If you know what foods to avoid with acid reflux cough, you can protect yourself from coughing after eating, GERD etc.
Your stomach produces acid to digest the food you eat. In a way, the food you eat controls the amount of acid in your stomach.
You get acid reflux cough when acidic contents from stomach travel upwards and enter esophagus. You can thus control acid reflux cough by avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux cough.
What foods to avoid with acid reflux cough?
Different people have different triggers for acid reflux cough. As a result, foods to avoid with acid reflux cough may be different for different people. Foods that trigger an acid reflux cough in your case may be perfectly fine with others. Similarly, foods that cause acid reflux cough in others can be fine with you.
But experts broadly agree on a general list of foods that trigger acid reflux cough in a majority of people.
Common foods to avoid with acid reflux cough
Examples of foods to avoid with acid reflux cough include the below.
Your stomach takes more time to digest fatty foods. As a result your stomach acids have to work extra hard in digesting fatty foods. This means there is greater possibility of semi digested food from stomach re-entering esophagus. Thus fatty food can trigger acid reflux cough in many people.
Examples of fatty foods to avoid with acid reflux cough
- fat on meat like bacon fat, ham fat, beef, pork, lamb, lard
- full fat diary like butter, milk, cheese, cream, ice cream
- deep fried food like french fries, burgers, onion rings
- gravies, creamy sauces , dips and salad dressings
Sour and citrus foods
Some very nutritious fruits and vegetables add sourness and acidity to some foods. As eating sour and citrus based foods increases the level of acidity in your stomach and can potentially cause more irritation. So you need to watch for any sour or citrus foods if you have acid reflux cough.
Examples of sour and citrus foods to avoid with acid reflux cough
- tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato based foods like pizza, salsa
- citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, limes, lemons, pineapple and grapefruit
The above citrus and sour fruits are definitely some foods to avoid with acid reflux cough but they are very rich in essential vitamins and minerals. So you may miss out on such very important vitamins and minerals if you totally avoid them. To avoid becoming deficient of such vitamins and minerals, you can consume these in small quantities.
Methylxanthine in chocolate can trigger acid reflux cough in many people. So chocolate and chocolate based foods can foods to avoid with acid reflux cough.
Spicy or tangy foods
Foods that taste spicy or tangy normally cause some irritation in the stomach. As a result, consumption of spicy or tangy foods can trigger acid reflux cough in many people.
Spicy foods are one of the main causes of coughing after eating or chronic acid reflux cough. So, foods based on garlic, onion, chilli etc. are foods to avoid with acid reflux cough.
Caffeine based foods are very popular for triggering acid reflux cough, heart burn and cause sleeplessness. As a result, caffeine based foods are bad for you if you suffer from acid reflux cough.
Alcohol is a very common trigger for acid reflux and so cutting down on alcohol consumption can really help alleviate acid reflux cough.
Mint is a great after food treat. They say mint helps in digestion. But mint also triggers acid reflux cough in a lot of people.
Though the above list outlines foods to avoid with acid reflux cough, you need to be sure you get your acid reflux cough triggers correctly identified. For this, you need to identify what foods trigger acid reflux cough in your case and then avoid them.
Foods to avoid with acid reflux cough specific to you
Foods that trigger acid reflux cough in you
You need to keep a food diary and document foods you eat and the symptoms you have. Once you have thus gathered enough data, you can analyse and make a note of foods that triggered acid reflux cough in you.
In the food diary you need to note the below.
- what food you ate
- amount of food you ate
- what you did after eating
- time of the day when you ate
- whether you ate it hot or cold
- the symptoms you faced after eating
While updating your food diary, you need to pay attention to the below symptoms and note them in the diary.
- burning sensation in stomach or chest
- difficulty in swallowing
- burping or hiccups
- lump in throat
- sore throat
- dry cough
By documenting your food and symptoms for a week or two, you will have a fair idea of what foods trigger acid reflux cough in your case. The idea of this diary is to identify what foods trigger acid reflux in you and then avoid eating such foods.
Tips to reduce acid reflux cough
- if you eat too many processed foods, you may want to check if any processed food is causing your acid reflux cough and avoid it.
- eat more fibre so that your digestive system works better and food keeps moving faster through your digestive tract
- if you are on any medication, discuss with your doctor if your acid reflux cough is the side effect of any medications you take and request for a change of medication
- discuss your food diary and symptoms with your doctor and follow doctor’s advice
- avoid eating a heavy meal just before going to bed
- use acid reflux wedge pillow when going to bed
- take smaller bites, chew well and eat slowly
- eat smaller meals more frequently
- lose weight if you are obese
- stop smoking