Chocolate, onions, garlic, spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and fatty or fried foods can all contribute to acid reflux. While each type of food contributes in a different way, they all lead to acid backing up into the esophagus, as stated by Healthline.
The lower esophageal sphincter is the circular muscle that keeps food and other substances in the stomach once they have entered. Fatty and fried foods can make the lower esophageal sphincter relax, letting stomach acid roll by it into the esophagus. These types of foods also slow down the process of emptying the stomach, so these types of foods increase the risk of reflux. Foods such as french fries, onion rings, bacon fat, lard, ham fat, potato chips, high-fat desserts, cream-based sauces (as well as gravies and dressings) and full-fat dairy products are all on the list of foods to avoid, according to Healthline.
While fruits are important for a healthy diet, the most acidic ones can exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pineapple can trigger acid reflux, as can tomatoes (as well as salsa or tomato sauce). Chocolate can even cause acid reflux, as it contains methylxanthine, which relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and lets acid get out. Spicy foods cause acid reflux symptoms in a number of people but not in others, so paying attention to the ways those foods affect oneself is important for managing acid reflux outbreaks, notes Healthline.