Fried Foods

Are fried foods tasty? You bet. Do they contribute to acid production? Yes again. Because they're laden with fats, fried foods take a long time to digest, meaning the stomach has to use lots of acids to break them down.

Citrus Fruits

Loaded with potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, citrus fruits are great for overall health. For GERD, though, the sunny fruits can spell trouble.


It's a bit of a bummer, but this favorite sweet treat is a reflux trigger for many people. It's not that chocolate is acidic. Instead, it contains methylxanthine, a compound that can decrease pressure in the LES.

Carbonated Beverages

We've all had a case of the burps from drinking carbonated beverages like soda or sparkling water. But if you have GERD, bubbly drinks could do more than cause some embarrassing air escapes.


Et tu, coffee? Yep, while the high caffeine content of java may perk you up, it's also its downfall in terms of acid production. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders recommends people with GERD avoid coffee and other sources of caffeine.


Alcohol is another trigger drink for many folks with GERD since it can also relax the lower esophageal sphincter.

Spicy Foods

Whether it's chilies, curries, or salsa, spicy foods are probably the most well-known reflux triggers. In fact, according to a 2020 study, spicy items were the most common triggering food in a survey of 100 GERD patients, with 62% citing them as their top trigger.

Ultra-Processed Snacks

Lately, science has uncovered multiple drawbacks of ultra-processed foods—the kind that includes lots of additives, sweeteners, and artificial colors.


Alas, another healthy food that can worsen acid production. The malic and citric acids in tomatoes prompt the stomach to produce more acid, increasing the likelihood of reflux.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is known as an after-meal digestif since it contains compounds that help relax the gut. But in this case, it may do so a little too well. Peppermint tea can aggravate acid reflux since it can soothe the LES into a relaxed state that allows acid to enter the esophagus.

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