6 foods that are making your acid reflux worse

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux GERD), is a disease or condition where the food pipe lining is irritated by stomach bile or acid due to the esophageal sphincter not working properly. This condition can be extremely uncomfortable due to symptoms of nausea, heartburn, belching, and regurgitation.

The diet you choose can greatly affect the extent of your disease and may worsen or better the symptoms of your acid reflux. Find out what 6 foods are playing a large role in worsening your acid reflux in order to lessen your symptoms and live a more enjoyable life. Then, learn how Pure Plates can help you to decrease your acid reflux symptoms through our meal prep delivery options.

#1: Caffeinated Beverages

Beverages that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, and energy drinks are likely to worsen acid reflux for numerous reasons. Caffeinated drinks are likely to increase the acidity of gastric secretions. This means that the acid is more likely to be released into the stomach from glands in the stomach wall.

Not only do beverages contain caffeine but foods such as chocolate, cereals, and ice cream can contain hidden amounts. These foods and beverages also relax the esophageal sphincter, allowing more stomach acid to be regurgitated, causing irritation. That being said, increased stomach acidity along with a relaxed esophageal sphincter can overall cause inflammation in the esophagus due to the acids breaking down the tissue. 

If you’re consuming caffeinated beverages, monitor how you are feeling after consuming it. Some people can tolerate small amounts of caffeine. We recommend sitting straight up after instead of laying down to avoid further irritation.


#2: Spicy Foods

Capsaicin, found in many spicy foods, is known to be an active component of chili peppers that can be a chemical irritant causing burning of the tissue. Capsaicin is known to slow down digestion resulting in food sitting in the stomach for a longer period of time. Acid reflux and heartburn are more likely to be triggered, the longer food sits in your stomach as the food puts pressure on the ring of the muscle that keeps stomach acids in place. Along with that, spicy food can simply irritate the esophageal lining when swallowing, overall worsening your acid reflux. 

Foods that can be spicy are curry, jerk chicken, or foods containing hot peppers. Spice level may vary based on your personal preference.

Browse our best seller menu, including spicy-free food, here to get started on your health journey today.

#3: Peppermint

Peppermint even simply found in gum, mints, or treats may be inappropriate to consume if you are experiencing acid reflux. Chewing gum after a meal is actually beneficial in reducing acid reflux symptoms, but choosing peppermint flavored gum is a common mistake. Peppermint is commonly known to open the lower esophageal sphincter due to its soothing and relaxing properties, resulting in an easier pathway for food to travel upward and burn the lining of the throat. Anyone with heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD symptoms should avoid all mint-flavored products to avoid the irritation that may come along with it.

#4: Creamy Sauces and Dips

Butter, cheese, cream, and many other saturated fats can typically be incorporated into sauces, dips, and dressings. These full-fat dairy ingredients commonly delay stomach emptying, which as mentioned before, increases the likelihood of acid reflux. Another reason these foods should be avoided is that fatty foods may release the hormone, cholecystokinin. This hormone, similar to peppermint, relaxes the esophageal sphincter allowing many acids and foods to be regurgitated leading to irritation in the throat.

Pure Plates avoids using butter and other unhealthy fats so you can feel your best. Learn more about how we use the healthiest ingredients in our FAQ section here.

#5: Tomato Products

Tomato and tomato products are packed with malic and citric acid. Both of these make the stomach produce too much gastric acid, causing acid to come back up to the esophagus. Therefore, it’s recommended to limit tomato-containing foods such as marinara sauce or fed pizza, as this may exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.

#6: Fried Foods

Similar to many other foods on this list, fried foods may relax the lower esophageal sphincter or slow stomach emptying. This worsens symptoms such as belching or nausea. Fried foods should therefore be limited or avoided. Pure Plates doesn’t fry foods and instead, we provide the freshest and limited processed foods straight to your door.

The Bottom Line

As many foods and ingredients can trigger your acid reflux and may contribute to worsening symptoms, it’s important to pay attention to your body’s needs. Although some foods may benefit others, it is important to understand what works best for your body and determine which foods benefit you the most regarding your acid reflux. 

If you are unsure what steps to take next regarding your acid reflux condition or want to know what foods may be best for you, reach out to a member of our team and we’d be happy to help!

 *Featured image from Medical News Today