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Walnuts acid reflux: Do Nuts Cause Heartburn? | Livestrong.com

Do Nuts Cause Heartburn? | Livestrong.com

Nuts have a lot to offer nutritionally, but they may be the culprits behind your heartburn symptoms.

Image Credit: Diana Taliun/iStock/GettyImages

You keep peanuts and pistachios in your desk as a way to snack smarter. Or maybe you add a dollop of almond butter to your smoothie every morning. Nuts have a lot of nutrition to offer — but can they also cause heartburn? It’s possible, but it depends on which nuts and how many you eat.

Read more:​ The Effects of Overeating Nuts

People typically describe heartburn as a burning pain behind their breastbone. You may also have a bitter or acidic taste in the back of your throat.

According to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), heartburn is often caused by acid reflux. That’s when the band of muscle (called a sphincter) at the bottom of your esophagus, or food pipe, doesn’t close properly, allowing stomach acid and food from your stomach to wash back up toward your mouth. If you get heartburn more than a few times a week, you may be diagnosed with a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Nuts are powerhouses of healthy fats — the kind that could have benefits for your heart, according to the Mayo Clinic. But foods high in fats are also known to contribute to acid reflux.

“Fat is one of the triggers to make the bottom sphincter in the esophagus relax and promote a tendency towards reflux,” says C. Prakash Gyawali, MD, a gastroenterology professor at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis. “If a person with reflux disease were to have a big amount of nuts, their esophageal symptoms could potentially worsen temporarily.”

Dr. Gyawali notes that you’d probably have to eat a lot of nuts for this to become a problem. And a large meal of any kind can trigger heartburn. “So, if somebody ate a full peanut butter sandwich, is it the peanut butter that made them reflux or the volume of the meal? Probably both,” he says. Dr. Gyawali’s recommendation, if you have heartburn: Choose nuts that are lower in fat, and don’t eat too many.

To help you choose, here’s how some popular types of nuts stack up, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in terms of their fat content, described as the amount of fat in 1 ounce of the nuts, shelled:

  • Pistachios, 12.8 grams
  • Cashews, 13.4 grams
  • Peanuts, 13.9 grams
  • Almonds, 14 grams
  • Hazelnuts, 17 grams
  • Walnuts, 18.5 grams
  • Brazil nuts, 18.8 grams
  • Pecans, 20.2 grams

While almonds aren’t the lowest-fat nut on the list, they do have another property that may make them less likely to worsen reflux symptoms: “They are alkaline; they’re not acidic,” says Dr. Gyawali.

Heartburn and Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Nuts can also trigger heartburn if you have what’s called eosinophilic esophagitis. In this condition, the lining of your esophagus becomes inflamed with a type of blood cell called eosinophils. People with this condition can have heartburn or chest discomfort they describe as heartburn, says Dr. Gyawali.

Because eosinophilic esophagitis is thought to be caused by an immune system or allergic reaction, people who have the condition are often encouraged to try an elimination diet. This means removing major food allergens — which include peanuts and tree nuts — from your diet to help identify which ones worsen your symptoms, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Other Foods That Cause Heartburn

If nuts don’t seem to be the cause of your heartburn, there are other food culprits to consider — and avoid. Known triggers, according to the AGA, include:

  • Fried or fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated
  • Tomato
  • Citrus
    fruits or juices

Read more:​ The 10 Worst Foods for Acid Reflux

Other possible triggers to avoid that aren’t related to specific foods include the following:

  • Eating
    large meals
  • Lying
    down within a few hours after eating
  • Wearing
    tight clothing that puts pressure on your stomach
  • Taking
    aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications
  • Smoking

The AGA notes that these are all known to contribute to or worsen heartburn symptoms.

Do Walnuts And Peanuts Aggravate Acid Reflux Disease?

Acid Reflux Disease Can Be A Very Painful Condition. Anyone with acid reflux disease will want to avoid any food that causes them to have the painful symptoms of this disorder. It causes burning and pain in the throat as acid from the stomach enters the esophagus from the stomach.

The stomach is designed to handle acid like this, and it is an important part of digestion. Acid is not meant to be in the esophagus or throat, and when it is, problems usually result. This disease is also known as heartburn.

Eating Peanuts Can Cause Problems For Those With Acid Reflux

Those who have a peanut allergy and acid reflux find that if they do eat peanuts or a peanut product, that they have a severe bout of acid reflux. Symptoms of acid reflux may be much worse than if they did not have a peanut allergy. Anyone who knows that they have a peanut allergy should avoid eating peanuts. Even if you do not have this type of food allergy, but you do suffer from acid reflux disease, it is best to avoid eating peanut butter and peanut products.

Acid Reflux After Eating Peanuts Can Point To A Peanut Allergy.

Few people realize that developing acid reflux after eating a peanut product is actually a peanut allergy reaction. If you notice that every time you eat peanuts that you develop burning in your chest, esophagus, or throat, then you should mention this to your doctor. Allergy testing will show whether or not you have a peanut allergy that is showing up as the digestive disorder of acid reflux disease. Many allergists and nutritionists recommend that patients keep food journals of the foods that they eat. When so many different foods are eaten, it can become difficult to know which one is causing an allergy or acid reflux to worsen. Once foods eaten are recorded, it is much easier to see a pattern that will identify foods that result in problems when they are eaten.

Walnuts Can Improve Acid Reflux Symptoms In Some People

Do not assume that you are allergic to all nuts even if you do have a peanut allergy. Peanuts are actually legumes and are different from tree nuts. In some people, acid reflux symptoms are actually improved when they add walnuts to their diet. This is because walnuts contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids actually minimize the symptoms of acid reflux in some people. Fatty acids also aid in digestion, so walnuts are a good food to eat if you have acid reflux disease. Of course, avoid these nuts if you have a walnut allergy.

Photo: Pexels

Can Walnuts Cause Heartburn ?

Is it really possible that walnuts – which normally offer many benefits to your health – can also cause heartburn? 

In this article, we are going to find out whether or not walnuts are guilty when it comes to heartburn. Please keep on reading…


Renowned doctors as well as nutritionists, but more importantly, scientific studies say that walnuts are rather beneficial for human health, especially when consumed on a regular basis (1),(2),(3),(4),(5).

In fact, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to predict the positive outcomes of regularly eating walnuts if you just know some of the essential nutrients that walnuts contain. Protein, healthy fats, fibre, magnesium, copper and antioxidants are some of them (6),(7).

In addition to their health benefits, the taste of walnuts is mouth-pleasing for most people, otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be one of the most consumed nuts around the world (8),(9).

When taking all of these upsides of walnuts into account, they appear to be quite a smart way to snack.

However, there is a claim that might harm walnuts reputation a bit, if proven to be correct! This claim, as mentioned above, is related to the positive correlation between acid reflux and walnuts.

So, once again, the question is; “Is it really possible that walnuts – which normally offer many benefits to your health – can also cause heartburn?”

Well, the short answer to this question is “Unfortunately, yes… Walnuts can give you heartburn, especially if you eat too many of them at one go”

But, it is important to underline the fact that if you are a healthy person who otherwise doesn’t experience acid reflux, eating walnuts do not cause you to develop acid reflux disease!

That translates into that walnuts can increase the risk of having heartburn only if you are already susceptible to acid reflux.

In light of these, it needs to be said that if you have acid reflux disease and frequently experience a burning sensation in your chest after eating walnuts, it is (most likely) not a coincidence.

Walnuts are very likely a heartburn trigger for you…


Walnuts and Acid Reflux

So now we know that walnuts are a potential heartburn trigger for people who suffer from acid reflux disease.

But, now you may want to ask that ” How can walnuts – which are supposed to be healthy – lead to heartburn? “.

Well, when it comes to acid reflux, there are many surprising foods that can cause heartburn. For instance, tomatoes!

Although tomatoes are healthy and consumed throughout the world, tomatoes can give you heartburn. That indicates walnuts are not the only healthy foods associated with acid reflux!!!

The question is what makes walnuts a potential heartburn trigger?

Actually, there are a couple of reasons. However, the first and main reason that walnuts are linked to heartburn is no doubt walnuts high-fat content.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture; walnuts contain about 65% fat by weight (10),(11).

This raises another important question! How do healthy fats that exist in walnuts show the same effect as unhealthy fats and trigger acid reflux?

Indeed, the fat content of walnut is rather healthy, especially for your cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, fat is fat whether it is considered healthy or not when it comes to acid reflux and can bring about acid reflux symptoms.

C. Prakash Gyawali, a gastroenterology professor at Washington University says: “Fat is one of the triggers to make the bottom sphincter in the oesophagus relax and promote a tendency towards reflux.” according to Livestrong (12).

Walnuts are not the only nuts though that can trigger acid reflux. Other healthy nuts can also lead to heartburn.

The problem with walnuts is that their fat content is higher than most other nuts. So, walnuts are more likely to cause heartburn!

However, as indicated above. The fat content of walnuts is not the only reason that walnuts are associated with heartburn. There are other factors as well.


What is Acid Reflux?

Below, we will find out the reasons that make walnuts are a potential heartburn trigger. Yet, before that, it should be sensible to talk about acid reflux disease briefly in order to better comprehend how eating walnuts can lead to heartburn.

Let’s start with heartburn! Since heartburn (burning sensation in the middle of the chest) is the most common symptom of acid reflux, acid reflux and heartburn are often used interchangeably by many people.

In fact, heartburn is only one of the symptoms of acid reflux just as coughing, hiccups, hoarse voice or nausea are.

Acid reflux happens when stomach contents (acid) travel up toward the throat. Normally, stomach acid cannot go upward thanks to the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LES), a ring-like muscle located at the low end of the food pipe.

LES closes tightly after allowing foods to your stomach, hence, prevent stomach contents from travelling upward.

However, if you have acid reflux disease, that means this valve-like muscle (LES) often doesn’t close as tightly as it should. And, as a result of this malfunction, stomach acid can travel up towards the food pipe, causing heartburn or other acid reflux symptoms (13),(14).

To sum up, acid reflux is a disease that happens when the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) doesn’t function properly. 

So, if you experience heartburn on a regular basis that means, your LES muscle often doesn’t close properly after eating or drinking.

There are various factors that could relax LES muscle, thus, leading to acid reflux. Foods are one of them.

Many foods and drinks are known to either relax LES muscle or increase stomach acid, thereby, enhancing the risk of acid leakage. And, walnuts are claimed to be one of the foods that can cause heartburn.


Why Walnuts Cause Heartburn?

In this section, we will be looking at the reasons that make walnuts associated with heartburn.


1-) Walnuts Are Fatty 

First thing first; since walnuts contain a substantial amount of fat they are likely to cause acid reflux. To be more precise; 100 gr walnuts contain 65 gr total fat (10),(11).

As we mentioned above, although the fat content of walnuts is healthy especially for cardiovascular health, they can nevertheless lead to heartburn.

So, the thing is regardless of whether healthy or unhealthy, fat can cause acid reflux. But, it bears the question, why?

The answer is simple! Fatty foods remain in your stomach longer than other foods (15),(16).

The longer the foods remain in your stomach, the more acid your stomach produces to break them down. That, in turn, increase the risk of stomach acid escaping toward your food pipe, causing heartburn (16),(17).

The conclusion is that when you eat walnut your stomach produces more acid to break down fatty walnut. And, that can trigger acid reflux, which in turn, lead to heartburn.


2-) Walnuts Are Acidic

Hearing that walnuts are acidic can be quite surprising. After all, when acidic foods are mentioned most of us tend to visualise for instance; lemon, grapefruit, plums, soda, etc.

However, walnuts as well are considered acidic, although they are not as acidic as lemon is. And, acidic foods can make acid reflux worse, according to studies and medical experts (18),(19),(20).

How acidic are walnuts though? In fact, walnuts are not too acidic but are still considered acidic because their pHs are less than 7, more precisely around 5,4.

By the way pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. While zero is the most acidic, fourteen is the most basic and 7 is neutral (21).

The acid amount in walnut shouldn’t pose any risk of heartburn to a healthy person. However, if you are susceptible to acid reflux, walnuts acid can cause your stomach to produce more acid, thus may make you more likely to experience heartburn.


3-) Walnuts May Relax the Lower Esophageal Sphincter

Above, we defined the Lower Esophageal Sphincter, aka LES.

LES is simply the barrier between the stomach and food pipe, which opens when you eat or drink, and remains closed when you do not.

What studies and medical experts tell us is that high-fat foods (such as walnuts) can relax Lower Esophageal Sphincter, hence, can bring about acid reflux (22),(23),(24).

It bears repeating; if this group of muscles (LES) relaxes at the wrong time stomach acid could escape toward the food pipe and cause a burning sensation in the middle of your chest.

Please note that there are other factors that are known to relax the LES muscle. Stress and certain diseases, for instance, hiatal hernia, can be given as examples (25),(26).


Should You Give Up Walnut As They Give You Heartburn?

In this article, we have discussed the reasons why walnuts are associated with heartburn.

Although walnuts have a plethora of benefits to offer to your body, these tasty nuts may also increase the risk of getting heartburn. And, we have provided 3 plausible reasons for it, which are:

  • Walnuts are fatty
  • Walnut are acidic
  • Walnuts may relax the Esophageal Sphincter

It bears the question ” Should I stop eating walnuts as they trigger heartburn in me ?”.

Well, first of all, it is important to underline that, in general, it is not too easy to find out which food is the one that gives you heartburn. This is because you eat various different foods throughout the day.

However, if you almost always experience heartburn after eating walnuts. Then, walnuts are more likely a heartburn trigger for you.

Even if so, eliminating walnuts from your diet wouldn’t be a sensible decision. This is, primarily, because walnuts can improve both your mental and cardiovascular health.

And, the second reason that giving up eating walnuts is not a good idea is that you can consume walnuts without getting heartburn.

Here is how…

Firstly, you can lower the number of walnuts you eat in one go. This will decrease the amount of fat as well as acid that enter your stomach, so the risk of having heartburn become lesser in return.

Secondly, you can take a walk after eating walnuts and decrease your heartburn risk. This is because walking after eating is good for acid reflux as it improves digestion.

Moreover, not lying down right after whatever you eat can also help you avoid heartburn with the help of gravity.



When it comes to acid reflux, even rather healthy foods can trigger heartburn. And, walnuts are a good example of this situation.

They are loaded with various essential nutrients, but, they can still cause acid reflux owing to their high fat amount, although the fat is healthy for the human body.

Acid reflux has become a common disease around the world, affecting many individuals. If you too suffer from acid reflux there are ways to restrain it.

On this website, we published an article with the name ” ” the best ways to prevent acid reflux.” It can help you better deal with acid reflux.

NOTE: If you experience acid reflux more than 2 days a week, for several months then you probably have GERD, which is chronic acid reflux disease. In this case, we strongly recommend you to work with your doctor.



Tarkan is an experienced medical writer ( currently more than 600 medical articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.

Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.

[email protected]

Can Nuts Give You Acid Reflux?

Can Nuts Give You Acid Reflux?

Nuts are technically fruits but unlike other fruits they are not sweet and are high in fat. They have a satisfying taste and are very convenient for many kinds of diets. Despite being high in fats, nuts have impressive benefits for health. Nuts have benefits like the abundance of nutrients, loads of antioxidants, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, they are anti-inflammatory etc. but when taken in high amounts, nuts can be a great supply of dietary fat. People with GERD, which has acid reflux as a symptom, experience more acid reflux signs after taking high fat foods. High fat food can increase acid reflux signs by delaying stomach emptying and /or relaxing the LES or lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter muscle keeps food in the stomach from going back into the esophagus. The stomach is designed to handle acid but not the esophagus or throat. Excessive nuts at a single time can cause these various digestive system problems and thus eventually trigger acid reflux symptoms.

There are many allergies related to nuts, one of these allergies named EoE or eosinophilic esophagitis can happen in people who are sensitive and allergic to nuts. Facing acid reflux once in a while is very common and absolutely normal, but if the frequency of the problem increases then it is an indication that the problem is not in normal stage. Instead, the problem needs expert help but in case the problem is left untreated for long then it can lead to a big problem in the long run. Nuts need to be completely removed from the diet in cases of the eosionophllic esophahitis allergy. Frequent acid reflux can cause serious problems like changes in the structure of the esophagus as well as cancer along with small problems like discomfort.

Can Nuts Give You Acid Reflux?

People who have peanut allergies and acid reflux both may realize that if they do eat peanuts or peanut product they have a severe bout of acid reflux. Symptoms of acid reflux may be much worse if they did not had peanut allergy. Anyone who knows that they have peanut allergy must avoid eating peanuts but even if people do not have any such allergy but they still suffer from acid reflux problem, it is a good and healthy way to either completely avoid or limit the intake of peanut products such as peanut butter or peanut bar. People who suffer from peanut allergy also face the problem of acid reflux when they consume any type of peanut products. When such individuals take peanuts in any form they either feel like burning in the chest region and this is one of the prominent symptoms of acid reflux.

In some people acid reflux symptoms are actually improved after adding walnuts to their diet. This is because walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids. These acids actually minimize the symptoms of acid reflux in some people. Fatty acids also aid in digestion, so walnuts are a good food choice if people are suffering from acid reflux disease.

Unlike some other nuts, almonds are alkaline. The mono saturated fat and omega 3 that almonds contain protects heart and their dietary fiber content could make people feel full between meals, thus helping them fight over weight problem as well which also causes acid reflux.

If nuts are consumed in small amounts even on daily basis, they mostly do not provoke acid reflux. Around ½ a cup is an ideal amount at a time during acid reflux disease. Different kinds of nuts have different effects on acid reflux problem and these are also affected by the fact that whether the people consuming nuts have allergies related to them or not. Overall the addition of nuts can be considered safe is the amount is not too high and frequency of consumption of nuts is not too often.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc.

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Last Modified On: April 4, 2018

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6 foods that cause heartburn (and how to avoid them)

There’s nothing pretty about heartburn. Read on about foods that trigger burning discomfort and what you can do to ease the pain.


Photo: iStockphoto

Feeling that familiar fiery discomfort after your favourite slice of pizza? That’s heartburn. “It’s caused by the digestive acids in the stomach rising up into the esophagus and causing a burning sensation, discomfort and pain,” says Lorrie Ingram, a registered holistic nutritionist, in Stratford, Ont. Certain foods are more likely to trigger heartburn than others, but that doesn’t mean you have to give them up for good. Ingram explains why these six popular foods cause heartburn:

Sweet or hot, these colourful vegetables are inflammatory, which triggers your body to create more acid to help digestion.

Cheese and other high fat foods, like red meat or nuts, can cause heartburn because fat slows down the emptying of the stomach. This means there’s more pressure in the stomach pushing acid into the esophagus.

Beer, wine and spirits relax the muscles in your body–including the esophageal sphincter, which exists to keep acids out. After a drink or two it doesn’t work that well.

Citrus fruit
These are highly acidic and that extra acid will only make heartburn worse. The main offenders are oranges, grapefruit and orange juice.

Carbonated drinks
The gas in pop or sparkling water can become trapped in your stomach and create pressure that pushes acid into the esophagus.

Anything caffeinated is highly acidic and that increases the likelihood of heartburn.

Read more: Pregnancy: What foods to avoid>

Ease your heartburn

If some of your favourite food and drinks are on this list, don’t worry. You don’t have to give them up to avoid heartburn, says Ingram. Instead, try these tips to ease it:

Eat a mix of fruit and vegetables
Digestive enzymes are in colourful fruits and vegetables so the more types you add to your diet, the better your body will be at breaking down food. “Try to have one with every meal,” says Ingram.

Take a digestive enzyme
“Taking these about 20 minutes before you eat will help your body breakdown food and reduce gas and bloating,” she says. You can get them at your local health food store.

Lemon water
Have a glass of room-temperature water with the juice from half a lemon in it. Lemon juices reduce the acid in your stomach.

Limit your portion size
Overeating adds pressure in your stomach and can force acid into the esophagus leading to heartburn.

Treat the symptoms
If you need quick relief, reach for an antacid. But remember, these don’t cure heartburn, they only ease the symptoms.

Originally posted in January 2011. 

Tips to calm your acid reflux

Living with acid reflux or GERD is a definite nightmare. You dread eating because it hurts. Sleeping is stressful because you feel the acid go up to your throat or you wake up in the middle of the night in pain. Even mere existence can be painful!

It takes time and an eternity of patience to deal with the condition, so here are some tips from doctors and acid reflux “veterans” that might help you deal with your acidic stomach.

1. Sleep on your left side or slightly upright.

Sleeping on your left side—not your right—aids in digestion. Sometimes sleeping in a flat position can make the acid creep up your esophagus. When you feel this way, you can also sleep with your head and shoulders propped up a little higher than the rest of your body. This helps keep that acid down.

Also, make sure to get loads of rest. Constant or extreme stress can trigger acid reflux, too.

2. Eat small but frequent meals.

Being full puts that stomach acid into hyperdrive—even if you’re full with the proper food or just water. Eating smaller quantities throughout the day will make the whole digestion experience much more bearable and also helps keep those painful hunger pangs away.

But remember this: under any circumstances, do not go hungry! Acid hunger is a hundred times worse than normal hunger.

3. Speaking of eating (and, sadly) you might have to change your diet.

There are many different kinds of food and drinks to avoid when you’re acidic. Oily food, acidic food, and dairy trigger and even irritate acid reflux. So, no citrus, onions, tomatoes, red meat, coffee, chocolate, junk food, alcohol, sodas—and so on—allowed. Avoid them.

Instead, opt for things like lugaw (porridge), grilled chicken and fish, bone broth, bananas, avocado, watermelon, walnuts, non-fat yogurt, leafy veggies, and kelp. You can find some acid-friendly recipes online.

4. After eating, do not lie down.

Lying down after eating will cause excruciating acid reflux and make things much worse. Instead, try walking around a little bit and letting gravity help you digest. It’ll be a much better digestion experience.

Story continues

This is actual advice I got from my doctor.

5. Lastly, please see a doctor.

They’re the experts who will help you deal with your pain and work towards wellness—because acid reflux and GERD take really long to heal from and oftentimes don’t go away on their own. Consult a medical expert!

Dealing with this condition, and the pain that comes with it, takes a lot of patience, a change of lifestyle, and the will to power through it.

It’s a lot but it’s not impossible—so stay strong and keep on! You’ll get better in no time.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) | Cooper University Health Care

For information about gastroesophageal reflux and coronavirus, please visit our COVID-19 and GERD page.

Doctors for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common yet chronic digestive condition in which the stomach’s contents sometimes flow back up into the esophagus — the tube that carries food from your throat into your stomach.

A ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) normally keeps the top of your stomach closed. It relaxes and opens when you’re swallowing. GERD happens when the LES relaxes and opens up when you aren’t swallowing. This allows your stomach contents to flow back up the esophagus.

Other synonymous terms:

  • Acid indigestion
  • Acid reflux
  • Acid regurgitation
  • Heartburn
  • Reflux

Why Choose Cooper for GERD Treatment?
What Are the Symptoms?
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors?
GERD Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Why Choose Cooper for GERD Treatment

At Cooper University Health Care, we are committed to stopping GERD in its tracks and preventing the symptoms and complications that can impact your quality of life. From simple forms of reflux to the most complicated cases, our highly trained, board-certified specialists offer state-of-the-art diagnoses, medical treatments, and surgical interventions that are tailored to meet your unique needs.

We offer a variety of advanced diagnostic tests as well as an array of treatment options that range from medications and lifestyle modifications to innovative surgical techniques. Cooper University Health Care recently became the first health system in South Jersey to implant the LINX® Reflux Management System device to help keep the lower esophageal sphincter muscle closed after eating or drinking. And our surgeons are among the most experienced in the fundoplication procedure, which provides support for the lower esophageal sphincter muscle so it can close tightly and prevent stomach acid from backwashing into the esophagus.

Our specialists perform more than 250 esophageal manometries and pH studies each year to determine how well the esophagus is working. We also perform up to 25 esophagectomies and 50 foregut surgical procedures every year.

In addition, Cooper’s Esophageal Motility Center serves as a referral center for area gastroenterologists who are not equipped to handle complex GERD and its related complications. Our Aerodigestive Center specializes in treating refractory GERD using an integrated approach that includes gastroenterologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and bariatric surgeons.

Our integrative approach means you receive the most personalized and quality care available.

What Are Symptoms?

The following are possible symptoms of GERD:

  • Heartburn – burning sensation or pain in the chest that can radiate to the jaw, caused by gastric acid refluxing into the esophagus
  • Regurgitation – backflow of partially digested food and gastric contents into the mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing, or the feeling that food is “stuck” in the esophagus)
  • Globus – feeling of a “lump in the throat”
  • Bad breath – from regurgitation
  • Dyspepsia – burping, nausea after eating, bloating, upper abdominal pain and discomfort, etc.

GERD symptoms can occur in various situations, including:

  • After eating a meal – a common time for people to experience symptoms, since the stomach produces acid after you eat
  • When bending over or lifting a heavy object – occurs as the “valve” in the lower esophagus that prevents acid regurgitation is sometimes weak. Lifting objects or bending over can increase the pressure on your stomach, which can cause more regurgitation through thee weak valve
  • When lying down, especially on your back – occurs for the same reason as bending or liftin
  • At night – occurs for the same reason as lying down
  • During pregnancy – GERD during pregnancy is secondary to hormonal reasons that make the valve in the lower esophagus weaker. Also, the fetus can put increased pressure on the stomach, which in turn can cause a backflow of gastric acid into the esophagus

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors?

There are many risk factors associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Consuming alcoholic, caffeinated or carbonated beverages
  • Eating certain foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, onions, peppermint, tomato, or spicy or fried foods
  • Eating large meals
  • Eating right before going to bed
  • Lying flat after eating
  • Having a hiatal hernia
  • Taking certain medicines, including aspirin and certain drugs for asthma, high blood pressure, allergies, depression, sleep disorders and pain
  • Being pregnant

In addition, another cause includes the weakening or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter from these risk factors.

GERD Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid

One should avoid foods in the high-acid column and eat the low-acid foods. The list of high-acid foods below are common acid reflux triggers.

  Low-Acid Foods High-Acid Foods


Citrus fruits – orange, grapefruit, lemon


Vegetables Baked potato         
Creamed vegetables 
Fried vegetables
Meat Chicken – skinless
Egg whites 
Ground beef – lean
Steak – lean (tenderloin, sirloin tip)
Buffalo wings
Fried meat
Ground beef – full fat
Sausage – pork
Steak – high fat (marbled)
Dairy  Cheese – feta, goat
Cottage cheese – low fat or fat free
Cream cheese – low fat or fat free
Milk (< 1%)
Sour cream – low fat or fat free
Cottage cheese
Cream cheese
Ice cream
Milk – whole
Sour cream
Grains Bread – multi-grain
Plain cereals
Graham crackers
Macaroni and cheese
Pasta with tomato or cream
Beans and Nuts Almonds
Brazil nuts
Flax seeds
Lima beans             
Pinto beans             
White beans            
Pumpkin seeds
Navy beans             
Sesame seeds
Red beans              
Beverages Water
Apple juice
Citrus juices
Hot chocolate
Fats, Oils, and Condiments Mayonnaise – fat free 
Salad dressing – low fat or fat free
Salad Dressing – Creamy, full fat, 
oil and vinegar
Desserts Cookies – fat free
Graham Crackers
Red licorice
Sherbet – non-citrus
Macaroni and cheese
Pasta with tomato or cream
Snacks Baked chips
Cookies – fat free 
Cheese puffs/curls 
Potato chips
Tortilla chips – fried
Spices Basil
Black pepper
Hot sauce – cayenne and jalapeno


While GERD isn’t a life-threatening condition, if left untreated it can result in complications, including:

  • Esophageal stricture – a narrowing of the esophagus that happens when damage from stomach acid causes a buildup of scar tissue. It can cause problems with swallowing.
  • Esophageal ulcer – an open sore in the esophagus caused by tissue damage from stomach acid. It can lead to pain, bleeding and problems with swallowing.
  • Barrett’s esophagus – a precancerous condition in which the cells lining the esophagus change. Barrett’s esophagus is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Although the risk is small, it’s important to have regular checkups for precancerous cells (dysplasia). If precancerous cells are discovered, they can be treated to prevent esophageal cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer – can result from years of untreated GERD. It is more common among men and is often diagnosed when it is in an advanced stage. In later stages, esophageal cancer can be treated but rarely can be cured.
  • Esophagitis – irritation and inflammation caused by stomach acid that can cause ulcers, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and difficulty swallowing


There are a number of diagnostic tools used to detect gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), including:

  • Upper gastrointestinal GI endoscopy and biopsy – involves using a camera and light through the mouth and throat to look at the lining of GI tract and sampling small bits of tissues for examination
  • Upper GI series – x-rays of GI tract that detect related anatomic problems such as strictures or hiatal hernia
  • pH test – esophageal pH and impedance monitoring and Bravo wireless monitoring
  • Esophageal manometry – tests the function of the esophageal body and lower sphincter (“valve”) to help diagnose issues with the structure and movement of the esophagus

Make an Appointment with a GERD Expert

Make an appointment with a Cooper specialist if you have GERD and are still experiencing acid reflux more than twice a week after making dietary changes.

To make an appointment with one of our experts in treating gastroesophageal reflux disease, please call 800.8.COOPER (800.826.6737).

90,000 Heartburn and Acid Reflux: What to Eat?

Find out what foods to eat or avoid to prevent and treat acid reflux.

Read also: Why ginger is good for you

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus. This phenomenon is quite common and can cause complications or unpleasant symptoms, including heartburn.

One of the reasons for this is the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter.Its function is to prevent spontaneous access of food into the esophagus. Foods consumed directly affect the amount of gastric juice produced by the stomach. It is proper nutrition and food choices that help control acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, a severe chronic form.

Foods That May Reduce Reflux Symptoms

Reflux symptoms can result from stomach acid entering the esophagus, causing irritation and pain. If you have been diagnosed with high acidity, certain foods in your diet will help you manage your acid reflux symptoms.

Read also: How to maintain weight after losing weight

It is important to understand that none of these products will cure your condition, but will only alleviate the symptoms. For a comprehensive solution to the problem, you should consult a gastroenterologist.


Vegetables are low in fat and sugar and help reduce stomach acidity.Consuming green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, leafy greens, potatoes, and cucumbers on a regular basis will be most effective.

Read also: Night work and a healthy lifestyle: can it be combined?

Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and is an excellent remedy for heartburn and other gastrointestinal ailments. You can add grated or chopped ginger as a condiment, or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms.

Oatmeal is an excellent breakfast solution with a high fiber content. Oatmeal can absorb stomach acid and reduce reflux symptoms. Other fiber food options include whole grain breads and whole grain rice.

  • Fruit (non-citrus)

Fruits with low acidity, including melons, bananas, apples and pears, are less likely to cause reflux symptoms than citrus fruits.


  • Lean Meats and Seafood

Read Also: The Sugar Truth You Wanted to Hear

Lean Meats such as Low-Fat Chicken, Turkey, Fish and Seafood Reduce Acid Reflux Symptoms … However, in this case, it is important to opt for healthier cooking methods, without the addition of oil and fat. Try grilling, frying without oil, baking, or boiling.

Unlike yolks, egg whites can help relieve heartburn. The yolks, due to their high fat content, can worsen symptoms.

  • Healthy fats

You might think that all fatty foods are not recommended for heartburn. However, sources of healthy fats including avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil will not negatively affect reflux. Reduce your intake of saturated fat and trans fat and replace them with healthier unsaturated fats.

Find individual reasons

Read also: What to do if weight loss stops?

Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux. You may feel a burning sensation in your stomach or chest after a full meal or certain foods.

Other symptoms:

  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • bloating
  • belching or hiccups
  • difficulty swallowing
  • lump in the throat

Many people with reflux find that certain foods cause the above symptoms.To identify these triggers, keep a food diary and track what foods you eat, when you eat, and what symptoms occur after.


Common trigger foods for people with reflux

Read also: How to eat out?

Although doctors argue over which foods actually cause reflux symptoms, a trend has been observed. To control your symptoms, you can start by eliminating the following foods from your diet.

Fried and fatty foods can weaken the esophageal sphincter, allowing more stomach acid to return to the esophagus. These foods also delay gastric emptying. Exclude: French fries, fatty dairy products such as butter, whole milk, regular cheese and sour cream, fatty or fried pieces of beef, pork or lamb, bacon, ham and lard, desserts or snacks such as ice cream and potato chips, creamy sauces, gravies and creamy salad dressings

  • Tomatoes and citrus fruits

Fruits and vegetables are important for a healthy diet.But some fruits can cause or worsen reflux symptoms, especially those that are very acidic. If you have frequent acid reflux, you should reduce or eliminate your intake of citrus fruits, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Read also: How often to eat – popular myths

Chocolate contains an ingredient called methylxanthine. This substance can relax the smooth muscles of the esophagus and increase reflux.


  • Garlic, onions and spicy foods

Spicy and spicy foods such as onions and garlic cause heartburn symptoms in many people.

People with acid reflux may notice their symptoms worsen after coffee in the morning. This is because caffeine is a known acid reflux trigger.

Making lifestyle changes:

Read also: Foods with negative calories: truth or fiction?

In addition to controlling reflux symptoms through diet and nutrition, you can manage symptoms through lifestyle changes.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Don’t overeat and eat slowly.
  • Remain upright for at least two hours after eating.
  • Avoid tight clothing.
  • Do not eat three to four hours before bed.
  • Raise the head of the bed or choose a larger pillow to reduce reflux symptoms during sleep.

Author – nutritionist, sports nutritionist Darina Makhaneva

Earlier we wrote how to restore metabolism after low-calorie diets.

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90,000 A good reason was named to include walnuts in your diet – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Walnuts, even in minimal amounts included in the diet, have a positive effect on the intestinal microflora, to some extent protect against ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease, as well as against some forms of cancer, reported in the journal Nutrients.

American scientists from the Universities of Connecticut and Texas state that the components contained in walnuts “have a wide range of health benefits” and have pronounced anti-inflammatory and protective effects.

In the course of an experiment on mice, it was found that the “nut diet” (14% in the diet, equivalent to 20-25 g for humans) improved the condition of the animals: two weeks after it began, the integrity of the mucous membrane of the large intestine was restored.In the control group of mice that did not receive walnuts, this beneficial effect was not observed.

“Even the lowest concentration of walnuts (3.5%) in the diet showed a moderate effect on the degree of reduction of ulceration of the colon. But the most pronounced was the protective effect of walnuts during the recovery phase,” the article says. However, scientists certainly warn that eating a lot of walnuts between relapses is not recommended.

The purpose of this study, which was funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research, was not so much to prove the benefits of healthy food as to find substances that can be used to create drugs, according to Zentrum.

Compared to other nuts, walnuts (Juglans regia) contain the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, high levels of phytochemicals, including antioxidants. In addition, walnuts are a rich source of fiber (up to 6.4%), which supports disease remission in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

It is also interesting that, according to previous studies, walnuts do not contribute to weight gain, provided that they are used wisely, for example, no more than 60 g per day, which corresponds to 350 kcal.

Thus, this study showed that the beneficial effects of dietary walnut consumption may be “due in part to sustained changes in the microenvironment of the tissue present in the colon mucosa. A diet enriched with walnuts can improve the overall metabolic health of the colon to such an extent. that it will be able to counteract the ulcerogenic effects of DSS-induced damage. Regular consumption of walnuts can improve lipid metabolism and increase antioxidant production in the colon, ultimately helping to suppress mucosal ulceration.

Walnuts improve brain function and help control weight

Walnuts have been found to improve brain function and weight control.

In pursuit of an ideal, healthy body, many often resort to expensive methods, buying “pills for youth or weight loss” or giving money for various procedures that supposedly can restore youth and improve the state of the body. At the same time, many forget that thanks to the regular use of some familiar products, you can significantly improve your well-being and solve many problems.These products include walnuts.

Stimulates brain function

It is worth saying that all nuts are useful in their own way. But walnuts have truly unique properties. For example, a few cloves of this nut every day can help improve brain function. Thanks to this, your efficiency will increase, concentration, attention will improve, and you will also begin to memorize much more information. This is especially useful for older people.After all, the fatty acids contained in walnuts protect the human brain from damage that can appear as one of the age-related changes.

Your weight is under control

And this is not a joke. Despite the relatively high calorie content of walnuts, they still help control weight. In other words, if you include such a snack in your daily diet, then not only will you reduce the risks of weight gain, but you will also lose a few extra pounds.This is because walnuts are rich in fiber, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. They fill you up quickly and reduce hunger, which helps you avoid overeating. Still, it’s best not to overeat these nuts, like any other, if you don’t want to feel the heaviness in your stomach.

Helps bowel and heart function

Walnuts are full of bioactive compounds that have a positive effect on the intestines, as well as on the state of the cardiovascular system.And the fact is that these compounds have a beneficial effect on the state of the intestinal environment. This, in turn, plays a role in the development of beneficial bacteria, which normalize the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure. Therefore, if you just include a few walnuts in your diet, you will get better changes in the state of your cardiovascular system.




Identify foods that cause acid reflux

Foods that cause an increase in stomach acid levels are foods that should be avoided for people with heartburn. gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is important to prevent recurrence of symptoms and complications.

Increased acidity of gastric juice with heartburn and acid reflux (GERD) can cause a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, pain in the intestines and other very disturbing symptoms. This discomfort can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Therefore, to prevent increased stomach acid levels (reflux), it is important to control your diet as best you can, including paying attention to what foods you eat and avoiding foods that cause stomach acid levels to rise.

Avoid foods that cause acidity in the stomach

The following are some types of acid reflux foods to avoid:

1. Fried

Fried is an ingredient in foods that cause an increase in gastric acid levels due to its high fat content. Foods high in fat can trigger the production of the hormone cholecystokinin.

One of the effects of this hormone is the weakening of the sphincter muscles between the stomach and the esophagus, which is beneficial for keeping food in the stomach.If this muscle opens, stomach acid can flow up the esophagus.

2. Sour foods

Avoid acidic fruits and foods, including oranges, lemons, strawberries, and foods containing vinegar. The acid content of these foods can cause burning-like heartburn, especially if the food is eaten when the stomach is empty.

3. Spicy food.

Spicy foods are also found in foods that increase stomach acid levels. Content Capsaicin Spicy foods are known to slow down the processing of food in the stomach, so that the stomach fills up for a longer time. This can provoke a recurrence of heartburn.

In addition, spicy food can also irritate the stomach wall. In people with ulcers, especially chronic gastritis, the stomach wall is already inflamed. Spicy foods can certainly make this condition worse. Therefore, reduce or avoid foods containing chili or pepper.

4. Fatty foods.

As explained earlier, fatty foods can cause acid reflux. This includes foods that are naturally high in fat, such as beef, lamb, milk. whole cream, and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and butter .

These foods also take longer to process in the stomach, which increases the risk of reflux. Therefore, consumption of these foods should be limited, especially in people with ulcers and GERD.

5. Chocolate

Unfortunately, this delicious food should also be avoided if you don’t want acid reflux. Chocolate contains cocoa, fat, caffeine and theobromine can cause reflux.

If you still want to eat chocolate, you can eat dark chocolate ( dark chocolate ). This type of chocolate contains fewer of these reflux-causing substances, so the risk of reflux is lower. Even so, their consumption should be limited.

In addition to several of the foods listed above, there are also drinks that should be avoided, such as soft drinks and caffeinated drinks. This is because these drinks are sour. Gas bubbles in carbonated drinks can also cause gastric acid levels to rise.

To reduce the risk of developing gastric juices, drink plenty of water and limit your caffeine intake, for example by substituting tea for coffee. chamomile which does not contain caffeine.

In addition, eat foods that are good for your stomach, such as vegetables, o snacks , egg whites, and foods containing healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, sesame oil, and olive oil.