List Of 14 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux, Gas And Indigestion

Updated: 11/15/2019

The book “Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure, the co-author of 2 doctors Jamie Koufman and Jordan Stem, and French chef Marc Bauer shares some foods that cause acid reflux below, based on the medical knowledge, as well as the experience of treating thousands of their patients.

When excessive stomach acids flow back into the food pipe (esophagus), irritating the lining of the esophagus, it will cause a burning sensation in the chest, heartburn, chest pain when swallowing, and a dry cough. The leading French culinary experts have pointed out that the cause of acid reflux is partly due to daily food. You should limit consuming some of the foods that cause acid reflux, gas, and indigestion. Please take a look at!

List Of 14 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux, Gas And Indigestion

I. Foods That Cause Acid Reflux 

1. Tomato
foods that cause acid reflux - tomato

Tomato is the first common food in the list of foods that cause acid reflux and indigestion. Tomatoes and processed tomato foods (sauces, juices, etc.) can make the stomach produce more acid. Biomedical scientist Jeremy Tian, a senior scientist at USANA Health Sciences, says that when there is excessive acid in the stomach, it will be refluxed into the esophagus[1]. Meanwhile, Christine Frissora advises that if you make pizza or pasta without tomatoes, do not use tomato sauce because high-fat foods also cause acid reflux. If you want to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux when eating these foods, you should eat them with raw vegetables.

2. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and potassium. Therefore, they are good for health and skin. However, a study published in the journal Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology in the United States found that limiting the consumption of citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit reduced the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Citrus fruits are very good for health, but they can double the pH level in the stomach, a risk factor for acid reflux[2]. Dr Jeremy said that drinking lemon juice is like pouring acid into the stomach. This is similar to eating other citrus fruits such as oranges or grapefruit. Dr Christine advises that if you want to drink some water, then you should choose pineapple juice. This fruit is also good for health but does not cause acid reflux.

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3. Purple Onions

Purple onions help increase the taste of food, stimulating your taste. With a high content of vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, etc.), we cannot deny many benefits of purple onion for health. But Dr Jeremy advised that patients with acid reflux should limit their consumption of purple onion because they “open up” the valve between the stomach and esophagus, making your condition worse. For patients with gastric pain, eating more purple onions causes the pH in the stomach to drop below 4 (the lower the pH, the higher the acid level) and exacerbate the symptoms of heartburn and belching[3]. So, if you really like to eat onion, you should replace the purple onions with green onions to relieve the symptoms of the disease.

4. Carbonated Soft Drinks

This is one of the foods that cause acid reflux, indigestion and gas that few people know, but this is true. In fact, a lot of people love drinking carbonated drinks. Drinking these types of drinks creates a sense of well-being and excitement for the user. Unfortunately, carbonates in beverages increase pressure on the stomach. When they are in the stomach, they produce many air bubbles that push the gas back up the esophagus. This gas will pull both food and acid. High levels of caffeine also increase the amount of acid in the stomach. For those reasons, patients with acid reflux should not drink carbonated beverages and caffeine drinks[4].

5. Alcoholic Drinks

After a hard day’s work, meeting friends and drinking a few glasses of alcohol might be a good way to relieve tension. However, NabeelFarooqui, associate professor of allergy and immunology at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, says that alcoholic beverages such as alcohol and beer cause acid reflux into the esophagus[5]. In addition, alcoholic drinks cause gastric acid to enter the respiratory system and lungs. This is a very dangerous situation that cannot be treated at home. Therefore, it is best to limit alcoholic drinks or stop consuming them if you are suffering from acid reflux.

6. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are the most common foods that cause acid reflux[6]. Spicy foods are the hobby of many people; however, those who regularly eat them always face the symptoms of acid reflux. Dr Christine explains that this is because spicy food stimulates the esophagus, causing the food to push up the esophagus. This makes many people feel nauseous after eating spicy. Spicy foods are also very easy to make your skin dry. Then, the appearance of acne is unavoidable. Therefore, although you want to eat them, you should not eat them too much to protect your health and skin.

Besides, you should restrict chilli peppers. Chilli is good for digestion, but it contains alkaloids, which are very hot and spicy. Therefore, it will make your acid reflux condition worse.

7. Greasy Foods

list of foods that cause acid reflux - greasy foods

Nowadays, more and more people are interested in eating greasy foods. This increases the number of people with obesity. Consuming too much oil and fat is not good for the body. Fat is digested very slowly, so it will be stored longer in the stomach. If the food is not digested, the stomach continues to produce acid, causing excessive stomach acid. But a bigger problem is that fat which is long digested easily stored in the form of fat, causing obesity. Studies published in the journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics show that obesity is partly due to acid reflux. So, you need to avoid eating more fat to speed up the digestion process and emptying the stomach[7].

8. Coffee, Tea, And Caffeinated Beverages

Drinking a cup of tea or coffee every morning is probably the habit of many people. Caffeine drinks help boost your alertness and your ability to concentrate[8]. Drinking these drinks in moderation is very good. But these drinks contain caffeine and the essence of green tea, which will increase the relaxation of the sphincters under the esophagus and increase the acid secretion in the stomach. Therefore, the phenomenon of reflux is easier to happen. Although drinking these drinks in moderation is good for you, however, if you are having stomach issues, especially acid reflux, you should limit consuming them.

9. Milk Chocolate

This is a food that contains a lot of caffeine and fat, all of which are known to increase the acidity of the stomach. Unfortunately, the taste of this drink is very good, so many people cannot stop drinking it. This drink is one of the common reasons why many children suffer from acid reflux. If your child is also among them, you should explain to him that chocolate is not good for the stomach and the body. If he wants to improve his acid reflux condition, he should limit his intake of this drink[9].

10. Mint And Peppermint

Among the foods that cause acid reflux, gas and indigestion that you should know, mint is one of the most noticeable foods. Mint has a special ability to stimulate taste. Therefore, it is used to create flavors for a wide variety of foods and drinks. However, mint is a factor stimulating the muscles of the esophagus, causing high levels of acid in the stomach[10] [11]. It also causes similar conditions for the stomach like tomatoes. Therefore, you should not eat any foods that contain mints such as mint tea, mint candies, or gums with mint flavor.

11. Cold Drinks And Ice Cream

Drinking too many cold drinks can cause hypothermia, affecting the effect of gastrointestinal enzymes and gastric secretions in the stomach. Then, the cold temperature causes the acid in the stomach to easily be pushed up the esophagus, making you feel very uncomfortable[12]. Therefore, when eating, you should drink warm drinks. Cold drinks should only be taken between 2 meals.

Besides, you should limit ice cream. Eating more ice cream makes the body heat down very quickly. The fat content in ice cream is very high. This is very dangerous for people with stomach and intestinal diseases, especially acid reflux disease.

12. Peanut Butter

Although peanut butter is generally not considered to trigger symptoms of acid reflux, it may impact patients differently. Some people believe that peanut butter could make acid reflux worse. Peanuts are among high-in-fat nuts, meaning that they impact your digestion and increase your acid reflux symptoms. However, on the opposite, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reckons smooth peanut butter as a good choice for people with acid reflux[13]. You should avoid chunky peanut butter as it is more likely to trigger your acid reflux symptoms.

13. Avocados

Is it surprising? Avocados have a high content of natural fats and do not favor people with acid reflux[14]. If your acid reflux condition is mild, avocados may be still healthy for you; but if your condition is more severe, you should avoid them and other dairy and processed fats.

14. Processed Foods

Processed foods are often made with lots of potatoes, corn, and salt; for example, cereals, crackers, chips, and so on. A large amount of packaged products are made with processed corn ingredient, so you had better read the labels before buying and choose the more organic “whole foods”. Consumption of packaged products is often linked to over intake of sodium. People who consume a high-sodium diet have higher risks of acid reflux, in accordance with a Swedish study[15].

II. Foods That Support Acid Reflux Treatment

1. Ginger

According to many studies, ginger contains oleoresin, terpene, and many other vitamins and minerals, all of which have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and acid neutralizing effects. In particular, Ginger oil, Zingiberol, Methadone (Amidon), etc. in ginger have the ability to inhibit the formation of prostaglandin, which makes it have the ability to treat acid reflux.


Wash ginger, peel, and cut it into 2-centimeter pieces. Then, place the slices in the glass jar, alternating honey and ginger layers. When ginger wilts, discolors, you can use it. 

How often

Every day, eat 2 to 3 slices after a meal.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is a good food most people use today to treat acid reflux. Turmeric contains curcumin – an active ingredient that works to prevent inflammation and inhibit the cause of acid reflux. In addition, turmeric contains many other compounds that help support the activity of the digestive tract, promote the process of contraction, heal stomach ulcers, and limit producing stomach acid.


Add 1 tbsp. of honey and 3 tbsp. of fresh turmeric powder to about 100 ml of warm water and stir the mixture. Take the mixture before each meal. 

How often

Have it daily and be patient with the method for about 2 months

III. Is Acid Reflux Dangerous?

Is acid reflux dangerous? To get an accurate answer, you probably have to look at some of the complications the disease can leave if left untreated.

Causing inflammation in the respiratory system: An amount of stomach acid spilling into the respiratory tracts can cause nasal congestion, hoarseness, sore throat, sinusitis, asthma, laryngitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia.

Esophageal strictures: When gastric juice spills over the esophagus continuously, it will cause swollen, damaged esophageal mucosa. If the condition is prolonged, it may lead to ulcers and esophageal strictures. This condition causes patients to feel pain, bleeding and difficulty swallowing, and chest pain, especially pain behind the sternum when eating, causing vomiting.

Barrett's esophagus: This is a precancerous condition in which the lining of the esophagus changes, more closely resembling the intestinal lining. Barrett's esophagus may reduce heartburn symptoms but also increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer: This is the last and extremely dangerous complication of acid reflux. Esophageal cancer usually appears in people over 50. Esophageal cancer causes much pain, esophageal bleeding, weight loss, dull skin, and wrinkles. In Vietnam, there are about 7,000 cases of esophageal cancer each year. Worryingly, patients are often diagnosed late, so the 3-year survival rate is below 5%.

Therefore, to stop the symptoms of esophageal reflux disease, you should go to the hospital immediately when detecting abnormal signs such as heartburn, regular burning pain in the chest so that doctors can soon discover whether it is acid reflux or not.

IV. When To See A Doctor? 

Acid reflux, despite uncomfortable, is treatable. Some mild cases could be managed at home with just lifestyle changes and trigger avoidance. Severe cases might require medications or sometimes surgery. You should call your doctor or go to the hospital if you have symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Also, tell your doctor if these symptoms often appear or show signs of worse.Besides, if you have any questions, please consult your doctor. Each person’s condition is different, so please consult your doctor to select the most suitable option.

More Information About Reflux

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux disease, also known as reflux esophagitis, occurs when gastric acid refills into the esophagus (the gastrointestinal tract connects the mouth to the stomach). This can cause heartburn symptoms or other symptoms. Reflux usually occurs after a meal in a short time. This condition rarely occurs when sleeping. However, the normal reflux will become acid reflux disease when the symptoms frequently occur (about 2 to 3 times a week), or the esophagus is injured. This disease is becoming more common, but recognizing it is relatively difficult because it is easy to be confused with other diseases[16]. If not treated, acid reflux disease will cause some consequences as follows:

  • Inflammation Of The Respiratory System

Only a small amount of acid which is inflated to the upper respiratory tract can cause sore throat, rhinitis, bronchitis or pneumonia. A common symptom of this disease is prolonged cough. Recently, scientists have shown the relationship between acid reflux and asthma. In addition, people with acid reflux disease can suffer from tooth erosion and ear infections.

  • Narrowing Of The Esophagus

Another complication of acid reflux is esophagitis, which leads to narrowing of the esophagus. If stomach acid is frequently refluxed into the esophagus, the esophagus will be injured and inflamed.

  • Barrett Esophagus

One of the most serious complications of acid reflux is esophagus Barrett. This is a condition in which the cells in the esophagus are color-altered because of frequent contact with stomach acid. Only a small percentage of people with acid reflux will develop into esophageal Barrett.

  • Esophageal Cancer

One of the most dangerous complications of acid reflux is esophageal cancer. This condition is common in people over 50 years of age.

What Are Common Causes Of Acid Reflux?

Here are common causes of this disease:

  • Stress

This is a common cause of acid reflux and makes the disease persistent. Stress is a psychological state of frustration and nervous tension. Long-term nervous stress causes the body to produce more cortisol. Cortisol increases the acid in the stomach, increases the contraction force of the stomach, pushing the stomach acid reflux into the esophagus. Stress is the main cause of disorientation of the esophagus, causing the lower esophagus to become sensitive. This causes stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus, causing pain and nausea.

  • Stomach Ulcers

The stomach has the function of contracting and digesting food, so when the stomach gets an ulcer, the digestion of food will also be affected. This slows the digestion of food in the stomach and increases the pressure on the esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus.

  • Unhealthy Eating Habits

Eating too much, eating acidic fruit when you are hungry, and eating fast food and fried foods are bad habits but common in today’s life. These habits not only make you gain weight but also put pressure on the muscles of the esophagus. This makes the muscles weak and erratic, causing acid reflux.

  • Congenital Factors

Acid reflux can be caused by a number of congenital malformations or by other illnesses such as weak lowers esophageal sphincter, gastritis, or diaphragmatic hernia. This condition can also be caused due to an accident. In young children, acid reflux is often thought to be normal with typical symptoms of vomiting. This symptom will gradually decrease as your baby grows older and will disappear when he / she is mature.

  • Overweight Or Obesity

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience acid reflux. Weight puts pressure on the stomach and lower esophageal sphincter, causing their force to decrease. Therefore, stomach acid is easy to reflux. In addition, pregnant women often face this condition.

What Are Common Symptoms Of Acid Reflux?

Here are common symptoms of this disease:

  • Belching

Gas is produced during digestion. Generally, gas is released through the anus, but when the esophagus is dilated, the gas exits through the mouth. Belching is the first sign of acid reflux.

  • Heartburn

Heartburn is a phenomenon in which acid in the stomach refills into the esophagus and mouth, causing the person to feel sour in the mouth. This is a sure sign that you have stomach disease.

  • Nausea And Vomiting

As the illness gets worse, both the gas and the food are refluxed. Often, patients easily get nausea and vomiting when brushing their teeth or immediately after eating.

  • Chest Pain

Chest pain is a manifestation of various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, bronchitis and acid reflux disease. For each disease, the cause of chest pain is very different. In patients with acid reflux, when acid reflux gets into the esophagus, it stimulates the nerve fibers on the surface of the esophagus, causing chest pain.

  • Hoarseness And Sore Throat

As acid reflux into the esophagus, it causes inflammation of the larynx and causes hoarseness and sore throat. This symptom is often confused with symptoms of respiratory illness. The wrong way of treatment makes this condition easy to turn into asthma.

  • Secrete Too Much Saliva

This is considered to be the most common symptom of acid reflux. As having acid reflux, the body will salivate to neutralize this acid. This is a very natural reaction of the body. However, too much saliva will cause discomfort to the person.

  • Feel Difficult To Swallow

When acid reflux occurs frequently, it will affect the esophagus, causing difficulty swallowing.

  • Feel Bitter In The Mouth

Acid reflux may be accompanied by a reflux of bile to the mouth. This makes the patient feel bitter in the mouth.

You may experience other symptoms not mentioned. If you have any questions about the signs of the disease, please consult your doctor.

Who Is At High Risk Of Acid Reflux?

Everyone can suffer from acid reflux. However, it is more common in obese or pregnant women.You can control this problem by minimizing risk factors. Please see your doctor for more information[17].

Above are foods that increase the risk of acid reflux. You need to limit consumption of them to limit this situation and avoid some embarrassing situations. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “List of 14 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux, Gas And Indigestion” introduced in Superfoods Category, do not hesitate to drop your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.

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