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.

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

    • I am sorry to hear that. If you are looking for advice on how to treat erosive gastritis, then feel free to read the article above for information on what are the best foods to eat and the foods to avoid for gastritis. It’s also important to see a doctor for diagnosis and in case you may need medicines to help treat the gastritis. Wishing you lots of health.

  1. Hi. I am so happy to find your page. I have gastritis because of helicobacter pylori, but a doctor in Sweden does not help with diet. I started to look online myself until I found your page. I checked your diet list. It is white bread that you can eat? Can you buy sliced white bread without preservatives and toast it? Can you buy yogurt or homemade yogurt? How many percent fat: 3 or less? I would be so grateful if you answer.

    • Hello, Zainab. First of all, if your gastritis is caused by a Helicobacter pylori infection, then you need antibiotics therapy. Has the doctor prescribed you medication for gastritis? If so, then you need to take the prescribed medication as recommended. With your type of gastritis, diet alone is not enough to treat it. You need both diet and treatment. As for what you should eat for gastritis, experts recommend eating foods that absorb acidity, foods that have little dietary fiber and low amounts of fat. For example, white bread (you can toast it at home), white rice, boiled chicken meat, spinach, carrots, potatoes, crackers, soft boiled eggs are examples of what you can eat daily when you have gastritis. Avoid yogurt. While it is a healthy food, yogurt is bad for gastritis because it is acidic and worsens stomach acidity. From time to time (not every day) you can eat very ripe bananas like bananas with little brown spots on them. Occasionally you can eat a boiled apple without the skin or grate a fresh apple over some plain, boiled white rice. From time to time you can eat some boiled white fish with lean meat, like cod. No tuna, no salmon, no oil-rich fish. No fried foods, fatty foods and no processed foods. These are the same steps I followed to treat my gastritis. Maybe you find the information useful. You can read the article above for more information on what foods to eat for gastritis. And remember to take the medicines prescribed by your doctor.

  2. Thank you for the reply. I got medicine for Helicobacter pylori. The test showed I did not have it anymore. But doctors cannot give diet. Every doctor says the same thing. Until I found your page because you cured yourself. I am eating now as you ate. But white bread, what sort do you recommend? And crackers how much a day? Thanks for answering.
    Zainab from Sweden.

    • First of all, I am happy to hear you no longer have Helicobacter pylori. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what kind of bread or crackers. Simple ones. You can get your own bread at toast it at home in the oven. And you need to eat to try to meet your daily nutritional demands of calories, macronutrients, vitamins and dietary minerals. But Zainab, you don’t have to eat only crackers and white bread. These are just two examples of foods that absorb acidity. You have to eat protein too and also get a little fat from boiled chicken and soft boiled eggs or some fish like cod. Spinach, carrots, potatoes are examples of vegetables that are easy on the stomach. Even if you have gastritis, you need a varied and balanced diet so try to get all the nutrients you need. Ask your doctor what is a good multivitamin because gastritis also causes problems absorbing vitamins from food and it might help you. I also took a good multivitamin for three months while I was following this gastritis diet and it helped me. Wishing you the best.

  3. Hi again, Marius. I have been to a doctor before week for endoscopic examination and I do not have Helicobacter pylori anymore. But I have a difficult gastritis and it takes time for my stomach mucosa to heal. The food I eat every day is boiled chicken meat, boiled carrots and boiled white rice, sometimes boiled zucchini and potatoes, twice a week ripe banana and sometimes boiled apple. But I have a question about crackers. The kind of crackers I found in Sweden contain citric acid and this is allergenic, it’s no good for health. Can you please write what kind of crackers did you eat when you had gastritis? I found white bread in Sweden, it has sugar but no preservatives. Is sugar not good for gastritis? Please help me.

    • Hello again, Zainab. I am happy to hear you no longer have H. pylori. As for the gastritis, it’s true that it takes months to see improvements. This is because the lining of your stomach needs to heal and every little dietary mistake can irritate it further, prolonging healing. Myself and many other like us, with gastritis, resort to eating safe foods of the sorts you enumerated: boiled chicken, boiled white rice, white bread, boiled vegetables like carrots, potatoes, sometimes zucchini, ripe bananas and boiled apples. Boiled fish like cod, boiled or baked sweet potatoes, spinach, boiled or baked black carrots and stewed fruit (apples, pears, quinces, peaches, apricots) are good alternatives when eaten in moderate amounts.

      As for the crackers, the ones containing citric acid can be bad for gastritis because citric acid irritates the stomach lining. The citric acid in the crackers you’ve found is the same from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons or lime which are to be avoided in gastritis. I don’t know what types of crackers you can find in your country, but I do know the simple ones are the best. So look for crackers made mostly with white flour or even rice crackers. They should be the cheapest because they don’t have many ingredients. Avoid those with added fruits or whole grains because they have fiber and although fiber is normally good for you, too much can irritate the stomach in gastritis. Look for flat, dry varieties because they are usually the simple ones, but read the ingredient list anyway. Avoid fluffy crackers or biscuits because they tend to contain lots of fats which are bad for gastritis. You can always eat rice crackers, puffed rice or toasted white bread which you can make at home yourself in the oven. As for sugar, moderate amounts are okay, too much sugar is bad for gastritis. If you just get sugar from bananas or stewed apples and maybe some from tea you may drink in the morning, it’s alright. Just don’t eat too much. Also, remember to avoid coffee, alcohol, fruit juices, tomatoes, tomato juice and sauces, chocolate, fried foods, fatty foods, citrus fruit and dairy. Hope this helps and wishing you lots of health.

  4. Hello, Marius.
    I am so grateful for your answer because you answered my questions the way back my health. Swedish dietitian can not help me. She says I can eat whole grain bread crust and cheese and dates. I have found a variety of crackers: Carr’s original table water crackers. The ingredients are flour, wheat flour, calcium, iron, niacin, thiamin, vegetable oil (palm oil); per 100 g, fat 7 grams, carbohydrates 74, fiber 4.5 g, protein 10 g, salt 1,5 g. I am eating them as a snack, 30 g at 10 am in the morning and 30 g at 15 am after dinner and I started breathing exercises and yoga to deal with stress.

    • Hello, Zainab. These crackers seem like a good option. Other crackers similar to these should be just as good too. You can eat them with dates, like the doctor recommended. Occasionally, you add a bit of fresh cow cheese or sweet curd cheese on top as a treat, just don’t eat too much because cheese can cause acidity when eaten in high amounts. You can eat the crackers with pieces of baked quinces or baked apples for more variety in your diet. Toasted bread, baked bread or puffed rice are other alternatives. Remember: moderation is important. And congratulations on taking up breathing exercises and yoga. I believe they can help you manage stress and help keep you more focused on your diet and motivate you to get better. Wishing you lots of health.

  5. 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.

  6. While these recommendations may well have worked for the writer of this blog, more than a few of the recommendations are actually counter to what other sites recommend. And some of these other sites have more science and medical thinking behind them. Some people recommend cooked cabbage, some don’t. Some recommend ginger, others don’t. I like sites that discuss research as well as personal, anecdotal experience. Both, of course, can be helpful…

    • If you think about it, Jeff, no two people are alike and what may work for some people may actually be bad for others. This is especially true when it comes to health and food. And the reason why you have encountered different advice when it comes to the foods to eat and the foods to avoid for gastritis. For example, cooked cabbage is recommended by some because it promotes fermentation which helps sustain populations of healthy gut bacteria which is supposed to provide benefits for gastrointestinal health and gastritis sufferers. At the same time, cabbage is a source of fiber which can have an irritating effect on the stomach and this defeats the purpose of eating healthy for gastritis. Some people may find this particular food helpful, while others may experience side effects which could cause their condition to worsen as a result. And it’s not only cabbage.

      Any food can be good for some people and bad for others, hence the sometimes different dietary recommendations for various conditions. It’s a trial and error process until your discover which foods are good for you and which not. And it helps to know about as many potentially problematic foods as possible, whether the information comes from studies or personal experience. I have eaten a lot of foods that were presumably good for gastritis and it took me some time to come to terms with the fact that not everything that is good for other people will have the same beneficial effect for me too. So the fact that others recommend different foods is irrelevant really since not everyone reacts the same to the same food. There can be 10 science sites that all say eating cooked cabbage is good for gastritis and provide science-based reasoning for this, but there will still be people who can’t eat it because it’s bad for them. All the science in the world can’t cover all the intricacies that make up human health or predict everything to the point of providing universal advice.

  7. This has been one of the most helpful blogs I have found.
    I have been dealing with problems for 6 months and 4 months ago was diagnosed with gastritis. Nothing worked including medication and a bland diet. Two weeks ago I went for food intolerance testing and found that I am severely intolerant to a number of food groups. Now that I been able to take out these foods, I am finally starting to feel better. I have a long way to go but just a few days without pain is worth the extremely bland diet I am now on. I HIGHLY recommended food testing because trying to isolate the food yourself is almost impossible when intolerance can occur from 10mins to 72hours after ingesting it. Some people don’t believe in the testing but it is definitely working for me.

    • This is a great idea, Andy. We are all different and respond differently to various foods. And sometimes it may be hard to find out which foods bother us and which help us feel better. Some people can’t eat pineapple or mango, others experience side effects from avocado, garlic or peppers. The main idea is that what’s good for someone else is not necessarily good for you too so you have to take everything with a grain of salt. And going to a medical professional to point you in the right direction is always a good idea.

      If it’s not too much, can you please share with us what foods were bad for you and what foods help you with your gastritis? Were there any foods you didn’t expect could be bad for you? Maybe there is someone out there with gastritis struggling to identify the right foods to eat and your experience could help them immensely. Wishing you lots of health!

  8. So glad I found this blog. It’s has provided me with practical and informative advice. I really appreciate that it is based on personal experience. I was recently diagnosed with mild gastritis. I have been in need of diet suggestions, as I didn’t receive much advice on diet or what to expect from my gastroenterologist. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • So very happy to help, Linda. I know from experience how incredibly difficult it is to eat with gastritis and so many foods that are otherwise extremely healthy can be bad for you when you have gastritis. Honestly, it’s fulfilling when sharing your experience helps other people too. The bottom line with gastritis is to eat relatively bland foods, avoid high-fiber foods and eat everything boiled or steamed so it’s easier on the stomach. Cook food at home, avoid processed foods and just eat simple. Over time you’ll learn which foods are good for you and which are not. Wishing you lots of health!

    • Hi, Kay. I have been taking Supradyn Energy, tablets. I find this is the most effective multivitamin supplement out of all I’ve tried so far. I like that it delivers the promised benefits and does up your energy levels to keep you up and about all day. When I first started taking it, I was overwhelmed by work, school and health issues (a recurrent gastritis and anemia) and simply exhausted like I’d never been in my life. 2 weeks into the multivitamin, I started feeling like I was myself again, like I had the strength I needed to work, finish my Master’s and deal with my gastritis. I took Supradyn Energy, tablets every day for 3 months in a row and it did wonders for my health. And continue to this day to take it every couple of months (1 month of Supradyn Energy, 1 month pause). It keeps me going.

      Here are some things I’ve learnt that you may find useful:
      1) Supradyn Energy tablets are better because they don’t trigger stomach acidity.
      2) You have to take them after a full meal. For me that was lunch.
      This helps not only counteract any acidity, but also absorb the nutrients better.
      For example, it’s best to take calcium and magnesium together, or make sure you eat a little fat to absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K. This is also the reason it’s recommended to take it after a full meal.
      3) It’s best to take the vitamins 4 hours after you’ve taken your antacids or proton pump inhibitors (if you’ve been prescribed these medicines for gastritis). This way they don’t mess with nutrient absorption. It’s just as good to take them 4 hours before your medication, but always after a full meal.
      4) From my experience, it takes a couple of months for the body to replenish lost nutrients and for you to feel a lot better and energized. So don’t give up after a couple of weeks. Changes are happening even if we don’t see them.
      5) I’d avoid all effervescent vitamins. In my experience, they worsen acid reflux and are overall irritating on the stomach lining, which will ultimately worsen your gastritis.

      Another product I loved and also relied on in the past was a B complex multivitamin called Beviplex N. It’s a pack of 30 dragees of B vitamins and great for boosting energy, with a pregnant revitalizing effect.
      This is my personal experience with vitamin supplementation during and outside gastritis. I am sure there must be other great products out there, but these are the two products I absolutely love and continue to take because I find they surprisingly effective. Hope this helps and wishing you lots of health, Kay!

  9. Thank you for replying to me but I don’t really lead an active life it’s just with me struggling to eat the right foods I feel I may be missing out on the right vitamins, in other words not getting all the nutrients that I should be.

    • I understand, Kay. Eating for gastritis predisposes to nutrient deficiencies because of the rather restrictive character of gastritis diets, so it’s only natural you are considering supplementation. These supplements I’ve tried should be great anyway, irrespective of level of activity or whether you have significant nutritional deficiencies or not (although a lot experts say no one is really getting all the nutrients they need on a daily basis from diet alone). I just wanted to stress how much they’ve helped me when I was dealing with more than just gastritis. And this, in my opinion, makes them great choices. But it’s really up to you to decide what works for you and what not because we are all different and may respond differently to various foods, supplements, therapies or remedies.
      It could help you to also ask your doctor’s advice on this. He or she may be better equipped to help you navigate eating for gastritis while staying healthy. Wishing you lots of health!

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