Fruits to Avoid for Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a burning, painful sensation called heartburn. Although occasional bouts of heartburn are not a real concern, persistent episodes indicate the need for a dietary lifestyle change, according to U.S. News & World Report. Avoiding certain fruits, for example, can help tame that burning sensation.



Tomatoes are the most problematic fruits for those suffering from acid reflux. The high acid content irritates the lining of the esophagus and aggravates the heartburn, notes author Elaine Shimber in her book “Coping with Chronic Heartburn.” Tomato-based dishes, particularly Italian food, are especially detrimental to acid reflux sufferers. Shimber also recommends avoiding ketchup and tomato juice.


Oranges are high in ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, and can aggravate the sphincter that connects the esophagus to the stomach. Acid reflux occurs when this tube becomes overly stimulated by acid, causing a regurgitation that results in heartburn. Eating this fruit, especially on an empty stomach, can have severe and painful consequences for heartburn sufferers, according to Jean Carper in the book “Food -- Your Miracle Medicine.” Although oranges are generally healthy to eat, those sensitive to acid should avoid this fruit to prevent exacerbation of their condition.


Grapefruit is also part of the citrus fruit family along with oranges. Grapefruits are generally larger, juicer and more problematic than oranges due to sheer size. In the book “How to Stop Heartburn,” authors Anil Minocha and Christine Adamec note that grapefruit juice causes the most intense and lengthy acid reflux symptoms and should be avoided at all times. The authors recommend substituting bananas for grapefruit for comparable nutrients.

  • “Coping with Chronic Heartburn”; Elaine Shimberg; 2001
  • “How to Stop Heartburn”; Anil Minocha and Christine Adamec; 2001
  • "Food -- Your Miracle Medicine"; Jean Carper; 2000

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or