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Gastritis: which foods should you avoid?

If you suffer from indigestion, heartburn, abdominal pain or flatulence, you may have gastritis. There are a number of options for relieving this condition ... as well as certain foods to avoid.

Man suffering from gastritis

What exactly is gastritis?

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach, or more precisely, the lining of the stomach. It’s possible to have gastritis without realising it – this is called asymptomatic gastritis.

More often, however, gastritis manifests in a range of symptoms. These are mainly digestive problems such as heartburn, acidity, bloating and even vomiting.

There are many potential causes: Helicobacter pylori infection, excessive alcohol consumption, gastroesophageal reflux disease, stress, auto-immune disease …

Gastritis can be acute or chronic. Acute gastritis develops suddenly and normally disappears on its own within a few days. But if it becomes chronic, it can sometimes persist for several months.

How is gastritis treated?

Even though acute gastritis produces very unpleasant symptoms, it is not usually a cause for concern.

Whether acute or chronic, it’s important to consult a doctor if you suspect gastritis or have persistent symptoms.

Medical treatments for gastritis

Your doctor will undoubtedly try to identify the factors responsible for the onset of your gastritis.

He or she may prescribe antacids, such as histamine H2-receptor antagonists, also known as H2-blockers, or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Other options include orally-administered, acid-neutralising drugs and analgesics for relieving the pain.

For chronic gastritis due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria, doctors may prescribe antibiotics such as amoxycillin.

The diet: a major key to unlocking relief from gastritis

As your doctor will undoubtedly tell you, one of the keys to achieving rapid and effective relief from gastritis lies in your diet. Doctors often recommend eating soup and other liquid foods to soothe the stomach. But there are also foods you should avoid and those you should prioritise in order to eliminate your symptoms.

Which foods should you avoid in the case of gastritis?

To relieve symptoms and prevent gastritis from persisting, it’s best to avoid certain foods which are particularly triggering and hard to digest:

  • overly fatty, salty and acidic foods are particularly difficult to digest and stimulate acid secretions. It’s therefore best to avoid fatty, salty meats such as charcuterie, as well as cheese, crackers, sauerkraut, or too much fat in general, especially fried food. Heavily-sauced dishes and gourmet desserts should also be excluded;
  • sugary foods, found in processed products, fast-food, mass-produced cereals and desserts also promote inflammation ;
  • you should also avoid spicy dishes and ingredients. Chilli, curry, ginger, cumin and green anise can all irritate the lining of the stomach ;
  • lastly, alcohol and carbonated or aggravating drinks, such as tea, coffee, fruit juices and fizzy drinks, are all off-limits until the problem is resolved. Alcohol can actually alter the lining of the stomach and the oesophagus, while the other ‘banned’ drinks increase gastric acid secretion.

Which foods should you eat for gastritis?

Logically enough, the foods to focus on are generally those not listed among the foods to avoid:

  • foods high in fibre and antioxidants are usually recommended for gastritis. Doctors often advise eating soup as this enables you to benefit from the nutrients in vegetables, especially their vitamins, in a way that’s very easy to digest;
  • to ensure a good protein intake, you can eat lean meat such as chicken, or white fish. And contrary to what you might think, you can go ahead and eat pulses such as kidney beans, chickpeas or lentils;
  • for dessert, feel free to eat some fruit as long as it’s not too acidic. Bananas, peaches, pears and apples are all excellent options;
  • as for drinks, nothing beats water! Tap water, filtered or not, is generally the best choice, though you also have the option of drinking bottled water rich in bicarbonate to counter acidity;
  • last but not least, it’s generally advisable to consume omega-3s (see our famous fish oil Super Omega 3) as well as vitamin A (from carrots, beetroot, peppers … or at higher doses from the supplement Carottol).

How to obtain rapid relief from gastritis

There are a few tips worth knowing to alleviate the symptoms of gastritis even faster:

  • dividing your meals into smaller, more frequent ones is a simple technique which allows you to eat without overloading the stomach;
  • take regular probiotics (such as those found in Colon Friendly), as they help maintain a healthy gut microbiota sain (1) ;
  • for chronic gastritis caused by Helicobacter Pylori bacteria, discover our supplement H. Pylori Fight. It contains Pylopass™, selected from more than 700 wild lactobacillus strains, which has adhesion molecules that form co-aggregates with the bacteria;
  • turmeric can help with inflammation and oxidation (2). It’s therefore particularly relevant in the case of gastritis (try, for example, Natural Curcuma or Super Curcuma) ;
  • finally, glutamine, a key amino acid and component of proteins, is being studied for its potential to protect and repair the lining of the stomach (try, for example, the supplement L-Glutamine).

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References

  1. Shi LH, Balakrishnan K, Thiagarajah K, Mohd Ismail NI, Yin OS. Beneficial Properties of Probiotics. Trop Life Sci Res. 2016 Aug;27(2):73-90. doi: 10.21315/tlsr2016.27.2.6. PMID: 27688852; PMCID: PMC5031164.
  2. Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017 Oct 22;6(10):92. doi: 10.3390/foods6100092. PMID: 29065496; PMCID: PMC5664031.

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