups, and salsa, can be a major trigger for reflux. The effect is amplified when the food is consumed on an empty stomach. Tomatoes are highly acidic. They can irritate the esophagus and increase the acidic response.

Oranges

Your daily glass of orange juice in the morning for breakfast could be the reason for acid reflux later in the day. This citrus food is high on acid content and is amongst the most notorious acid reflux triggers. Oranges can still be enjoyed, but the key is to eat in moderation. Eating high-alkaline fruits, such as melons, bananas, berries, and pears, can help offset the acid reflux.

Coffee

Another overlooked item that causes acid reflux in many people is coffee. Coffee is high in caffeine content. This puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter by secreting gastric acid, which spurs the reflux. Limit your coffee intake, or consider switching to green tea.

Dairy Products

Surprisingly, dairy is a common culprit behind acid reflux. A cup of milk can surely offer you temporary relief from the symptoms of acid reflux, but you would be better off drinking a glass of plain water. Milk is known for causing a huge amount of acid in the stomach, particularly when the stomach is already too stuffed. If you regularly experience acid reflux, consider reducing your dairy intake.

Garlic And Onion

When eaten in moderation, garlic and onion can work wonders for your body. However, an excessive amount adds pressure to your esophagus, thus causing acid reflux. Reduce the amount of garlic and onions you consume and experiment with other seasonings to flavor your food.

Fish Oil

Fish oil supplements are known to lower the risk factors associated with heart diseases. However, they are also known to trigger acid reflux. Instead of taking fish oil pills, consider going straight to the source. Add fatty fish, such as salmon, to your diet to get the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. If you prefer taking fish oil tablets, consider storing them in the fridge.

Salt And Pepper

Salt and pepper are arguably the most common seasonings in American cuisine. Unfortunately, they are both known to trigger acid reflux. Cut down on these seasonings and try using other herbs and spices to flavor your food.

Peppermint

Peppermint is known for curing upset stomach and suppressing irritable bowel symptoms by relaxing the digestive muscles. However, this herb also triggers acid reflux. Mint has a numbing impact on the esophagus, which lets the stomach acid attack the esophagus.

Vinaigrette

Many salad lovers enjoy vinaigrette dressings to enhance the taste of their salads. However, vinegar has a low pH-level, meaning that it is acidic. In many cases, vinaigrettes are a healthier choice than creamy salad dressings. Rather than cutting them out of your diet, simply use less.

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.