Gastritis and ulcers are common ailments these days. These ailments could be irritating and disturb your health and daily routine. Such conditions can be either acute or chronic, and arise from stomach lining inflammation where the stomach lining gets eroded due to various reasons. With a weak stomach lining, gastritis patients must be aware of what to eat if they have gastritis. They should strictly follow the diet for gastritis to get optimum relief.
The two major causes of gastritis are:
1. A bacterium named Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori), which causes a major imbalance in the acidic level of the stomach and gut flora; and
2. consumption of certain non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin.
So, if you are already diagnosed with gastritis or other stomach inflammation-related diseases, then be mindful of what foods to eat and what to avoid.
This is because the pain and discomfort are usually triggered by what you eat. So, adopt a gastritis diet plan to avoid gut-related discomfort.
Foods to Avoid When Suffering from Gastritis
To inhibit gastritis-related irritation and agony, first you need to understand what kind of food items to avoid. Here’s a complete list of foods to avoid with gastritis diets.
1. Spicy foods
Spices and pepper contain a component called capsaicin, which is very strong in nature. The active component in capsaicin helps in stimulating digestive enzymes and thereby speeding up the digestion process.
However, people with a weak stomach lining should consume spicy and hot food in moderation as their weak stomach lining might not be able to handle the robustness of capsaicin. Spices trigger the symptoms of gastritis and shouldn’t be a part of the gastritis diet plan.
2. Certain beverages
People following a gastritis diet plan should avoid beverages like tea, coffee, carbonated soda, and citrus fruit juices.
These are acidic in nature, which might further erode the weak stomach lining.
3. Raw, coarse vegetable
If you suffer from gastritis and acid reflux problems, then you should avoid raw, coarse vegetables like onions, and tomatoes as they trigger acid reflux and heartburn episodes. Also, tomatoes are acidic in nature.
Avoid alcohol or drink it in moderation as it triggers symptoms of gastritis. If consumed in excess, alcohol can aggravate the gastritis condition by corroding the stomach lining.
5. Fatty foods
Diet for gastritis shouldn’t include foods that contain trans-fatty acids. Processed foods like fried chicken, potato chips, French fries, and margarine, as well as baked foods such as crackers, cakes, doughnuts, and cookies should be avoided as they have high amounts of trans-fatty acids.
These foods should be avoided or consumed only once in a while because they are not good for overall health.
Such foods irritate the stomach lining, tend to increase the blood pressure because of the high sodium content, and are the primary reasons of heart disease and obesity.
6. Dairy products
Milk is supposed to be a healthy and wholesome food, but not for gastritis patients. Milk contains lactose, a kind of sugar that isn’t easily digestible.
Those with a weak stomach lining face problems in digesting lactose; and when it is not digested properly, it leads to gastrointestinal issues.
Also, the pH of milk around 6.5 to 6.7, which makes it slightly acidic in nature. Because of this, it might trigger the production of stomach acid.
Tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, and potatoes fall into the category of nightshade vegetables.
They belong to the Solanaceae family of the plant kingdom, which are rich in various nutrients and fiber but they also contain alkaloids such as solanine, and tomatine.
People with weak stomach lining and gastrointestinal tract problems face difficulty in digesting such foods.
Foods That People Can Eat With Gastritis Condition
Now that you know what food items to stay away from in the case of gastritis condition, here’s a list of foods you can include in your gastritis diet plan. Take a look at the diet for gastritis!
1. Fiber-rich foods
Gastritis can be improved by taking up a fiber-rich diet. A Harvard School of Public Health study showed that people with a high-fiber diet have 60% less chance of developing stomach inflammation problems.
Foods that are abundant in fiber are nuts such as almonds and walnuts, seeds such as flax or chia, soaked legumes and beans, and whole grains. Therefore a diet for gastritis should most definitely have fiber-rich foods.
2. Antioxidant-rich foods
Eat vegetables and fruits that are packed with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and flavonoids can help curb stomach inflammation and lower the risk of digestive problems.
A natural gastritis remedy is garlic, which has anti-inflammatory and some antibiotic properties. A research study conducted by the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo found that garlic extract has the potential to inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria—one of the leading causes of gastritis.
Other studies recommend the consumption of two garlic cloves a day to improve stomach inflammation conditions.
4. Probiotic foods
Probiotic foods should be a part of your diet for gastritis. Consuming probiotic foods can control the growth of H. pylori bacteria and curb gastrointestinal tract infections.
Probiotic foods like buttermilk, yogurt, and kombucha can reduce stomach inflammation, regulate bowel movements, control food allergies or intolerance, and much more.
These contain good bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which regulate the production of stomach acid and lowers inflammation by controlling cytokines and chemokines discharge.
5. Licorice, fennel or anise
It is known that licorice root contains glycyrrhizic, a compound that has soothing effects on stomach inflammation and gastrointestinal tract inflections.
Licorice also has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. In case licorice isn’t available, seek relief by eating fennel seeds and using anise spices, as they also posses beneficial properties.
6. Healthy fats and proteins
Studies revealed that healthy and clean sources of protein like meat from grass-fed animals, fresh fish, or eggs help repair the gut wall and treat digestive issues like leaky gut syndrome that can trigger inflammation.
Fish like salmon and sardines are very beneficial as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 helps relieve inflammation in gastritis patients.
Healthy fatty foods like grass-fed butter and ghee, coconut or olive oil, and avocado can also be consumed as they are easily digestible.
Herbs To Relieve Gastritis
The gastritis diet plan should include herbs. Herbs can be used in form of dried extracts like capsules, powders, or teas; glycerites, or tinctures. Herbs should be included in your diet in moderation.
You should have not more than one tsp. herb per cup of hot water. To make herb tea add a teaspoon of herb to a cup of hot water.
Cover and steep it for five to 10 minutes. The diet for gastritis should include two to four cups of this tea per day. You can use the following herbs for tea.
Herbs like peppermint helps relieve symptoms of ulcer. But having high amounts of peppermint can be toxic.
Mastic is also used to treat peptic ulcers and prevents H. pylori in test tubes. Some more studies are needed to know the effect of mastic consumption in humans.
Cranberry is another herb which prevents the growth of H. pylori in the stomach. It may increase the amount of medications in your bloodstream at a given time by decreasing the body’s medication processing ability.
Herbs can interfere with medications or other supplements. So it is advised to consult your doctor before you start taking herbs.
Gastritis is a condition that cannot be cured completely. It can, however, be controlled by following a gastritis diet, making simple lifestyle changes, along with taking prescribed medication.
Much of it depends on the root cause though. Food plays an important role in such stomach-related issues.
So, instead of taking antacids and other over-the-counter medicines, you can reduce stomach inflammation problems by avoiding certain foods that make the condition worse. Those with a severe gastritis condition should strictly follow a gastritis diet. Drinking a lot of water will also help in soothe the burning sensation. Also, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor and get to the root cause if symptoms persist for more than a couple of days, or if they occur frequently.
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“What Is Gastritis?” WebMd web site; http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-gastritis#1, last accessed February 21, 2017