Here’s the story on some common acid reflux triggers that may—or may not—affect you. Of course, it’s best to avoid the foods that bother you.
High-fat foods tend to relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, which usually stays tight to keep acid in the stomach and out of the esophagus.
Spicy foods can irritate the lining of the esophagus leading to heartburn in some people.
Tomatoes, citrus fruits, and onions are acidic and trigger heartburn in some people.
Mint, long thought to aid in digestion, tends to stimulate reflux in people with acid reflux disease.
Alcoholic drinks can damage the lining of the esophagus and the stomach. And fermented beverages, like wine and beer, can also increase the production of stomach acid.
Caffeinated drinks—including coffees, teas, sodas, and even hot chocolate—are a problem for some people with acid reflux disease. Even decaffeinated coffee, although better than regular coffee, is still acidic and can aggravate heartburn.
Sodas, even if they’re caffeine-free, can trigger heartburn because they are carbonated.
Tips to help you prevent acid reflux symptoms
Eat your last evening meal or snack at least 3 hours before bedtime. Most of the food in your stomach is digested within 3 hours. Once food is digested, it cannot back up into your esophagus when you lie down
Have smaller meals. Eating large meals creates pressure in your stomach. This pressure can force acid from the stomach into your esophagus, causing heartburn or other acid reflux disease symptoms