A healing diet for gastritis and ulcers (an inflammation or irritation of the stomach lining) can significantly ease and improve the discomfort and symptoms that occur with it. Following a gastritis diet menu may also prevent flare-ups while allowing one to enjoy daily activities.
Gastritis can be caused by a number of things including excessive alcohol consumption, chronic vomiting (from illness or bulimia), consistent stress, and certain medications (aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs are two well-known culprits).
But most cases of gastritis and ulcers care caused by an H. pylori infection, which causes major disruptions in the acidic balance of the stomach and gut flora.
Why Specific Foods and Diet Are Recommended for Gastritis
Foods that soothe gastritis, such as broccoli sprouts and yogurt, are recommended because they are known to balance out the acidity in the stomach and cool the internal system. Proper nutrition for gastritis issues is critical in treatment and healing.
Peptic ulcers (open sores that develop within the digestive system) often accompany gastritis, and the act of eating is what most often triggers the pain associated with these two gut issues.
Because of this, doctors often start treatment with a simple elimination diet to remove offending foods that are generally known to cause gastritis symptoms in most people. A diet for gastritis sufferers is sometimes the only course of treatment required to get the problem under control. Food can truly be medicine in this case.
Foods to Eat When Suffering from Gastritis
There are certain foods that should be eaten when suffering from gastritis and ulcers because they have a cooling effect on the lining of the stomach and can ease the internal inflammation.
Below is a list of recommended foods to help with a diet for gastritis and reflux. The easiest thing to remember is that a bland diet for gastritis is best.
- Broccoli sprouts have a chemical in them called sulforpahane, which helps kill H. pylori because it has an antibacterial effect. A 2009 study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research showed that a group of people with H. pylori who ate a cup of broccoli sprouts every day for eight weeks had less stomach inflammation and infection than those who ate the same amount of alfalfa sprouts, which does not contain sulforpahane.
- Yogurt is also an excellent choice to help restore gut flora back to normal and level out the balance in the stomach. It’s best to choose low-fat or fat-free brands that contain live and active bacterial cultures. Opt for plain yogurt and add honey as a sweetener and to help soothe your stomach.
- Fruit is a great choice with gastritis (with some exceptions, listed below). Try eating two to four servings a day of apples, bananas, pears, peaches, grapes, melon, and kiwi.
- Vegetables are also a terrific and soothing choice (again, with some exceptions listed below).
- Grains help to promote regular bowel movements, which help to prevent or reduce gastritis symptoms. Consume products with a high-fiber content such as brown rice, oatmeal, barley, whole grain breads and cereals, crackers, pasta, and cornmeal.
- Proteins such as lean meats, fish, poultry, and eggs are all great low-fat foods that will increase your fiber intake. For those on a plant-based diet, choose foods such as nuts, seeds, dried beans and lentils, and soy-based proteins for your gastritis meal plan.
- Also include applesauce, apple juice, skim milk, and light-flavored, low-fat cheeses.
Foods to Avoid When Suffering from Gastritis
A diet for chronic gastritis will help eliminate any irritation in the stomach. At first it might seem difficult to kick coffee and sugar, but once you realize how much diet plays a part in healing, it won’t be an issue for long.
Below are the beverages and gastritis foods to avoid in your diet if you suffer from gastritis.
- Spicy foods, including chili and curries
- Black and red pepper
- High-fat foods, (these increase the acid in your stomach)
- All high-fat dairy products, except skim milk and low-fat cheese
- Tomato products (sauce, paste, canned, juice)
- Oranges, grapefruit, figs, berries, and dried fruit
- Junk food
- Fried food
- Cured sausages
- Soft drinks or any drinks with added sugar
- Carbonated beverages (they increase stomach acid)
- Citrus and pineapple juice
Herbs Good for Gastritis
Herbs have been used for thousands of years to heal the body and there are quite a few effective herbal remedies for gastritis. Some herbs interact with medications, so make sure to check with your doctor if you are on medication and choose to use one or all of the following.
Herbs can be consumed as capsules, tinctures, or teas. Work with a nutritionist, herbalist, or naturopathic doctor to get the dosage and formulation that is best for your needs.
- Cranberry: Some research indicates that cranberry can inhibit the further growth of H. pylori.
- Mastic: Traditionally used for peptic ulcers, mastic inhibits further growth of H. pylori.
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL): Chewing this is best. Do so one hour before or two hours after meals.
- Peppermint: This can help relieve the symptoms of peptic ulcers.
Table: Diet for Gastritis and Esophagitis
|Foods to Eat||Foods to Avoid||Herbs to Take|
|Peaches||Black and red pepper|
|Applesauce||Figs, dried fruit|
|Apple juice||Sugary foods|
|Skim milk||Cured sausages|
Sample Diet Plan for Gastritis
To help you with planning a gastritis diet plan, we have included a sample menu for a seven-day period. Foods can be substituted according to personal preference.
In addition to the meal plan, start each day with one cup of herbal tea followed by a serving of fruit 20 minutes later. Have breakfast 30 minutes after the fruit.
- Breakfast – Two slices of whole grain toast with plum jam
- Snack – Fruit
- Lunch – Stewed skinless chicken breast with carrots or a cabbage salad
- Dinner – Brown rice with carrots and broccoli
- Breakfast – Millet-based porridge with raisins, honey, or almonds to taste
- Snack – Fruit or one cup of sweetened black or green tea (kombucha)
- Lunch – A bowl of pumpkin soup, brown rice, and tofu
- Dinner – One medium-sized banana and probiotic yogurt with oat flakes added
- Breakfast – Two slices of whole grain bread with cheese spread and a rocket salad
- Snack – Lemon balm tea and one medium-sized banana
- Lunch – Baked trout and green salad with olive oil
- Dinner – Polenta with pumpkin seeds
- Breakfast – Oat flakes with almonds, honey, banana, and pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
- Snack – Chamomile tea and apple slices
- Lunch – Skinless chicken breast with onion and garlic along with a carrot or beet salad
- Dinner – Spinach and whole wheat pasta
- Breakfast – Semolina porridge with soy milk and stevia to sweeten
- Snack – About 10 almonds
- Lunch – Two eggs, one medium-sized potato, and a leek or beet salad
- Dinner – A banana shake with alfalfa sprouts, raspberries, and honey
- Breakfast – Dried fruit and a buckwheat salad
- Snack – Carrot juice
- Lunch – Mackerel and coleslaw
- Dinner – Steamed vegetables with mayonnaise and one slice of whole wheat bread
- Breakfast – One slice of corn flour bread and probiotic yogurt
- Snack – One medium-sized banana and kombucha
- Lunch – One piece each of skinless chicken thigh and drumstick with onions
- Dinner – Muesli balls made with oat flakes, orange juice, almonds, raisins, honey, cinnamon, and coconut flakes
With gastritis, it is important to plan meals and allow time for digestion in between. Knowing what to eat when you have gastritis can go a long way in avoiding symptoms. Start each day with a piece of fruit and avoid drinking water with meals and immediately afterwards.
In addition to a change in food choices, lifestyle changes may include limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol intake, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking. Also, be sure to participate in regular exercise three to five times weekly.
Having a gastritis condition means that you will have to limit consumption of your favorite foods to prevent a flare-up of painful symptoms. A special diet for gastritis can also offer comfort with a variety of foods and an abundance of flavors to satisfy every palate.
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