Acid reflux: Foods to AVOID this Christmas to prevent heartburn

Christmas chocolates and a festive cheeseboard could trigger acid reflux symptoms, according to GP Dr Roger Henderson.

Peppermint candy canes, nuts and alcohol were all foods to avoid for patients.

Spicy and acidic foods were the main categories of food that could lead to unwanted symptoms.

Meanwhile, washing down your roast turkey or Christmas goose with fizzy drinks or alcohol should all be avoided, Dr Henderson added.

“The main foods to avoid are spicy food, onions and garlic, and caffeinated drinks, including coffee,” Dr Henderson told 

“It is richer food, and more of it washed down with alcohol.”

Fried foods could also increase the risk of acid reflux, according to nutritionist Dr John Axe. They tend to stay in the stomach for longer, and are more difficult to digest properly, he said.

Some patients’ acid reflux symptoms could also be triggered by dairy, he added.

“Not every person has a negative reaction to dairy foods, like yogurt or cheese, but some do,” Dr Axe said.

“Milk products contain calcium, sugar and usually fat which can all trigger the release of more acid from the stomach.”

Acid reflux is usually caused by the muscle, which keeps food inside the stomach, weakening.

Stomach acid can seep back up the oesophagus, causing an unpleasant, sour taste at the back of the mouth.

It can cause heartburn, and a sensation of pressure building up the sternum.

If acid reflux occurs more than twice a week, or causes the oesophagus to become inflamed, a patient can be diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – the more severe form of acid reflux.

Other GERD symptoms include trouble swallowing, bad breath, chest pain, and damage to tooth enamel.

Heartburn and acid reflux can usually be treated by making lifestyle changes, according to the NHS.

Eating smaller, more frequent meals could reduce symptoms.

Avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothes could help to relieve the chest pain. To get a more restful night’s sleep, prop the head of your bed up with a wooden block to get a more restful night’s sleep.

Over-the-counter medication, known as anacids, from pharmacies may also ease symptoms.

Almost 11 million people in the UK suffer from frequent heartburn.