What vegetables can trigger acid reflux?

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Acid reflux is a common condition where the contents in the stomach regularly move back up in the esophagus. It’s usually a long term condition which can cause uncomfortable symptoms like heartburn and abdominal pain or several other serious long term issues.

Some food-related factors can also contribute to acid reflux. How much food you eat in a single meal and the types of foods you eat are important factors.

By making smart decisions about what you eat and how you eat, one can help control reflux symptoms.

Eating smaller portions of foods that have low fat and sugar content may help prevent reflux.

However, knowing which foods to avoid can be somewhat confusing. Even in the medical community, there are still some controversies over which foods cause reflux symptoms, since each person is different.

Even though there is no consensus, many experts agree that certain types of foods and beverages should be avoided to prevent heartburn, indigestion, and other reflux symptoms.

Let’s see what vegetables are prone to trigger reflux!


Tomatoes tend to cause acid reflux problems to many people.

Tomatoes have many healthy nutrients such as lycopene. However, research says that they may be bad for people with acid reflux.

That’s because they contain high amounts of acid that can cause heartburn to individuals who are prone to it.

Tomatoes contain two types of acid that are malic and citrus.

When you consume food your stomach usually produces gastric acid to help in digestion of food sitting in the stomach.

But in some people, the gastric acid produced is too much when they consume tomato-based products. The excess gastric acid breaks up to the esophagus hence causes a burning sensation in your chest.

If you have heartburn after eating tomatoes, it is best to remove this vegetable from your diet (e.g.: pizza tends to contain a lot of tomatoes).

Raw onions

Cooked onions are less likely to trigger reflux symptoms.

Onions are healthy additions in many foods and salads. But for people with acid reflux, they can trigger uncomfortable symptoms.

As they stimulate acid, they’re a common trigger for heartburn.

Green and shallot onions provide onion mild flavor but they can also trigger acid reflux.

However, research says that cooking the onions can help tone things down.

We also recommend that you try them in small quantities and monitor how your body responds. If you have symptoms, then remove them from your diet.


Garlic has many health benefits, but it might be a no-no for people with reflux.

Although garlic has many health benefits, it is not recommended for people with acid reflux.

Garlic consumption is often associated with heartburn and is said to increase the likelihood of this symptom in individuals with reflux.

One is more likely to experience heartburn when eating garlic, especially if it’s raw.

However, because not everyone has the same food triggers, some people may not experience this side effect at all.

If you want to add garlic to your diet, we advise that you talk to your doctor first about any concerns you may have.

Final thoughts

Making adjustments to your diet and eating habits can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Therefore, avoid these vegetables we’ve mentioned or take them in small quantities

You can also opt for healthy and reflux-friendly alternatives like ginger, broccoli, spinach, and celery. It’s wise that you keep a food diary to track foods that trigger reflux symptoms.

Frequently asked questions

Can you eat cooked onions with acid reflux?

According to this research paper, raw onions tend to trigger reflux. We have not found similar research about cooked onions, but many people experience heartburn even after eating cooked onions.

However, the consensus seems to be that cooked onions are less likely to trigger heartburn than raw onions.

Can you eat ketchup if you have acid reflux?

Ketchup contains not only a lot of tomatoes but also a lot of sugar. Both are known trigger foods for acid reflux.

Should you eat vegetables raw or cooked?

Cooked vegetables are easier to digest, so if you are prone to acid reflux, eating them cooked might be easier on your stomach.