A lot of people suffer from indigestion problems, while also experiencing burning sensations in or above stomach, ache in abdomen, nausea, and constant burping. All these are the signs and symptoms of gastritis. A correct gastritis diet plan can help to prevent all these problems.
What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a digestive problem due to inflammation and damage caused by gastric mucosa-stomach lining and gastrointestinal tract. The stomach lining gives acid, causing burning sensations and pain in the digestive system. Most of the gastritis symptoms are similar to the symptoms of stomach ulcers. Chronic gastritis can be caused by more serious issues than ulcers and may also lead to complications like stomach cancer and anemia.
Gastritis can be treated with a healthy lifestyle change, starting with diet plan. The right chronic gastritis diet plan and lifestyle changes can treat this condition.
Making changes with your diet can heal stomach lining and inflammation. This is the reason why you need to follow a gastritis diet plan when suffering from this condition. Severe gastritis symptoms usually decrease within few weeks after the cleansing of irritations from stomach. Studies have also suggested that reducing gastritis and stomach ulcers can only limit or eliminate the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), decrease smoking and alcohol consumption, reduce stress, and improve immune system.
There are several foods that can worsen gastritis symptoms and should be prevented while on a gastritis diet. These include acidic or spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.
Other than that, foods rich in fiber, antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Omega-3 fatty acids, and electrolytes like magnesium and calcium can help in lowering inflammation and improving digestive health.
A gastritis diet consists of vegetables, fruits, high-protein, and healthy fats, which can in turn improve painful symptoms and allow in maintaining a healthy weight.
Foods To Manage Your Gastritis:
There are several foods good for gastritis, which also lessen the symptoms. Here are few of the foods lists:
- Apples, oatmeal, broccoli, carrots, and beans
- Fish, chicken, and turkey breast
- Foods with low acidity, or are more alkaline, like vegetables
- Non-carbonated drinks
- Non-caffeinated drinks
- Probiotic such as kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut
Studies have revealed that probiotic may help with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). H. pylori are bacteria that cause an infection in digestive system, leading to gastritis or stomach ulcers.
Here is a detailed summary of gastritis diet plan:
1. High antioxidant foods- Studies show that high-antioxidant foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and flavonoids can help in lowering stomach inflammation and reduce the risk of digestive disorders. The best antioxidant food sources include fresh fruit, veggies, and spices like onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers, leafy greens, artichoke, asparagus, celery, fennel, sea vegetables, turmeric, ginger, cruciferous veggies, apples, cranberries, and berries.
2. Probiotic foods- Consuming probiotics can help to control and treat bacterial infections of GI tract that lead to gastritis and ulcers. Foods like veggies, yogurt, and dairy products are few of the probiotic foods that can benefit you. These food items can help in reducing stomach inflammation, regulating bowel movements, increasing food tolerance or allergies, etc. Furthermore, probiotic foods and supplements that include bacteria like lactobacillus bulgaricus regulate the stomach acid and reduce inflammation.
3. Garlic- Consume garlic in both raw and cooked form. This can also be a natural remedy for GI troubles. Garlic is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent and contains antibiotic properties. Raw garlic can also
help in reducing H. pylori bacteria and inhibit growth of harmful bacteria. Alternatively, you can try consuming two cloves of garlic daily to protect against stomach inflammation.
4. Licorice or fennel- Licorice is considered a natural remedy for digestive problems, ulcers, and acid reflux. The licorice root contains a compound known as glycyrrhizic which have soothing effects on stomach and strengthening effects within GI tract. Taking fennel and anise spices can also provide some relief. The dosage of licorice can depend from person to person. But most people may experience improvements after taking three grams per day for four to six weeks. But, you should talk with your doctor before taking licorice extracts as it can also lead to high blood pressure.
5. Fiber rich foods- A diet high in fiber like soaked nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains can be beneficial for gastritis and other digestive problems. Most of the best fiber sources include almonds, chia seeds,
legumes, beans, and whole grains.
6. Healthy fats and proteins- Lean proteins can help to repair the gut and treat digestive system like leaky gut syndrome which can trigger inflammation. The good sources of protein include grass-fed meat, eggs, fish, and pasture-raised poultry. Other foods like salmon and sardines are also beneficial as they contain Omega-3. Other healthy fats are also easier to digest including coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, ghee, and grass-fed butter.
Treatment for Gastritis:
Gastritis can be treated with medications that contain antacids. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for those suffering from gastritis caused by H. pylori. You may need to avoid taking alcohol, aspirin, and pain relievers that further leads to gastritis pain. Instead taking supplemental probiotics can help to relieve your gastritis symptoms.
To get the maximum benefits from a gastritis diet plan, make use of these tips to manage symptoms:
1. Take smaller meals- divide your meal time daily and take smaller meals throughout the day, instead of having large quantities of food. For instance, you can take four to five small meals every few hours. Consuming smaller amounts can help to increase blood flow into the stomach and improve healing process.
2. Avoid eating close to bedtime- eat three to four hours before bedtime for proper digestion.
3. Drink enough water- Drinking enough water can control gastritis symptoms. Hence drink at least six to eight glasses of water daily. Drink one glass of water when you experience pain and a glass of water after every meal. Unlike coffee, milk, and alcohol, water will not increase stomach acid production.
4. Reduce stress- Emotional stress can worsen symptoms of gastritis. Stress is said to trigger an increased release of stomach acid and inflammation, decrease immune system functions, and contribute to other digestive problems. You can rely on natural stress relievers in promoting a gastritis diet.
5. Quit Smoking- Smoking is a major cause of increasing stomach damage and gastritis. It can slow down the healing process of gastric mucosa, increase reoccurrence of ulcers, and develop infections.
6. Taking supplements- Supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, probiotics, food-based multivitamins, and adaptogen herbs can help in healing gastritis.
Foods to avoid on Gastritis Diet:
Fatty foods can worsen inflammation in stomach lining. There are several other foods you should avoid as they can lead to stomach irritation. Here are the gastritis foods to avoid list:
- Citrus fruits and juices- citrus fruits that include oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit are packed with natural acids that can be beneficial. But it will cause pain to people suffering from ulcer or gastritis. Studies show that citrus fruits set off the release of chemical neurotransmitters in people suffering from stomach inflammation.
- Tomatoes- they are similar to citrus fruits as they are acidic and can further irritate a sensitive stomach. Though taking tomatoes in small quantities is safe for most people, some can avoid it altogether.
- Milk and dairy products- Most doctors advice gastritis and ulcer patients to drink milk for blocking the effects of acids. But this is not altogether helpful. Rather, milk calcium and amino acids can further stimulate the release of acid production and worsen the symptoms. You can test for reactions to dairy products like yogurt, raw cheese, and raw milk. This can lead to an increase in symptoms. For example, fermented probiotic yogurt can help in soothing stomach irritation and decrease GI levels.
- Alcohol- excessive use of alcohol can wear down stomach lining and cause inflammation. Moderate alcohol drinkers might not notice an increase in gastritis symptoms, while few others might not be able to tolerate alcohol at all. If you cannot eliminate alcohol completely, you can take it in moderate consumptions.
- Coffee- does not cause stomach ulcers or other symptoms, but it might increase gastritis symptoms. Caffeinated coffee can also trigger pain, since it is acidic in nature and increases burning sensations.
- Spicy foods- do not cause gastritis or ulcers but can worsen its symptoms. Spicy foods like hot peppers, cayenne pepper, chillies, red or black pepper, hot sauce, and curry can trigger gastritis symptoms.
- Food allergens- several foods can trigger food allergies such as refined and processed foods. These foods can include white breads, pastas, added sugar products, refined vegetable oils, factory-farm meat, fried foods, and pasteurized dairy products. This can trigger food allergies, gut inflammation, and make one prone to infection.
Gastritis diet for Ulcer:
There are several gastritis types that can lead to an ulcer. If you suffer from ulcer, there are several foods that you should avoid. You should include foods that contain vitamins for healing ulcer. Also, you should talk with your doctor about which foods you should include to lessen your ulcer pain.
Causes of Gastritis:
There are several types of gastritis due to several causes. Some include:
1. Major injury or illness
Major injury or illness can lead to acute stress gastritis. A body injury or an illness that affects blood circulation to your stomach can increase acid stomach.
2. Stomach lining damage
Stomach lining damage can be caused due to:
- Alcohol and various drugs
- Aspirin and pain relievers like NSAIDS
- Swallowing a corrosive substance
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Radioactive treatment to upper abdomen
- Surgery for removal of stomach parts
3. Infection caused by Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori)
H.Pylori is a bacteria that causes an infection. It is one of the most common causes of gastritis and is common amongst lesser developed countries. The symptoms start at an early age and later appear or develop during adult stage.
4. Autoimmune disease
Autoimmune diseases can contribute to gastritis. This can occur when your immune system sets off after your body’s healthy tissue in the stomach lining.
5. Food Allergies
It is important to consult with your health practitioner or Board-certified allergist to determine food allergies.
Symptoms of Gastritis:
A few symptoms of gastritis include the following:
- Burning sensations in or above the stomach, especially whilst eating
- Stomach aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach bloating
- Loss of appetite, feeling of fullness quickly, and changes in weight
- Hiccups and burping
- Changes in bowel movements and the appearance of darker stools than normal or tar-like or bloody color
Facts about Gastritis:
- Many people complain of increased gastritis symptoms after consuming spicy foods or acidic foods as they trigger inflammation or release stomach acids.
- Poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, smoking, obesity, alcohol, and history of autoimmune disorders.
- Taking over-the-counter antacids or antibiotics for gastritis can further cause complications in the long run because they provide temporary relief alone, and do not cure underlying problems of inflammation.
Higher Risks of Gastritis:
- Older people over 60 years of age.
- Low immune system.
- Infection caused by bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
- Overuse of NSAIDAs and painkillers, including ibuprofen overdose and aspirin dependence.
- Poor diet and nutrient deficiencies (including deficiency in Vitamin B12 and low levels in zinc, calcium, selenium, and magnesium).
- Excessive use of alcohol and cigarettes.
- High stress levels.
- Health conditions that affect digestive system, Crohn’s disease, allergies, thyroid, autoimmune disorders, and HIV viruses.
- Anemia which affects stomach lining and hinder normal absorption of Vitamin B12.
- Obesity or overweight issues.
Gastritis is a digestive condition caused by inflammation to gastric mucosa-stomach lining and gastrointestinal tract. It can further lead to burning sensation and pain in the digestive system. Apart from that, certain foods can also worsen gastritis and should be avoided to control symptoms. These foods include acidic foods, spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods. In addition, foods that are high in fiber, antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Omega-3 fatty acids, and electrolytes like manganese and calcium can lower inflammation and boost digestive health.
A gastritis treatment diet should include veggies, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats to reduce painful symptoms and maintain a healthy weight. This can also prevent deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Every person suffering from gastritis or peptic ulcers can respond differently to several foods, hence it is best to go with a diet to test which foods can cause the worst symptoms.
You should avoid taking foods that trigger these symptoms for the best effect. Also, follow up with smaller meals, eat before bedtime, drink water, quit smoking, reduce stress, and take supplements.