The American College of Gastroenterology estimates that about 60 million Americans experience occasional heartburn, the predominant symptom of acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when your lower esophageal muscle relaxes and allows the contents of your stomach to travel back up into your esophagus.
People who are prone to acid reflux are often advised to choose foods that won’t irritate their lower esophageal muscles. Such foods generally have two things in common: They’re nonacidic and low in fat. Most vegetables -- including kidney beans and other legumes -- fit into this category and typically don’t cause acid reflux.
Acid reflux can be brought on by eating too much or too close to bedtime, taking certain medications and smoking. Common dietary triggers include chocolate, alcohol, coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages, peppermint, spearmint, oil, whole milk, cream-based soups and most fast foods. Tomatoes, tomato products, citrus fruit and citrus juice also tend to aggravate acid reflux.
Kidney beans that have been presoaked and boiled in water are generally well tolerated by people with acid reflux. The main dish they’re used in, however, is not -- kidney beans are a staple of chili, which also typically contains tomatoes, spices, sour cream, cheese and other heartburn-provoking ingredients.