Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

Top 15 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is never fun. It causes a hot burning sensation in the chest, an unpleasant taste in the throat, and gassy bloating in the stomach. What you eat can have an effect. The best and worst meals for acid reflux could mean the difference between sweet comfort and sour anguish. This guide shall explore foods that cause acid reflux.

The esophageal sphincter (a muscular passage that allows food to flow into the stomach and then tightens to prevent it from going back up) normally shields the esophagus from stomach acid.


If the sphincter relaxes, acids could move upward through the opening, resulting in acid reflux.

What you eat can influence the amount of acid produced by your stomach as well as the function of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).


Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

Heartburn trigger food can relax the esophageal sphincter while also delaying the digestive process. Below are some foods that cause acid reflux.

1. Mint

Image Source: pngtree

Mint species such as peppermint and spearmint are regarded as digestive tonics. There is some evidence, however, that these varieties of mint may cause heartburn.

According to research, peppermint lowers LES pressure and can trigger heartburn.

Although mint may cause GERD symptoms, it appears to be an issue for a tiny percentage of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients.


If you get heartburn after eating mint products, you should try taking them off our diet to see if it helps you control your heartburn.

2. Citrus juices

 Citrus juices
Image Source: citrusamerica
Citrus juices

Taking citrus juices may cause heartburn symptoms.

Orange and grapefruit juices are widely reported to cause GERD symptoms such as heartburn. However, the exact mechanism through which citrus juices create heartburn is unknown.

Nonetheless, many GERD patients avoid them in order to alleviate heartburn symptoms.

3. Chocolate

Image Source: musclecheff

As much as we adore chocolate, it’s a bittersweet treat for acid reflux sufferers. Caffeine and theobromine, both of which are found in chocolate, can relax the esophageal sphincter.

Additionally, chocolate’s high fat content contributes to its ability to trigger heartburn.

4. Coffee and Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee and Caffeinated Beverages
Image Source: newsweek
Coffee and Caffeinated Beverages

That morning cup of coffee might be essential, but it can also be a source of discomfort for those with acid reflux. Coffee is highly acidic and can stimulate the production of stomach acid.

Caffeinated beverages, in general, should be taken moderately to avoid exacerbating acid reflux symptoms.

5. High-fat foods

High-fat foods
Image Source: sentinelassam
High-fat foods

High-fat foods, particularly greasy ones like fries and pizza, can trigger heartburn.

Researchers have yet to understand how fat causes GERD symptoms, but high-fat diets can aggravate heartburn by prompting your body to create molecules that irritate your esophagus.

These include bile salts found in the stomach and the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) found in the bloodstream, which can relax the LES and cause acid reflux.

According to a study of persons with GERD, more than half of the 85 participants who reported food triggers also stated that high-fat fried foods worsened their GERD symptoms, such as heartburn.

Also, the study found that when these persons avoided triggering meals for two weeks, the percentage of people who experienced heartburn reduced from 93% to 44%.

It’s worth noting that experts are still attempting to figure out which forms of fat increase GERD symptoms, but fried and greasy foods appear to have the most potent impacts.


6. Onions

Image Source: canadianfoodfocus

Onions, particularly raw onions, are a typical cause of heartburn.

Onions, like other foods on this list of foods that cause acid reflux, cause heartburn symptoms in a lot of individuals with GERD. However, how onions cause or aggravate heartburn is still unknown.

In one 1990s study, participants with heartburn ate a simple hamburger one day, and then the same hamburger with onions the next.

When compared to the no-onion burger, those who ate the onion burger had considerably aggravated heartburn symptoms.

However, more research is needed to figure out whether people who suffer from heartburn should avoid or limit their use of onions.

7. Alcohol

Image Source: maltosaa

Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption may aggravate GERD symptoms, such as heartburn.

This is because alcohol relaxes the LES, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus and produce heartburn.

Also, research reveals that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for GERD.

According to an evaluation of 29 research, those who took alcohol more than 5 days weekly were more than twice at risk of having GERD when compared with people who didn’t drink or drank occasionally.

8. Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Products

Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Products
Image Source: healthylife
Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Products

Tomatoes are used in lots of dishes, but they are highly acidic. This includes tomato sauces and ketchup.

The combination of acidity and the probability of relaxing the esophageal sphincter can contribute to acid reflux.

Cooking tomatoes can reduce their acidity and make them gentler on your stomach.

9. Spicy foods

Spicy foods
Image Source: Castro Marina
Spicy foods

Spicy foods are known to cause heartburn. However, it is not known how they contribute to heartburn.

However, one study that included GERD patients discovered that chili capsules enhanced gastric accommodation, which is when the top region of the stomach relaxes after eating a meal.

According to studies, persons with GERD have more stomach accommodation reflexes. This is connected with more LES relaxation, which may result in heartburn.

The same study discovered that chili capsules were connected to more severe abdominal burning and heartburn in GERD patients when compared to placebo therapy.

Also, spicy foods can trigger an already inflamed esophagus, exacerbating heartburn symptoms.

If spicy foods cause you heartburn, then take them off your diet.

10. Sodas and carbonated beverages

 Sodas and carbonated beverages
Image Source: LiveScience
Sodas and carbonated beverages

Many people have heartburn after taking sodas and fizzy beverages.

According to research, carbonated drinks can relax the esophageal sphincter and raise the acidity of stomach acid, both of which are risk factors for heartburn.

In fact, soft drink intake is thought to be a key factor in nighttime heartburn, also known as nocturnal heartburn.

Some research has established a correlation between soft drink consumption and exacerbated GERD symptoms.

An old research, for example, discovered that persons who drank carbonated drinks had a 69% increased risk of having reflux symptoms such as heartburn.

If you get heartburn after drinking soda or other carbonated beverages, it’s best to reduce your intake or avoid them entirely.

11. High-Acid Foods

High-Acid Foods
Image Source: exceptionaldentistryca
High-Acid Foods

Vinegar and foods preserved in vinegar, such as pickles, have a high acidic content that can trigger acid reflux.

This includes salad dressings and pickled vegetables. You Should go for vinegar-free alternatives to enjoy your salads and snacks without the discomfort of heartburn.

12. Processed Snacks

Processed Snacks
Image Source: inreporters
Processed Snacks

Processed snacks, like chips and crackers, are usually high in salt and fat. These factors can contribute to acid reflux by slowing down digestion and relaxing the esophageal sphincter.

Choosing healthier snack options could help both your digestive health and overall well-being.

13. Red Meat

Red Meat
Image Source: floridatoday
Red Meat

Red meat, especially when it’s fatty, can stay in your stomach for an extended period. This delays digestion and increases the risk of acid reflux.

If you enjoy red meat, then go for the lean cuts and try eating it moderately to prevent discomfort.

14. Dairy with High-Fat Content

Dairy with High-Fat Content
Image Source: diagnosisdiet
Dairy with High-Fat Content

While dairy products can be a valuable source of nutrients, high-fat dairy items like whole milk and cheese can trigger acid reflux.

Low-fat or non-dairy alternatives are gentler on the stomach and can be an amazing choice for individuals prone to heartburn.

15. Late-Night Snacks

Late-Night Snacks
Image Source: outlookindia
Late-Night Snacks

Since late-night meals are usually followed by lying down, eating food or snacks just before bed can increase acid reflux flare-ups.

This makes it difficult to stop stomach contents from moving back to your esophagus, giving you heartburn or regurgitation.

To minimize these symptoms, experts advise patients suffering from acid reflux to refrain from lying down immediately after eating and to eat at least three to four hours before bed.


Being mindful of your dietary choices is essential for managing acid reflux. By avoiding or moderating the intake of foods that cause acid reflux, you could reduce the discomfort and improve your overall well-being.

Remember, small changes can make a huge difference in minimizing acid reflux symptoms.