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.
7) Green, black 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 (matured).
14) Spices: pepper, hot peppers, wasabi.
Food with too much seasoning tends to upset the stomach, irrespective of the spices employed.
15) Alcohol.
16) Vinegar.
17) 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.

Bad foods for gastritis

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. Matured 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.

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. The following list contains potentially problematic foods that may trigger mild to severe gastritis symptoms and delay healing:

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.
8) Cucumbers.
9) Potatoes.
10) Pumpkin (especially baked).
11) Chocolate spread.
12) Hot cocoa.
13) Oats.
14) Peppermint and spearmint tea.
15) Cold meats such as salami or sausages.
16) Ginger and ginger powder.
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. This list of fruits and this list of vegetables 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.
5) Ripe bananas.
6) Pears, also in limited amounts.
7) Plain yogurt and kefir.
8) Chicken soup.
9) Vegetable stews.
10) Lean white meat: chicken and fish.
11) Chamomile tea.
12) Small amounts of fresh olive oil.
13) Limited amounts of raw almonds, caju and walnuts.
14) Moderate amounts of white pasta (with vegetables, fish or seafood).
15) Fresh figs, sometimes raisins, dried apricots or peaches on occassion
Or a tablespoon 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 strenous 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.

4 thoughts on “Foods to Eat and to Avoid for Gastritis

    • Hello, Juan. Taking antibiotics is going to damage your intestinal flora anyway, but you can limit that damage during treatment. Talk to your doctor about taking probiotics and a B vitamin complex. Both should help reduce the damage caused by the antibiotics. Ask your doctor how you should take your probiotics and B vitamins so you can get the maximum of benefits. My suggestion is to take high-quality ones, not cheap versions. Also, when choosing your B vitamins, do some research on the best forms of each B vitamin and try to look for a complex with B vitamins forms that have the highest absorption rate. The more you absorb, the better it is. Medical professionals also recommend continuing to take both probiotcs and B vitamins a while after finishing a cycle of antibiotics to help the intestinal flora recover entirely. So talk to your doctor about this and he or she will most certainly know how to best advise you on the matter. Wishing you lots of health.

  1. Hi, I’ve been diagnosed of errossive gastritis with H. pylori. Finished taking antibiotics for 2 weeks and taking PPI, a gastroprotective medication (an amino acid analog of 2(1H)-quinolinone) and other antacids for 3 months now. But still my digestion hassn’t come back to normal. Still can’t tolerate full meals. I’m always full and bloated and always have burning pain in stomach before and after I eat. I went to another doctor for 2nd opinion and they just gave me same medications. I feel so drowsy and weak already with the medications. They said 2 weeks treatment is usually enough. How long your gastritis healed? And are you experiencing same symptoms even after medication? Can you give me some advice on what to do? Thank you and more power!

    • Hi, Liza. The first thing I’d like to tell you is that, in my experience, it might take some time for your digestive system to recover. It might take 6 months or it might take 1 year until all of your symptoms and the effects of the gastritis disappear because your stomach mucosa needs time to heal. Considering you also had Helicobacter pylori, it may take a while until you are back to your normal self. Gastritis is basically an irritated, inflamed stomach lining. In my case, it was hyperacidity that caused my gastritis and I managed to keep it under control with the help of a very strict diet and a 14-day treatment with proton pump inhibitors. As my doctor advised me, all I could eat were foods that were easy on the stomach and almost everything had to be boiled or steamed.

      Fish, chicken meat, soft or hard boiled eggs were the basis of my diet. I paired them mostly with white rice or pasta. One of my favorite combination was mashed salmon (100-140 g) with 2 medium-sized hard boiled eggs. I was advised to stay away from anything that was too heavy on the stomach so no pork (I don’t eat pork even to this day), no beef, nothing fried, not even vegetables. I was told by my doctor to completely avoid acidic fruits (limes, oranges, lemons etc.) and have a low intake of fresh fruits in general. I generally ate bananas, but they had to be perfectly ripe (no green on them, otherwise they may upset the stomach). Apples were also okay for me. I avoided fruit juices completely, except for banana and pasteurized apple juice which I drank only occasionally (maybe once a month).

      I was also told to avoid high-fiber foods so I didn’t eat whole wheat bread and gave up legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas etc.) for 4 months or so. After this time, when I started feeling better, I slowly introduced some of them in my diet (think in terms of one serving a week). Tomato juice, which I have been eating every other day for more than a year and a half now, was a no-no because of its acidity. As for vegetables, I only ate them boiled or steamed and found relief in boiled potatoes, celery root, spinach and occasionally boiled corn or grilled cherry tomatoes. Dairy was forbidden completely, except for plain yogurt and kefir (again, every now and then). I actually did not eat hard cheeses, milk etc. for 6-7 months. No coffee, no green tea (white or black), no energy drinks, no soda, no junk foods (I didn’t eat chips for more than two years after my diagnosis and even today I have maybe 1 or 2 bags of chips a year).

      Even so, it took me about 4 months to get some balance and almost an entire year to get back to normal. My symptoms were so bad I couldn’t sleep well or have a normal conversation (intense, continual burping, heartburn, sensitivity to everything I ate, indigestion, problems taking in air, couldn’t tolerate full meals either). I had problems absorbing nutrients so I was recommended dietary supplements. B vitamins and vitamin C helped me a lot, but I chose tablets, not effervescent vitamins because they gave my acidity. I was determined to keep my condition under control so I followed a strict eating regimen and symptoms improved after about 2 weeks. After 4 months, it got better, but I can say I was recovered in a little over a year.

      The drowsiness and weakness can be side effects of the medication you have been taking because ppi can cause malabsorption problems, inhibiting vitamin and mineral absorption. A severe B vitamins deficiency can lead to weakness and low energy levels. Antibiotics can also damage the stomach lining and considering that gastritis already does that, maybe the treatment itself has contributed to more severe symptoms. You still need antibiotics for the H. pylori infection and ppi to keep the acidity under control, and the stomach lining will eventually get better. But depending on how damaged it is, it may take time, even around a year.

      What you can do aside from diet and lifestyle changes (no smoking, no drinking, no lying down after eating) is talk to a doctor about how you can help your stomach lining recover faster and combat drowsiness and weakness. He or she may prescribe B vitamins which help improve energy levels and aid digestion. Maybe a vitamin and mineral complex or recommend some quality probiotics. You could also have a stomach ultrasound to evaluate your gastritis evolution and a blood or stool test to see if your H. pilory has cleared. And simply eat as clean as possible for as long as possible. Wishing you lots of health!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *