Gastritis is a common condition that may cause digestive symptoms and pain. Avoiding foods and drinks that trigger symptoms may help people manage this condition.
Gastritis refers to the inflammation of the stomach lining. There are different types and causes of gastritis, and treatment will depend on the type and cause. The
This inflammation is due to damage to the lining of the stomach. Acute gastritis lasts for a limited time and often improves after treatment. Without treatment, however, gastritis can become chronic, or long term. Depending on the cause, complications can occur, which include peptic ulcers, bleeding, nutritional deficiencies, and an increased risk of cancer.
This suggests that focusing on dietary habits may help manage symptoms.
In this article, we will look at foods that may be helpful to eat and avoid with gastritis. We will also look at recipe ideas and how to help prevent gastritis.
Gastritis is an inflammatory condition, and research suggests that following an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation.
Nutritional practices that may help manage inflammation include:
- including in the diet certain foods, such as berries, which contain polyphenols such as flavonoids and anthocyanins
- consuming fermentable fiber within lentils and other pulses
- choosing carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- limiting the intake of saturated fats and aiming for healthier fats such as omega-3 fats within fatty fish, nuts, and seeds
Which foods have a high glycemic load? Find out here.
Here are some foods that can play a role in an anti-inflammatory diet:
- leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, spinach, and arugula
- oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines
- nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts
- fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries
- olive oil
Garlic, ginger, turmeric, and other spices may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
What is an anti-inflammatory meal plan? Find out here.
Additionally, the research focused on the use of probiotic supplements rather than foods. Therefore, there is not yet enough research to confirm probiotics can benefit people with gastritis.
Meanwhile, consuming probiotic foods may
Foods that contain beneficial probiotic bacteria include:
- natural yogurt
- sourdough bread
Probiotics are available as supplements, but a person should check with their doctor first to ensure they are safe to use, as they
The following are two examples of how people can combine foods beneficial for gastritis in nutritious meals.
- breakfast: natural yogurt with blueberries and chopped nuts
- lunch: marinated tempeh salad with sourdough bread
- dinner: ginger salmon with steamed broccoli and kale
- breakfast: Oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries
- lunch: Almond crusted salmon with salad
- dinner: Braised Cabbage with smoked Tofu
In 2020, researchers published the
The participants reported that the following factors worsened symptoms:
- eating too fast
- irregular mealtimes
- irregular meal sizes
- eating in restaurants
- eating leftover food
Specific food types that seemed to aggravate symptoms were:
- spicy foods
- salty foods
- barbecue foods
- fried food
- sour foods
Foods that appear to increase the risk of inflammation are:
red and processedmeats refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta
- sugary foods and candies
- sodas and sweetened drinks
Learn more about how processed foods affect a person’s health.
Gastritis has several different causes. Below, we list some of them.
H. pylori infection
According to a 2015 study, the most common cause of gastritis worldwide is H. pylori, a bacterium that causes stomach infections. It usually passes from person to person via direct contact with saliva, vomit, or fecal matter.
Many people have H. pylori in their intestines, but they do not necessarily have symptoms. However, gastritis can develop as individuals with H. pylori get older.
Dietary and lifestyle habits that may
- alcohol consumption
- long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
A person may also be more likely to develop gastritis if they have:
- certain autoimmune disorders, in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the body
- various types of infection with bacteria, viruses, or parasites, such as Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare, enterococcal infection, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, and cryptosporidium
- pernicious anemia, when the stomach is unable to digest vitamin B12
- bile acid reflux, where bile backs up into the throat
- radiation therapy or
- Crohn’s disease
- celiac disease
- food allergies
Less common causes include:
- collagenous gastritis
- eosinophilic gastritis
- sarcoidosis-associated gastritis
- lymphocytic gastritis
- ischemic gastritis
- vasculitis-associated gastritis
- Ménétrier disease
Symptoms that may indicate gastritis
- pain or discomfort in the abdomen
- feeling full while eating or soon after
- decreased appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- belching, bloating, or a feeling of fullness that worsens after eating
- weight loss
More severe symptoms that can appear over time are:
- blood in the stool
- abdominal cramps and pain
- feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- shortness of breath
- vomit that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds
These symptoms can indicate bleeding in the stomach.
Learn more here about the symptoms of gastritis.
A doctor may carry out tests to identify the underlying cause of gastritis, such as:
The treatment they recommend will depend on the result.
- quitting smoking
- limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption
- avoiding spicy foods
- managing stress
- stopping the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
It is essential to speak with a doctor before changing or stopping the use of any medications, including NSAIDs.
Medications that can decrease stomach acid and help relieve symptoms of gastritis include:
- over-the-counter antacids, such as Pepto Bismol
- H2 blockers, which are also known as acid reducers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid)
- proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), and lansoprazole (Prevacid)
The doctor may also
- antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection
- treatment to boost levels of vitamin B12 and iron, if there is a deficiency
- appropriate treatment if they confirm that Crohn’s disease or another underlying condition is present
It is not always possible to avoid gastritis, but the following
- avoiding or quitting tobacco use
- avoiding or limiting alcohol intake
- avoiding the long-term use of NSAIDs
Following hygiene guidelines
- washing the hands with soap and water, particularly before meals and after using the bathroom
- making sure all food is clean and cooked safely
- ensuring drinking water is safe and clean
A person experiencing gastritis symptoms should consult a doctor, as they could indicate an underlying condition. Long-term gastritis may lead to complications, such as erosion of the stomach lining and painful ulcers.
If an individual seeks help promptly, a doctor can address any underlying conditions. Early treatment may help prevent complications.
Experts have not linked dietary factors with gastritis, but some people find that avoiding certain foods and drinks can help manage symptoms. These include alcohol and foods that are spicy, acidic, and fatty.
Following a diet that includes anti-inflammatory foods and probiotic foods may also help support the gut and manage symptoms.
Anyone who believes they may have gastritis should seek medical help. Without treatment, it can become a long-term problem and lead to complications. Gastritis may also indicate an underlying condition that needs medical attention.
People can avoid H. pylori infection — the most common cause of gastritis — by maintaining appropriate hygiene habits and cooking food safely.