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Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows back up into the throat. This can cause chest pain and other complications.

This happens because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is not functioning properly. This prevents food from moving up into the stomach.

Eating the right foods can help to control your stomach’s acid production. This can reduce the chances of developing GERD, a severe chronic form of acid reflux.

Foods to eat

Reflux symptomsAcid reflux can occur if one’s stomach has too much acid. In order to manage symptoms, you can try incorporating these foods into your diet:

Neither of these foods will treat your condition. You should choose them based on what has worked for you in the past.


Vegetables are naturally low in fat and sugar. Some good choices include green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, leafy greens, potatoes, and cucumbers.


Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties which can help treat heartburn and gastrointestinal problems. You can add grated or sliced ginger root to recipes or drink ginger tea to relieve symptoms.


Oatmeal is a common breakfast food and it is a whole grain. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber which may help reduce the risk of acid reflux. Other good sources of dietary fiber include whole-grain breads and whole-grain rice.

Non-citrus fruits

Some fruits are less likely to cause reflux symptoms than other types of fruits.

Lean meats and seafood

Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Try them grilled, broiled, or baked. Eating seafood can also be helpful for people with acid reflux.
Egg whites

Avoid eggs that are high in fat. Try using egg whites instead, which are low in fat.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats can be obtained from avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans fats and replace them with healthier unsaturated fats.

Finding your triggers

Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is a common symptom of heartburn. You may experience a burning sensation in your stomach or chest after eating a full meal or certain foods. GERD can also cause vomiting or regurgitation, as acid moves up into your esophagus.

Other symptoms:

  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Bloating
  • Burping or hiccups
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in the throat

Some people with GERD find that certain foods cause their symptoms. There is no one diet that can prevent all symptoms of GERD for everyone, and different foods can trigger symptoms for different people.

Keep track of your food triggers by keeping a food diary and noting the following:

  • What foods you eat
  • What time of day you eat
  • What symptoms you experience

Write down what you eat and drink for at least a week in order to identify which foods and drinks cause your GERD symptoms.

This diet and nutrition advice is meant to help you plan your meals. You can use it in addition to your food journal and your doctor’s advice to manage your symptoms.

Foods to avoid

Some foods can make people with reflux symptoms feel bad, so it’s important to try to avoid them. Some of the foods that have been linked to reflux symptoms include:
High-fat foods

Frying and fatty foods can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows more stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. These foods also delay gastric emptying.

Eating high-fat foods can cause reflux symptoms, so it is important to reduce your total daily fat intake.

Some foods have a high fat content. Make sure not to eat too many of them or eat them in small amounts:

  • French fries and onion rings
  • Fatty dairy products such as butter, whole milk, regular cheese, and sour cream should all be made from full-fat ingredients.
  • Fatty or fried beef or pork cuts make great meals.
  • Bacon fat, ham fat, and lard
  • Dinner is the main meal of the day, followed by desserts or snacks.
  • Cream sauces, gravies, and creamy salad dressings are made with cream.
  • oily and greasy foods

Tomatoes and citrus fruit

Some fruits can worsen GERD symptoms, and foods with a high acid content are especially harmful. If you experience frequent heartburn, you may want to reduce or avoid eating the following foods:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pineapple
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce is good on foods such as pizza and chili.


Chocolate contains an ingredient called methylxanthine. This substance has been shown to relax the muscles in the lower esophageal sphincter and cause reflux.
Garlic, onions, and spicy foods

People sometimes get heartburn when they eat spicy or tangy foods.

Some people do not have reflux problems when they eat these foods. But if you eat a lot of onions or garlic, track how many meals you have each day in a diary so you can see which foods bother you more.

Mint can cause reflux symptoms. products with mint flavoring can make it difficult for people to digest food.
Other options

Sometimes foods that are not a problem for other people may cause problems for you. You may try gradually eliminating these foods to see if the symptoms go away: dairy products like bread and crackers and whey protein.

Lifestyle tips

You can treat reflux symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes. Try the following tips:

If you are taking medications to reduce acid production, be careful not to overuse them. This can lead to side effects.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t chew gum that does not have a mint flavor.
Avoid alcohol.
Stop smoking.
Don’t overeat, and eat slowly.
Wait at least two hours after eating before going to bed.
Avoid tight clothing.
Avoid eating for 3 to 4 hours before going to bed. This will help you get a good night’s sleep.
To reduce reflux symptoms while sleeping, raise the head of your bed.


There is no one specific diet that is guaranteed to prevent GERD, but certain foods may help lessen symptoms in some people.

Scientists don’t yet know how increasing the amount of fiber from fruits and vegetables may protect against GERD symptoms. But they believe it may do so by preventing the formation of stomach acid.

Fiber is good for you. It helps with GERD symptoms and can also reduce your risk of various health problems.

high cholesterol
uncontrolled blood sugar
hemorrhoids and other bowel problems

If you have questions about which foods are appropriate for your diet, talk to your doctor. Different people may have different reactions to the same food depending on their individual health situation.

Working with a doctor or registered dietitian can help you create a diet that will control or lessen your symptoms.

People with GERD can usually control their symptoms by making lifestyle changes and using over-the-counter medications.

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