According to The Guardian newspaper, more than 1.5 million acid reflux or heartburn cases are reported yearly. Everyone has, at one point in life, experienced heartburn either because of factors like stress, anxiety, an increase in hormones, and by being overweight.
However, most individuals fail to realise that some of the foods they consume trigger heartburn, and once this happens more than twice a week, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD). In this light, we will share several foods that cause acid reflux.
Here are five foods that cause acid reflux;
High-fat Dairy Products
While a great source of protein and calcium, foods high in saturated fat are also known to cause reflux, and foods high in fat are among those that cause GERD symptoms to manifest.
Use these foods as a flavouring in small amounts; do not use them as main ingredients. Low fat is better than no fat.
The following foods are high in fat. Avoid or consume in moderation:
- Onion rings and french fries
- full-fat dairy products like butter and regular cheese
- fatty or fried beef, pork, or lamb cuts
- desserts and snacks like ice cream and potato chips
- creamy salad dressings, cream sauces, and gravies
- greasy and oily foods
Citrus fruits and tomatoes
Fruits and vegetables are essential components of a healthy diet. However, certain fruits, mainly highly acidic fruits, can cause or worsen GERD symptoms. If you suffer from acid reflux, you should limit or eliminate your consumption of the following foods:
- tomato sauce or tomato-based foods such as pizza and chilli
Unfortunately for chocolate lovers, it is an acid reflux trigger. Chocolate contains methylxanthine from the cocoa tree, similar to caffeine, a GERD trigger, according to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (A.S.G.E.). In addition, chocolate relaxes the lower oesophagal sphincter, which causes acid reflux.
Fried foods are another cause of acid reflux. Fried foods contain fats that relax the lower oesophagal sphincter and cause a delay in stomach emptying, which contribute to acid reflux.
Spicy foods can cause stomach irritation and heartburn. According to research, Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, which causes delayed gastric emptying and may promote reflux.
Takeaway or restaurant spicy foods frequently contain onions and fats that can cause heartburn.
Staying away from foods that cause heartburn will limit your chances of having acid reflux. However, if you have heartburn regularly, you should see a doctor because it could indicate an underlying condition.