Gastritis is an unfortunate condition that plagues millions of adults worldwide. It occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed and irritated, and it usually stems from bacteria, bile build-up, or long-term use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or sodas.
Unfortunately, the symptoms that come with gastritis are numerous. Sufferers endure uncomfortable gas, indigestion, nausea, heartburn, stomach pain and more, and the wrong foods can make conditions worse in seconds.
Because of this, eating healthily is a crucial part of dealing with gastritis.
By choosing the right foods and drinks, gastritis sufferers can minimize their discomfort and improve their condition on the whole.
Eating with Gastritis
One of the biggest symptoms of gastritis is acid reflux, which occurs when acid escapes from the top of the stomach and enters the throat. This causes irritation and discomfort, and over time, it can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.
The key to fighting off acid reflux – along with many other symptoms of gastritis – is to maintain a healthy, natural diet. Through this, you can decrease irritation and inflammation, and make digestion easier and less painful in the long run.
Are you one of the millions who suffer from gastritis? Then follow these healthy eating guidelines to manage your condition:
- Avoid spicy foods – Spicy foods can aggravate gastritis symptoms and often lead to acid reflux. To avoid these, take steps to avoid spice in your foods. That should include jalapenos, chili powder, cayenne pepper and more.
- Cut out carbonation – Carbonated drinks are acidic, and they irritate the stomach’s lining immensely. Since those with gastritis already have issues with their lining, avoiding these drinks is usually recommended.
- Load up on fruit – If you suffer from gastritis, you should aim to get at least two to four servings of fruit every single day. These contain crucial vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can alleviate gastritis symptoms and aid in digestion. Just make sure to limit your intake on citric fruits that could irritate the stomach, like grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges.
- Eliminate fried and greasy foods – The oils in fried and greasy foods can be extremely irritating on the stomach lining, and they can cause an inflammatory reaction which worsens gastritis symptoms. If you have gastritis, it’s best to avoid these foods, and stick to ones that are grilled, broiled, baked or roasted instead.
- Get lots of water – Water helps keep your gastrointestinal tract clean, and it aids in digestion – both of which are key in gastritis sufferers. Make sure you’re getting plenty of water each day, and cut out dehydrating drinks like caffeine, alcohol and soda.
- Try bacteria-fighting foods – There are some foods that can help fight off bacteria, namely H. pylori, a common find in gastritis-plagued stomachs. Broccoli sprouts and yogurt have both been shown to ward off H. pylori, as well as decrease inflammation, irritation and infection.
- Stop drinking alcohol – Alcohol can not only worsen gastritis, it can actually be the cause of the condition in the first place. If you’ve been diagnosed with the condition, take steps to cut down on alcohol or avoid it altogether. You’ll feel much better for it.
- Eat the right veggies – Vegetables are always good for your health, right? If you have gastritis, this isn’t exactly true. While most vegetables give you the fiber and minerals you need for a strong digestive system, there are some that worsen gastritis symptoms and cause discomfort. Some of these bothersome veggies include onions, garlic, tomatoes, chilies, peppers and more.
Other Ways to Fight Gastritis
In addition to eating the right diet, there are some other steps you can take to improve gastritis and fight off adverse symptoms. The first is to use over-the-counter antacids like Tums, Maalox and Mylanta. These decrease the amount of acid in your stomach, and thus lower discomfort and pain levels in most gastritis sufferers. H2 blockers like Zantac and Pepcid are also good OTC options.
If your gastritis is the result of an infection, it may require antibiotics in order to be fully treated. You’ll want to see a doctor for a full evaluation if you believe this is the case.
Another way to cut down on your gastritis pain is to eat with moderation. According to most doctors, if you eat with moderation, it can actually help keep your stomach acid in check and reduce irritation longer.
If you have gastritis, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are many ways you can control your condition and ease your discomfort. Focus on eating a healthy, non-acidic diet, consider working in bacteria-fighting foods, and cut out irritants like alcohol, soda and spicy foods.
How do you deal with your gastritis? Are there foods you do or don’t eat? Share them with me in the comments!