Many health professionals believe that eating a diet high in acidic foods can be harmful to one’s health. While the body does need a certain amount of acidic foods to balance pH levels, too much acid can cause serious and painful health symptoms. According to WebMD, a highly acidic diet can exacerbate painful Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This disease allows acid from foods to enter the esophagus, which can cause symptoms so intense that the victim can think he is having chest pain.
Vegetables and Herbs
Most people would consider vegetables to be a healthy diet selection, and for the most part they are. However, for people suffering from high acid levels, some vegetables can cause excruciating pain and discomfort. Tomatoes are one of the most highly acidic vegetables. Individuals with esophageal problems such as acid reflux can experience symptoms from eating tomatoes and tomato-based products. Garlic and onions are examples of foods that also should also be avoided by individuals who are prone to heartburn symptoms.
Fruits and Juices
Fruits and juices can cause problems for people who are sensitive to acidic foods. The most acidic fruits are citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. In addition to citrus fruits, the juices from these fruits are also acidic. WebMD has listed the orange and its juice as one of the foods that people suffering from acid reflux should avoid, along with the very acidic grapefruit. Instead of drinking these juices, heartburn-prone individuals should drink water.
Alcoholic beverages can be acidic and cause or exacerbate heartburn. Wines made from grapes or citrus fruits contain acid and can cause painful symptoms when paired with an acidic meal, such as one made with tomato-based foods. In addition to containing acid, these alcohol-containing drinks cause harm by opening the lower esophageal sphincter. This sphincter is a valve that prevents stomach contents (acid) from coming out of the stomach and into the esophagus. Heartburn is the prevalent symptom when this occurs.
References and ResourcesWebMD: GERD Symptoms List
WebMD: Top 10 Heartburn Food Triggers
WebMD: What is GERD?