Foods to Eat and to Avoid for Gastritis

Foods to Eat and to Avoid for Gastritis: Despite the fact that it can be treated easily and fairly quickly, gastritis can prove quite difficult to handle at times. Aside from medication, a big part of the healing process involves learning which foods are good for us and which are not. And while most people can do well on a general diet plan provided by their doctor, sometimes, apparently harmless foods can trigger the most severe symptoms and delay our healing simply because they are just not that good for us and end up irritating the stomach lining.

Finding out which foods to eat and which to avoid when you have gastritis is essential for reducing the inflammation of the stomach lining. In addition to well-known problematic foods and beverages such as junk food or coffee, gastritis symptoms can be triggered by eating cabbage, cauliflower or bell peppers and other otherwise healthy foods that we would normally consider highly beneficial for us. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind is that we are all different and may each respond differently to foods and beverages so there isn’t a universal diet plan for gastritis.

Best and worst foods for gastritis

What  should you eat for gastritis? Generally, gastritis sufferers are advised to avoid acidic foods and fizzy drinks, processed products, hard candy and generally anything that cannot be cooked from basic, raw ingredients. Some of the most problematic foods and beverages for gastritis include the following:
1) Greasy, oily foods and anything deep-fried.
2) Fast food (consumed regularly).
3) Baked sweets rich in butter, oil or margarine.
4) Hard candy, chocolate bars, biscuits etc.
5) Red meat.
6) Coffee and caffeinated beverages.

Treating gastritis often requires you to give up all forms of caffeine.
7) Green tea, black tea and white tea, Oolong tea.
8) Carbonated beverages.
9) Carbonated (sparkling) water.
10) Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and other cabbage family vegetables.
11) Onions, garlic, leek, chives.
12) Beans, peas, lentils or chickpeas.
13) Hard cheeses (aged cheeses).
14) Spices: pepper, hot peppers, wasabi, ginger, turmeric (see side effects).
Food with too much seasoning tends to upset the stomach, irrespective of the spices employed.
15) Alcohol.
16) Vinegar.
17) Too much refined sugar.

Anything processed and prepared with food preservatives stands a higher chance of irritating our stomach and triggering gastritis symptoms. Fast food products and red meat are problematic because they are heavy foods, more difficult to digest. Alcohol, coffee, even decaffeinated coffee and caffeinated beverages are strong irritants. Green tea and its white and black varieties, oolong tea contain caffeine and theine and may engender acidity. Onions and garlic, broccoli, cabbage and similar vegetables contain organosulfur compounds that may upset the stomach.

Legumes such as beans and peas are rich in dietary fiber which causes bloating and further accentuates gastritis symptoms. Carbonated beverages and even carbonated water may upset the stomach. When I feel my stomach particularly sensitive, I avoid carbonated water so it doesn’t give me air and irritate my stomach. Aged cheese and, for some people, dairy products in general ferment, increasing stomach acidity, which is not at all good for a stomach predisposed to irritation. I also find vinegar gives me heartburn and a sort of painful burning sensation in the stomach even in small amounts. Too much sugar is highly problematic for gastritis as well.

Bad foods for gastritis

In my case, foods that I used to love and eat regularly without having any issue with have started to upset my stomach once I developed gastritis. It was then I realized that there isn’t a universal diet plan for all gastritis sufferers and that seemingly innocent foods may cause more damage than good. This is one of the reasons why treating gastritis can be difficult: you have to give up foods you love as well as extremely healthy foods like fruits overall. Because a gastritis diet is a bland diet.

Here is a list of potentially problematic foods that may trigger mild to severe gastritis symptoms and delay healing of the existing condition:
1) Bell peppers.
2) Pineapple.
3) Citrus fruit and citrus juices.
4) Strawberries and strawberry juice.
5) Eggplants (unless boiled).
6) Fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce and juice.
7) Corn (but not cornmeal, used to make polenta).
8) Cucumbers.
9) Potatoes.
10) Pumpkin (especially baked).
11) Chocolate spread.
12) Hot chocolate and powder cocoa.
13) Oats.
14) Peppermint and spearmint tea.
15) Cold meats such as salami or sausages.
16) Ginger and ginger powder (read more about the side effects of ginger).
17) Unripe or not fully ripe bananas.
18) Pickles.

When I was dealing with gastritis in all its glory, I could not eat most of the above foods at all or could only eat some of them in very small amounts and only occasionally. For instance, citrus fruits such as lemons or grapefruit and their juice versions would give me the worst acidity and lots of air, while bell peppers and cucumbers worsened my acid reflux. Baked pumpkin, which I love and is extremely healthy, bloated me a lot and had me burping for days. I also found chocolate spread and ginger very irritating, while corn and eggplants made me feel faint and had me experiencing a strong feeling of uneasiness in the middle of my chest.

However, after completing my 3-week long treatment with esomeprazole and keeping up a rather strict dietary regime for another 2 months, I started reintroducing some of these foods in my diet (except for pickles, cold meats and citrus juices) and can now enjoy them in moderate amounts without any stomach discomfort.

Good foods for gastritis

What foods to eat for gastritis? Despite the wide range of foods that may trigger gastritis symptoms, there are still a lot of options to choose from and work out an eating plan that suits each and every one of us. The list of fruits and vegetables in the Foods Map here can represent a good starting point and help you begin to work out an eating plan suited to your individual dietary needs. Other foods I found particularly helpful when I was dealing with gastritis and was on a restrictive diet include the following:

1) Boiled vegetables, except for problematic ones.
I loved carrots, parsnip, celery, celeriac, turnips and spinach.
2) Soft boiled eggs.
3) Whole grain bread, but in limited amounts.
4) Rice, white and parboiled.
5) Ripe bananas.
6) Pears, also in limited amounts, without the skin.
7) Plain yogurt and kefir (consumed occasionally).
8) Chicken soup.
9) Lean white meat: chicken and fish like cod.
10) Chamomile tea.
11) Small amounts of fresh olive oil.
12) Limited amounts of raw almonds, cashews and walnuts.
13) Moderate amounts of white pasta (with vegetables, fish or seafood).
14) Fresh figs, sometimes apples without the skin or grated over plain boiled white rice.
Or a tablespoon of acacia honey (read about the benefits of acacia honey) every now and then when I craved sugar.

Aside from eating certain foods and avoiding many others, what I also find helped me was eating small portions and enjoying plain meals, one or two foods at once (such as boiled rice and chicken). I also avoid most seasonings except for salt, turmeric and fresh olive oil. Even now, I don’t eat 3 hours before going to bed and don’t drink anything 30 minutes prior to lying down. I try not to lift anything or do strenuous activities one or two hours after eating and avoid all foods I feel are not good for me, no matter how good they are for others.

Conclusion. When it comes to gastritis, we have to learn to manage our intake of certain foods, particularly high fiber foods, greasy, oily foods, junk food, carbonated and caffeinated beverages, acidic foods, excessively spicy or seasoned dishes and alcohol. The way we eat is just as important as what and how much we eat so we have to keep these aspects in mind when looking to treat gastritis and allow our stomach to heal itself. A diet plan suited to our individuals needs and well as overall good eating habits can help improve our digestive health to incredible extents.

44 Replies to “Foods to Eat and to Avoid for Gastritis”

  1. Hello there. Yesterday I had an endoscopy and my doctor told me I have hemorrhagic erosive gastritis. He did not give me any idea of how to eat. Since the pain started two and a half weeks ago all I eat is plain baked potatoes (no skin), plain almost burnt toast, boiled green beans and chicken broth with noodles in it. For breakfast all I eat is cream of wheat. I start a new job in a week and a half and have no idea what do do about my lunch and snacks at work without pain. I’m on esomeprazole in morning and ranitidine before lunch dinner and bedtime. I don’t know what else to do. I drink plenty of water and drink chamomile tea as well.

    • I am sorry to hear about your gastritis diagnosis, Stacy. First of all, it’s a good thing you went to the doctor and are taking your prescribed medication. The next part in treating your gastritis is managing your diet. Here are some examples of what I have eaten and, honestly, continue to eat since I’ve been diagnosed with gastritis:
      1) Two soft boiled eggs or poached eggs for breakfast with toast (not burnt because it’s not good for you).
      2) Boiled chicken meat with some plain baked potatoes for lunch.
      3) White rice with spinach, carrots and maybe some chicken for dinner.
      4) Chicken soup with carrots, potatoes and some green beans, topped with fresh parsley and maybe a few drops of fresh olive oil.
      5) A cream soup made from boiled potatoes, carrots, a bit of zucchini.
      6) Cooked spinach with boiled, steamed or baked chicken (seasoned with a bit of salt, fresh parsley, a few drops of fresh olive oil).
      7) I may eat perfectly ripe bananas (not every day), rice crisps, plain popcorn, salted crackers as a snack.
      8) Once a week I eat lean, white fish, boiled, steamed or baked, seasoned with only salt.
      (I avoid heavy fish like tuna, sardines, mackerel etc.)
      9) I also sometimes have turkey instead of chicken, cooked the same way and plain.
      10) I have eaten raw honey on toast and, occasionally, as a treat, toast with low-fat, fresh cottage cheese.
      11) Baked or hard boiled eggs with boiled carrots and crackers or toast as a snack.
      12) Also, baby food is good for gastritis. Those little jars with chicken, rice, pasta, spinach, zucchini, potatoes can really calm stomach upset, especially since there are no additives, no spices or fats to irritate the stomach.
      13) Polenta with roasted chicken, everything plain.
      14) You can make corn tortillas with shredded chicken, roasted orange, yellow, black or purple carrots and zucchini sticks.
      15) Another idea is flour tortillas with scrambled eggs and shredded chicken meat (previously baked, boiled or steamed).

      I usually rotate these foods, combine them in any way that I can. For example, I like to use a food processor to blend a couple of hard boiled eggs with a bit of lean fish. It makes a great sandwich spread. Carrots, zucchini and potatoes make a savory cream soup and you just boil the vegetables and blend them in a food processor. It’s tastes good cold too. I have also made rice, egg, chicken and carrots dishes that were quite good and could be put in a lunch box to take with you to work. You kind of have to get creative with your food when you have gastritis because you don’t have many options since fiber, fats, caffeine, dairy, processed foods all upset the stomach.

      And as you enjoy a bit of relief, you can introduce one food at a time in your diet to see if you can eat it or if it bothers you. For example, 2-3 weeks into my gastritis diet, I started eating one boiled apple without skin once a week, a baked quince now and then, some plain boiled and pureed mushrooms, but everything in moderation. I have only used small amounts of fresh olive oil, parsley, dill or lovage as seasonings, but make sure you are not allergic to them first.
      Other vegetables that I found were relatively easy on the stomach when consumed in limited amounts included celeriac (or root celery), parsnip, root parsley, turnip, beets, some green leaf vegetables (turnip tops, beet greens), never raw, always boiled, steamed and eaten once a week or so. But you have to see for yourself if they are good or bad for you. Remember to also check if you are allergic to any of them.

      And the best thing you can do is cook everything at home yourself. For example, make a chicken soup and save some of the broth for noodles because store-bought chicken broth is often full of processed flavoring. Also, since semolina has quite a lot of fiber which can upset gastritis sufferers, you could benefit more from eating protein like eggs in the morning. Soft boiled or hard boiled eggs, poached eggs or scrambled eggs are all good choices. Please read the article above for more information on what foods to eat and to avoid for gastritis and why. Wishing you lots of health and hope to hear back from you with good news.

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