Food To Avoid In Acid Reflux and GERD Diet

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a medical condition in which the content of the stomach moves back to the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also called heartburn, acid reflux, or acid indigestion. If acid reflux happens more than two times a week then it is called Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Acid reflux is not a dangerous disease just follow up with the prescribed medicines and focus on food to avoid in acid reflux.

Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) damages or relaxes and allows stomach content back up into food pip.

The acidity of the stomach is entirely dependent on the foods you eat. Eating proper foods is the main key to controlling acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD is a chronic and severe form of acid reflux.

Symptoms of Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease

The most common symptom of acid reflux include:

  • Burning sensation in the throat or in the middle of the chest
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Regurgitation
  • Coughing
  • Bloating
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing

If you have these symptoms consult a doctor for treatment.

Avoid trigger foods and eat those foods that relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.

Acid reflux causes

Acid reflux happens when LES does work not properly. Then Lower esophageal sphincter will allow digestive juice and other content to move from the stomach to the food pipe or esophagus.

The following conditions cause acid reflux:

  • Pregnancy
  • Delayed emptying of stomach
  • Overweight or obese ( overweight increases pressure on stomach and abdomen)
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes

Risk factors that aggravate acid reflux

The following are a few factors that increase acid reflux:

  • Overeating
  • Late night eating
  • Smoking
  • Frequent taking of tea or coffee
  • Sleep shortly after a meal
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Use of certain medications

In this article, we discuss a list of food to avoid in acid reflux.

Food To Avoid In Acid Reflux

Fatty meal

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, fatty meal decreases LES and delay stomach emptying.

These two factors increase the reflux symptoms because stomach juice easily moves back to the food pipe.

If you have acid reflux symptoms either quit fatty meals or decrease your intake.

Here is a list of fatty foods to avoid in acid reflux:

  • Whole milk
  • Butter ht
  • Cheese
  • Fried onion
  • Ice cream
  • Potato chips
  • Fatty meat
  • Creamy sauces
  • Creamy salad
  • sour cream
  • French fries
  • Fried eggs
  • Fatty gravy
  • Pastries
  • Mithai
  • Oily rice


As we know that vegetables are very important for health but there are certain types of vegetables that worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.

The following vegetables aggravate acid reflux symptoms:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomato
  • Peppermint
  • Pepper
  • Potato


Certain fruits are very healthy but there are some fruits that increase the symptoms of acid reflux. These foods are called citrus fruits. These fruits contain acid, so you should quit it quickly if you have acid reflux.

The common list of citrus fruits includes:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Raw persimmon
  • Plum
  • Cranberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Tart cherries
  • Tamarind
  • Gooseberries
  • Cherries
  • Green mango

Spicy foods

Spicy foods increase acid reflux symptoms. Studies tell that chemicals in spicy foods cause pain and a burning sensation in the abdomen that leads to acid reflux.

Capsaicin is compound that makes spicy food tasty, and can cause irritation in the esophagus, which can result in acid reflux.

If you are experiencing acid reflux, a good option for you is to quit spicy foods.

Caffeinated beverages

Caffeinated beverages contain caffeine which increases acid secretion in the stomach. If you have GERD avoid caffeinated beverages.

Use those beverages which lack caffeine.  But it is good to leave all beverages in GERD.

The common beverages that increase the symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Lemon juice
  • Orange juice
  • Carbonated beverages


Alcohol is the main aggravating factor for acid reflux. Alcohol increases acid reflux and damages the mucosa of esophagus.

If you have symptoms of GERD, quit alcohol consumption. In most cases, the acid reflux symptoms relieve quickly with alcohol quitting.


Chocolate causes the secretion of serotonin that relaxes the esophageal sphincter and stomach juice moves back to food pipe.

Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine that increase the secretion of serotonin. Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter.


A number of drugs cause acid reflux. If you experience acid reflux with particular medicine either avoid it or discuss it with a doctor. He/she will prescribe an alternate drug.

The following medicines increase the acid reflux symptoms. If you have acid reflux use Proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor blockers to decrease the production of acid.

  • NSAIDs such as aspirin, mefenamic acid, diclofenac acid etc
  • Antibiotics
  • Calcium channel blockers CCbs such amlodipine, verapamil, nifedipine
  • Tricyclic antidepressant
  • Theophylline

If a drug increases your heartburn it means that this drug increases acid reflux. So should avoid it.  

Lifestyle tips that reduce acid reflux symptoms

There are certain lifestyle habits that will tremendously reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

Adopt the following lifestyle tips to get rid of acid reflux:

  • Stop smoking because smoking increases acid production in the stomach
  • Eat slowly and don’t overeat
  • Maintain proper body weight
  • Use antacids and other medications such as PPI that reduce the production of acid in the stomach
  • Raise the head portion of your bed up to 4-6 inches to reduce acid reflux symptoms during sleeping
  • Avoid chew gum
  • Do at least 5 minutes walk after eating
  • Do not use tight cloths
Diet plan for GERD

Medical experts have designed diet plans that decrease acid reflux symptoms.

Some of the diet plans are given below:

  • Whole grain toast with poached eggs
  • Tuna and grilled vegetables with whole grain bread sandwich
  • Berries with oatmeal
  • Whole grain toast with avocado
  • Green salad mix with hummus and whole grain pita bread
  • Salmon and vegetables with brown rice
  • Vegetables, low fat cheese and pesto sauce with whole grain pizza
  • Grilled vegetables with baked skinless chicken
  • Salad and hummus dip with grilled vegetable skewers

Best Foods for acid reflux

A list of the best foods for acid reflux includes:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Melons
  • Avocados
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Banana
  • Seafood
  • Red meat
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Chicken


There are some foods that trigger the symptoms of acid reflux. When you eliminate these foods from your diet, you will prevent acid reflux.

Foods that trigger acid reflux symptoms are tea, coffee, spicy foods, beverages, alcohol, greasy foods, peppermint etc.

If you have heartburn more than two times a week talk to your doctor because it may be GERD or other medical condition.

Adopting some lifestyle tips will prevent acid reflux. The most common tips are, to stop smoking, avoid citrus food, eat small meals, maintain a healthy weight, avoid frequent tea and coffee, rigorous exercise,

Some medications aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux such as antibiotics, calcium channel blockers, and NSAIDs.


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