Refraining from consuming foods and beverages that lead to the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter is advised. For many people, these food items include alcoholic beverages, caffeine, peppermint, chocolate, and fatty foods. Acidic food products that can damage the esophageal lining include tomato products, citrus fruits and juices, and pepper.
Another thing that seems to help people with GERD is minimizing portion sizes at mealtime. Others find that eating their meals several hours prior to bedtime can reduce symptoms, since stomach acid is able to decrease and empty partially during this time.