People with reflux esophagitis should avoid eating chocolate, mint and alcohol, according to WebMD. High-fat foods, tomatoes and citrus fruit often worsen symptoms as well, notes Healthline. Some individuals with esophagitis experience symptoms after eating spicy foods.
Fatty foods to avoid include fried foods, full-fat dairy products, high-fat cuts of meat, many desserts and snacks, gravy, and creamy sauces and dressings, reports Healthline. Citrus foods -- grapefruit, lemons, limes, pineapples, oranges -- are high in acid, which can aggravate the condition, as are tomatoes and products with tomatoes as a main ingredient, such as tomato sauce and salsa.
In addition to avoiding certain foods, it is helpful if reflux esophagitis patient develop new eating habits, WebMD recommends. Symptoms lessen when people consume food in several small meals instead of two or three large ones. Patients should not recline for two or three hours after eating, so they must stay away from bedtime snacks. High-fiber fruits and vegetables also help prevent symptoms, Healthline advises.
Reflux esophagitis occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not keep stomach contents from entering the esophagus, reports WebMD. The food tube becomes inflamed, and the patient experiences heartburn, chest pain, and pain and difficulty swallowing, Mayo Clinic explains. Many of the problematic foods relax the lower esophageal sphincter, and this lets even more stomach acid into the esophagus, notes Healthline.