Acid reflux and heartburn are never fun to live with. Other than taking medications, there are additional measures people can take to avoid increased stomach acid. One of the best ways to keep stomach acid down is to avoid foods that increase stomach acid. This one step can help reduce and sometimes even eliminate the pain associated with acid reflux and heartburn.
Tomatoes and Tomato-Based Foods
Obviously, tomatoes are high in acidity, which means they increase stomach acid. What isn’t so obvious is the number of foods that are tomato-based. For example, take a look at the ingredients on a can of beef stew and more than likely it will list either tomato sauce or tomato paste. Tomato sauce and tomato paste are very common because these add rich flavor to soups and stews. Also, keep an eye on condiments, such as barbecue and steak sauces.
Oranges, pineapples and other citrus fruits can greatly increase stomach acid. The same goes for fruit juices and sodas that have citrus fruit in them. The good thing is some brands now offer low acidic varieties of orange juice.
Foods and Drinks Containing Caffeine
The Mayo Clinic recommends people with acid reflux to cut back on caffeine. This not only means coffee, tea and sodas, but it also means chocolate and foods containing chocolate. The reason caffeine causes such a problem is that it weakens the sphincter muscle, which makes it easier for acid to make its way up the esophagus. For some drinks, you can purchase decaffeinated versions, just be aware that this doesn’t work for all drinks. Coffee, for example, is so high in acid that it doesn’t matter if a decaffeinated version is consumed.
According to the website MedHelp, high-fat foods should be avoided. High fat foods take longer for the stomach to break down, which means they stay in the stomach longer. As more food is consumed, it builds on top of the undigested high-fat food and makes it easier for acid to build up.
Peppermint and Spearmint
According to a story featured on Fox News, mint has a myth of soothing stomach acid. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Peppermint and spearmint are actually to be avoided because they can increase stomach acid. In the story featured on Fox News, nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot recommends using licorice instead of mint to help sooth stomach troubles.