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 should be avoided. 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 (when consumed regularly).
3) Baked sweets rich in butter, oil or margarine.
4) Hard candy, chocolate bars, biscuits etc.
5) Red meat (pork, beef, turkey) and venison (quail, pheasant).
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 (sugary, fizzy drinks).
9) Carbonated or sparkling water (best avoided after a meal).
10) Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and other cabbage family vegetables.
11) Onions, garlic, leek, chives.
12) Beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas.
13) Hard cheeses or aged cheeses (example: cheddar) and soft, high-fat cheeses (example: burrata).
14) Spices: sweet and hot chili peppers, sweet and spicy paprika (ground peppers), wasabi, raw and dried ginger, turmeric, pepper.
Food with too much seasoning tends to upset the stomach, irrespective of the spices used.
15) Alcohol and fermented fruit juices.
16) Vinegar and pickles (example: sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower).
17) Too much refined sugar and processed foods.
18) Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, yuzu).
19) Fats: oils, butter, margarine, mayonnaise.
20) Fermented dairy products (example: soured milk, buttermilk, sour yogurt)

Anything processed and prepared with food preservatives stands a higher chance of irritating the stomach lining and triggering gastritis symptoms. Fast food products and red meat are problematic because they are heavy foods, more difficult to digest and thus require more stomach acid to be produced and a longer digestion time. Alcohol, coffee, caffeinated beverages and even decaffeinated coffee are strong irritants for the stomach lining. Green tea and black tea, but also white tea, Oolong tea contain caffeine and theine and may cause acidity.

Bad foods for gastritis

Legumes such as beans and peas are rich in dietary fiber which causes bloating and further accentuates gastritis symptoms. Onions and garlic, broccoli, cabbage and similar vegetables contain organosulfur compounds that cause stomach air and bloating which increases the chances of gastric juices escaping into the esophagus. But they also contain fiber that irritates the stomach lining, making them foods to avoid eating too frequently or at all if you have severe acid reflux or gastritis. Also read 11 Side Effects of Eating Onions.

Sweet carbonated beverages and even carbonated water may upset the stomach. While sweet carbonated beverages are best avoided altogether, whether or not you can drink carbonated water is something you have to decide for yourself, based on your individual experience with it. For example, I find carbonated water may not be a good idea after eating, but doesn’t trigger any symptoms or stomach upset if consumed 2-3 hours after eating, at least for me. But if you feel it irritates the stomach lining, causes air and burping and acid reflux, you may be better off not having carbonated water.

Aged cheese (example: Parmigiano-Reggiano or parmesan, cheddar), fatty fresh cheeses (example: burrata) and, for some people fermented dairy products (example: yogurt, kefir, soured milk, buttermilk) cause stomach acidity and worsen gastritis symptoms.
I also find vinegar gives me heartburn and a sort of painful burning sensation in the stomach, even in small amounts and especially when eaten at night. Pickled vegetables and fruits are also a source of gastritis upset. Too much sugar is highly problematic for gastritis as well, mainly because it’s found in processed foods which are also full of fats and additives.

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 a lot of fruits. Because a gastritis diet is a bland diet.

Here is a list of potentially problematic foods to avoid for gastritis that may trigger mild to severe symptoms and delay healing of the existing condition:
1) Bell peppers, hot chili peppers and paprika (sweet and spicy).
2) Pineapple (because it contains the enzyme bromelain).
3) Citrus fruit and citrus juices.
4) Strawberries and strawberry juice.
5) Eggplants (less upsetting if boiled).
6) Fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato juice.
7) Corn (but not cornmeal, used to make polenta).
8) Cucumbers, fresh and pickled.
9) Potatoes (fried, roasted or eaten in large amounts).
10) Pumpkin (especially baked).
11) Chocolate and chocolate spread.
12) Hot chocolate and powder cocoa.
13) Oats.
14) Peppermint and spearmint tea (not for everyone).
15) Cold meats such as salami, ham or sausages.
16) Raw ginger and ginger powder, but not boiled ginger.
Also see 7 Reasons Not to Eat Ginger.
17) Unripe or not fully ripe bananas.
Also read about the Side Effects of Eating Bananas.
18) Pickled fruits and vegetables.
19) Oily fish such as tuna and salmon.
20) Canned tuna and other fish canned in oil or tomato sauce.

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 paprika worsened my acid reflux. Baked pumpkin, which I love and is extremely healthy, bloated me a lot and had me burping for days, with the wort stomach upset ever. I also found chocolate spread and ginger very irritating, while corn and eggplants made me feel like fainting 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 2-3 months, I started reintroducing some of these foods in my diet (except for pickles, cold meats and citrus juices – I still avoid them) 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 in the menu 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, mainly chicken. I avoided duck eggs and goose eggs which I found too fatty. Choose your eggs based on the nutritional value and health benefits in the Eggs page.
3) Plain, white bread and limited amounts of whole grain bread.
4) Rice, white and parboiled.
5) Ripe bananas (with a few brown spots on the skin).
6) Pears, also in limited amounts, without the skin, preferably boiled.
7) Sweet cottage cheese (consumed occasionally and only after about a month of dieting).
8) Chicken soup (more lean chicken meat and noodles and less actual soup – too many liquids at once caused stomach acidity and worsened by gastritis symptoms).
See my 1 Week Gastritis Diet Plan.
9) Lean white meat: chicken and limited amounts of fish like cod (always boiled).
10) Chamomile tea.
11) Small amounts of fresh olive oil.
12) Limited amounts of raw almonds, cashews and walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
13) Moderate amounts of white pasta (with vegetables, fish or seafood).
14) Fresh figs, sometimes apples without the skin or boiled with plain boiled white rice.
15) A tablespoon of acacia honey when I craved sugar. Also see Properties and Benefits of Acacia Honey.

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 and fresh extravirgin 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.

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

    • Hello, Linda. Personally, I haven’t tried quinoa for my gastritis. For me, refined wheat and rice were just what I needed so I came back to them when my gastritis recurred.

      However, I wouldn’t dismiss quinoa. And this is why:
      1) Quinoa is a whole grain, but 100 g of quinoa has only 7 g of dietary fiber, while 100 g of wheat has 12.2 to 12.7 g of dietary fiber. And since gastritis requires less fiber, quinoa seems like a good option. Even more, since it’s whole grain, it does provide good amounts of B vitamins and especially minerals which are very much welcome in a gastritis diet.
      2) Secondly, quinoa is gluten-free and, at least in theory, easier to digest. So this is a plus since it would mean less effort during digestion.
      3) Lastly, it provides variety and this alone can constitute great moral support. Keeping up a gastritis diet, which can easily mean 3-4 weeks of restrictive eating, can be discouraging, especially if the gastritis doesn’t improve quickly.

      So if you are thinking about trying quinoa for gastritis, there are reasons why it may be a good option. In any case, it’s best to introduce new foods slowly so you can tell if they are good for you or not. We should all keep in mind that we are all different and may react differently to various foods and what may work for others, may not work for us too and vice versa. Hope this helps and would really like to hear about your experience with quinoa and gastritis after you’ve tried it. I’d really appreciate it if you can leave us a short comment about whether it helped you or made symptoms worse. Thank you and wishing you lots of health, Linda!

    • Is it brown rice and whole grain pasta? Or white rice and white pasta? I’m asking because brown rice and whole grain pasta have more fiber and are more likely to worsen gastritis, whereas refined grains should help. Since white rice and white pasta are absorbent foods and lower in fiber, they should temper stomach acidity.
      If you don’t mind me asking, what is your gastritis caused by: excess stomach acidity from problematic foods or an H. pylori infection? Because if it’s a H. pylori infection, then you need treatment from your doctor. Also, what do you eat the rice and pasta with? I am honestly curious because gastritis is such a temperamental condition that you may never know what triggers it. Thank you and wishing you lots of health, Vicky!

  1. Marius! Thank you so much for posting this and in such honesty. I was told I have gastritis today, most likely caused by a day drinking extravaganza, which was causing me to vomit any time I would try to eat. So I have been researching all different types of foods to incorporate in my bland diet. So far I have been able to keep down soft white pasta while using a very limited amount of the salted water as sauce. I was told eating small meals every few hours is also better than larger meals spread out. I book marked this page for a quick reference of foods, as your list has been the most ideal.
    Thank you again and happy healing!

    • Hello, Travis. I’m happy I could be of help. As a former gastritis sufferer myself, I can also tell you that it helps to avoid lying down after eating. It helps to walk for an hour, an hour and a half and digest everything. If you eat chicken (and you’ll probably do, because it’s the only meat light enough that doesn’t upset the stomach), it’s best to remove the skin. And the best cooking method is boiling – boil everything. I would avoid raw fruits and vegetables and all forms of fruit and vegetable juices – they are the worst for gastritis! Also, I made sure I always ate absorbent foods like pasta or rice or bread with everything else; it really helped temper the acidity. And when I ate a soup (simple chicken, noodle, potatoes, carrots, salt, always made at home from scratch), I would always eat less of the soup and more of the noodles and chicken (lots of liquids at once worsened my symptoms). I took pure Aloe Vera gel every morning on an empty stomach and it did wonders for me. If you are not allergic, maybe it can help you too.

      For some inspiration, you can check out my article, my 1 week gastritis diet plain. Hope this helps and wishing you lots of health, Travis!

  2. You made my day by sharing your diet plan! I was so scared I would only be able to eat very minimal foods and how I would be able to get enough nutrients. I will try the aloe vera gel in the morning also for its healing properties. I plan to start this diet tomorrow. Fingers crossed I get all healed up! Once again thank you for sharing your knowledge, Marius!

    • Really hope this helps, Travis. But know that you don’t need to follow this plan exactly. Like I said in the article, some foods may work for some people, others may trigger their symptoms. You listen to what your body is telling you and if a food is upsetting your stomach, just avoid it. And know that it may take some time. The first time I got over my gastritis, it took me 3 months! Even if you feel good soon after changing your diet, you have to keep up the good dietary habits because it takes some time for the stomach lining to heal. Any improvements in your condition that you may experience soon after, let’s say, 1 week, are just a sign you are on the right path, that you are starting to eat the right foods and your gastric acid production is regulating itsel to the better food. The stomach lining will take longer to heal. Really hope this helps and would love your feedback like which foods you found helpful, which foods were not that good for you, any tips you found useful.

  3. Marius, I am happy to find your blog helping many gastric patients. Brother, I have erosive gastritis diagnosed by doctor and am trying to follow your prescribed dietary chart. But you have not mentioned any pulses in your dietary chart so is it good to add pulses like mung pulses for gastritis?

    • First of all, please remember that I do not prescribe any diet. This is just my personal experience with gastritis, which I’ve shared in the hopes it may be useful for other people too. The article does not substitute medical advice.

      This being said, I must admit I haven’t considered pulses. But from what I remembered with my experience with gastritis, I avoided pulses too. Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, moong beans etc. have too much fiber and when I was trying to heal my gastritis, I avoided everything with too much fiber. Pulses (or legumes) are foods to avoid with gastritis, at least for me. From my experience, the best gastritis foods that heal were absorbent foods like white rice, white bread, white pasta and soft boiled eggs, boiled chicken without skin, boiled root vegetables or boiled spinach. In addition to these foods that heal the stomach lining, I took pure Aloe vera gel in the morning and it made such a big difference for me! If you are not allergic, you can consider it to help you heal gastritis naturally.

      You can also take a look at my 1 Week Gastritis Diet Plan. Maybe you can find some inspiration. But please remember that we are all different and may respond differently to various foods. This means that the gastritis foods that heal some people may negatively affect others, so listen to your body. Hope this helps and wishing you lots of health!

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