Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining primarily caused by H.pylori bacteria (although it may have other causes as well). Depending on your typical diet, your gastritis may improve or worsen, or even progress to stomach ulcers. That’s why following a gastritis diet is so important to make sure your condition improves rather than aggravate.
Symptoms of gastritis include bloating, feeling of fullness, and pain. In order to reduce your symptoms, you will want to follow a gastritis-friendly diet and also be aware of the foods that can worsen your condition. Below are the foods to enjoy along with the foods to avoid when treating and living with gastritis.
Each person affected by gastritis will react to foods differently, so not all foods on the below list may apply to you. It is worth a shot, though, to try and limit or avoid these items, as you may experience improvements in your condition.
Generally speaking, spicy foods, high fat foods, chocolate, and seasonings irritate the stomach and often trigger the gastritis symptoms. Here is a list of foods you should limit or avoid if you are living with gastritis.
High-antioxidant foods: Food items high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and flavonoids have been shown in prior research to help lower stomach inflammation and reduce the risk of digestive disorders. The best sources of antioxidants are brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables. According to researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center, fresh fruits, herbs/spices, and veggies that are especially beneficial for gastritis include onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers, leafy greens, artichoke, asparagus, celery, fennel, sea vegetables, ginger, turmeric, cruciferous veggies, berries, apples, and cranberries.
Probiotic foods: These include cultured veggies, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir, which have a multitude of beneficial effects on almost every aspect of the body. Probiotics help to reduce inflammation, regulate bowel movements, and control reactions to food allergies. Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus may even be able to regulate how much stomach acid is produced, effectively reducing gastritis symptoms.
Licorice, fennel or anise: A traditional folk remedy for a number of different kinds of digestive complaints. Licorice root contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which is known for its soothing effects on the stomach and strengthening ability within the GI tract. Additional effects of glycyrrhizin have been found to include anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antitumor, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties.
High fiber foods: Fiber has proven to be beneficial for reducing gastritis and other digestive disorders. A previous study done at Harvard School of Public Health found that high fiber diets were associated with a reduced risk of developing stomach ulcers by up to 60 percent. Greats sources of fiber include nuts like almonds, seeds like chia or flax, soaked legumes/beans, and sprouted whole grains.
Healthy fats and proteins: Great sources include grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs, or pasture-raised poultry. Healthy fats and proteins can help repair the gut wall and reduce inflammation-like symptoms. Fish, such as salmon or sardines, are also a great source of omega-3s, which can further keep inflammation at bay and be beneficial for gastritis sufferers. Other healthy fats include coconut or olive oil, avocado, grass-fed butter, and ghee.
In addition to avoiding trigger foods and consuming gastritis-friendly items, there are other considerations to keep in mind when dealing with gastritis. For example, you should avoid eating meals prior to bed. Rather than eating a few large meals, you should consume smaller ones more frequently.
Lifestyle changes can help your gastritis as well, like quitting smoking, reducing stress, limiting or avoiding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), reducing your risk of H.pylori by practicing proper hygiene and safe food preparation techniques, and cutting out chewing gum as it increases gastric acid secretion. These factors can worsen your condition and prompt gastritis to progress to ulcers.
Here is a diet plan to help you structure your daily meals.
Beverages: Drink six to eight glasses of water daily and steer clear of the above mentioned beverages that may cause further irritation.
Breads and starches: You can consume six to 10 servings of the following breads and starches:
Fruits: Consume two to four servings of the following fruits:
Vegetables: Consume two to four servings from the below list:
Meat or meat substitutes: Eat two to four servings of the below list:
Milk and dairy: Eat two to three servings from the below list:
Soups: Eat up to three servings of one cup of broth or bouillon.
Fats: Consume two to four servings from the list below:
Don’t forget to stay clear of the foods listed in the foods to avid section.
Now that you are aware of the foods you can and cannot eat, as well as serving sizes, here are some additional tips to help you along the way:
Ways to prevent gastritis include eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly, avoiding eating on a full stomach, and consuming smaller meals throughout the day.