People with gastritis should avoid sweets, spicy foods, fried foods, and processed meat. Berries, fermentable fibers, and whole grains may benefit gastritis.

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 most common cause is infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Other causes include lifestyle choices, such as the use of tobacco or alcohol, and various health conditions, such as Crohn’s disease.

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.

Researchers have not confirmed a link between nutrition and most types of gastritis. However, in a 2020 study, over 58% of people with chronic gastritis said dietary factors affected their symptoms.

The factors included both eating habits and specific foods. 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.

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The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says it is unclear whether diet and nutrition play a significant role in causing gastritis. However, experts recommend avoiding alcohol and spicy foods, as these may worsen symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory foods

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:

Garlic, ginger, turmeric, and other spices may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

What is an anti-inflammatory meal plan? Find out here.

Probiotic foods

According to older research from 2013, probiotic compounds may help eliminate H. pylori from the gut. Another suggests that probiotics can speed up the healing of gastric ulcers.

An older review of clinical trials found that those who used a probiotic supplement during treatment of H. pylori were twice as likely to eliminate the bacterial infection successfully and experienced fewer treatment side effects than those who did not use a probiotic supplement.

Another study suggests that probiotics may help speed up the healing of gastric ulcers, though it is important to note that most studies on this topic have involved animal models.

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 benefit people with gastritis by boosting their overall gut health.

Foods that contain beneficial probiotic bacteria include:

Additionally, a 2015 study found that kimchi helped slow the spread of H.pylori infection in mice.

Probiotics are available as supplements, but a person should check with their doctor first to ensure they are safe to use, as they may not be suitable for everyone.

What are probiotics, and who can benefit from them?

The following are two examples of how people can combine foods beneficial for gastritis in nutritious meals.

Day 1

Day 2

In 2020, researchers published the results of a study in which 526 people with gastritis completed a questionnaire on how dietary factors affect their symptoms.

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:

  • sweets
  • spicy foods
  • salty foods
  • meat
  • barbecue foods
  • snacks
  • fried food
  • sour foods

Foods that appear to increase the risk of inflammation are:

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.

Other causes

Dietary and lifestyle habits that may increase the risk of gastritis include:

A person may also be more likely to develop gastritis if they have:

Less common causes include:

  • collagenous gastritis
  • eosinophilic gastritis
  • sarcoidosis-associated gastritis
  • lymphocytic gastritis
  • ischemic gastritis
  • vasculitis-associated gastritis
  • Ménétrier disease

Gastritis may also be due to stress. Stress can increase gastric acid levels, which may result in irritation of the cells lining the stomach. This, in turn, may trigger symptoms of gastritis.

Symptoms that may indicate gastritis include:

  • 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:

These symptoms can indicate bleeding in the stomach.

Blood tests may show that a person has iron-deficiency anemia or a vitamin B12 deficiency.

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.

Home remedies

Home remedies include:

  • 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:

The doctor may also prescribe:

  • 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 may help prevention:

Following hygiene guidelines can help avoid infection with H. pylori and other pathogens. Tips include:

  • 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.