What can you eat if you have gastritis?

Gastritis is a condition where the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or irritated. This inflammation can be caused by excessive alcohol use, chronic vomiting, stress, or an infection with bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori. Gastritis can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and a feeling of fullness. Dietary changes are often recommended to help manage gastritis symptoms and promote healing of the stomach lining.

What foods should you avoid with gastritis?

There are certain foods that can worsen gastritis symptoms and should be limited or avoided while you heal:

  • Spicy, acidic, or salty foods – These can further irritate the inflamed stomach lining. Examples include citrus fruits, tomatoes, carbonated beverages, vinegar, soy sauce, chili peppers, black pepper, and salty chips or pretzels.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol increases stomach acid production and can damage the stomach lining. It should be avoided completely during an acute gastritis flare-up.
  • Caffeine – Found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, caffeine can stimulate acid production and worsen symptoms. Limit or avoid caffeine when gastritis symptoms are active.
  • Fatty and fried foods – High-fat foods like fatty meats, fast food, and fried items take longer to digest and can cause discomfort. They should be minimized until you recover.

Other problematic foods can include spicy seasonings like black pepper, raw garlic and onions, mint, chocolate, and foods high in added sugars. Keeping a food diary can help identify your personal trigger foods.

What foods can you eat with gastritis?

Certain foods are gentler on an inflamed stomach lining. A gastritis diet should emphasize:

  • Lean proteins – Low-fat proteins like skinless chicken, fish, soy products, eggs, and low-fat dairy tend to be well-tolerated.
  • Non-acidic fruits and vegetables – Examples include bananas, melons, applesauce, carrots, green beans, squash, and sweet potatoes.
  • Whole grains – Whole grain bread, crackers, cereal, oats, brown rice, quinoa, and millet are good options.
  • Low-fat broth-based soups – Try vegetable, chicken, or bone broth soups.
  • Herbal teas – Chamomile, ginger, and licorice root tea can help soothe the stomach.

A temporary liquid diet of broth soups, smoothies, and meal replacement shakes may be recommended during severe flare-ups. This gives the stomach a rest while still providing nutrition.

Sample gastritis diet meal plan

Here is a sample one day meal plan for a gastritis diet:

Meal Foods
Breakfast Oatmeal made with almond milk, sliced banana, cinnamon
Lunch Tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat bread, baby carrots
Dinner Broiled salmon, brown rice, steamed broccoli and carrots
Snacks Low-fat yogurt, apple slices

This meal plan focuses on gentle foods that are easy to digest. Portion sizes should also be smaller, with meals eaten slowly and mindfully. Adequate chewing helps digestion.

10 healing foods to eat with gastritis

Focusing on incorporating these healing foods can help manage gastritis flare-ups:

  1. Bananas – High in potassium, bananas can help replenish electrolytes lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Bananas also contain pectin, which may coat and help protect the stomach lining.
  2. Oatmeal – The high fiber and antioxidants in oatmeal help reduce inflammation and absorb excess stomach acid. Choose slow-cooked oats without added sugars.
  3. Yogurt – Probiotics may reduce H. pylori infection and yogurt provides protein. Choose plain, low-fat yogurt and avoid added sugars.
  4. Green leafy vegetables – Spinach, kale, and other greens are high in antioxidants and nutrients but low in irritating fiber. They can help promote healing.
  5. Lean poultry – Skinless chicken and turkey provide nutrients without fat. Remove skin and visible fat before cooking.
  6. Melons – Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are low acid fruits that can help hydrate. Melons contain antioxidants and electrolytes.
  7. Carrots – Well-cooked carrots are an easy to digest vegetable low in fiber. Carrots provide antioxidants like beta-carotene.
  8. Ginger tea – Ginger can help reduce nausea, inflammation, and pain. Make fresh ginger tea or use ginger lozenges.
  9. Chamomile tea – Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects to help soothe the stomach.
  10. Licorice root – Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) supplements may help heal stomach ulcers and reduce acidity.

Lifestyle tips for managing gastritis

In addition to diet, making certain lifestyle changes can help control gastritis symptoms:

  • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol intake, as these irritate the stomach.
  • Manage stress levels through relaxation techniques, therapy, or meditation.
  • Take over-the-counter antacids like TUMS to temporarily neutralize stomach acid.
  • Sleep with head elevated on pillows to prevent nighttime acid reflux.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than large volumes at once.
  • Chew food thoroughly and eat slowly to aid digestion.
  • Wait 3-4 hours after eating before lying down.
  • Avoid tight clothing that can restrict the abdomen and increase reflux.

Work with your doctor on appropriate treatment. This may include acid-reducing medications, antibiotics if H. pylori is present, and medications to strengthen the stomach lining such as sucralfate.

Foods to eat during gastritis flare-ups

During acute gastritis flare-ups, the following foods are best tolerated:

  • Broths – Chicken, vegetable, or bone broth provide nutrients without irritation.
  • Porridge – Oatmeal, cream of wheat, or rice porridge are gentle whole grain options.
  • Smoothies – Blend banana, avocado, non-dairy milk, honey, and nut butter.
  • Pureed vegetables – Well-cooked, pureed carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.
  • Applesauce – Provides antioxidants without fiber or acidity.
  • Protein shakes – Whey or pea protein powders blended with non-dairy milk.
  • Herbal tea – Chamomile, licorice, and ginger teas help heal the stomach.
  • Low acid juices – Try cucumber, pear, or aloe vera juice diluted with water.

Once symptoms improve, gradually transition back to soft, low fiber foods. Temporary liquid diets help rest the irritated stomach lining but should not be followed long-term due to risk of malnutrition.

Foods to avoid during gastritis flare-ups

These foods tend to worsen gastritis symptoms and should be avoided during flare-ups:

  • Spicy foods – Chili peppers, salsa, Cajun seasoning, curry dishes.
  • High-fiber grains – Whole wheat bread, bran cereal, granola, brown rice.
  • Raw veggies – Broccoli, salad greens, cabbage, corn, onions.
  • Citrus fruits and juices – Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pineapple.
  • Tomatoes/tomato sauce – Especially acidic when raw or not well-cooked.
  • Coffee and tea – Caffeine stimulates acid production.
  • Alcohol – Irritates the stomach lining.
  • Fried or fatty foods – Difficult to digest.
  • Chocolate – Contains caffeine and cocoa; opt for carob instead.
  • Peppermint – May relax the esophageal sphincter leading to reflux.

Avoid chewing gum and eating hard candies, as these increase swallowing of air which can worsen reflux. Track your personal food triggers and eliminate any foods that seem to make your symptoms worse.

Sample 5-day gastritis meal plan

This 5-day sample meal plan provides gentle, low-fiber food choices to help heal gastritis:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Oatmeal with bananas and honey

Chamomile tea

Scrambled eggs
Decaf tea
Cream of wheat with blueberries
Ginger tea

Peanut butter smoothie
Peppermint tea
Low-fiber cereal with rice milk

Apple juice diluted with water
Chicken noodle soup
Melon cubes

Tuna sandwich on white bread
Carrot sticks
Pureed lentil soup
Apple sauce
Baked fish with rice
Steamed zucchini
Spinach salad with chicken strips
Licorice tea

Brown rice with boiled chicken
Steamed carrots
Herb roasted turkey
Mashed potatoes
Pureed peas
Shrimp and veggie stir fry

Jasmine rice
Grilled salmon
Steamed green beans

Turkey meatballs

Spaghetti squash
Beet salad
Low-fat yogurt

Herbal tea

Hard-boiled egg
Peach slices
Ginger ale
Protein shake
Cantaloupe cubes
String cheese
Pear slices
Chamomile tea
Hummus and cucumbers

Lemon water


Following a gastritis diet can help manage symptoms and promote healing of the inflamed stomach lining. Key strategies include avoiding acidic, spicy, and high-fat foods while emphasizing gentle foods like bananas, oatmeal, lean proteins, non-acidic fruits and vegetables, and herbal teas. Lifestyle changes like managing stress, limiting alcohol, taking antacids, and eating smaller meals can also help control symptoms. Work closely with your doctor and nutritionist to find an eating plan that allows you to meet your nutritional needs while calming gastritis flare-ups.

Leave a Comment