Managing gastritis with food

Healthy food

What is gastritis?
Gastritis can be painful and uncomfortable. It generally occurs when there is inflammation
or irritation in the stomach lining due to an imbalance in the normal level of acid produced
by the stomach. [1] There are several risk factors for gastritis, namely, stress, viral
infections, digestive disorders, autoimmune disorders, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
medication, age and even alcohol consumption. [2] Gastritis also has other triggers that can
vary amongst different individuals such as spicy food, fried foods, oily food, caffeine, citrus
fruits and even skipping meals, which can trigger gastritis for some individuals. [2]

Signs and symptoms of gastritis [1,2]
• Burning sensation in the stomach at night or between meals
• Loss of appetite
• Upset stomach or nausea
• Bloating
• Abdominal pain
• Hiccups
• Indigestion
• Black, tarry stools
• Vomiting
• Rapid heartbeat, sweating
• Headaches
• Shortness of breath or feeling faintish

What you can do to help prevent and manage gastritis [3,4]
• Have small frequent meals.
• Avoid smoking and alcohol.
• Avoid very spicy and acidic foods.

• Avoid fried high fatty foods.
• Don’t have water or another beverage with your meal. Drink water after the meal.
• Eat cooked vegetables instead of raw salads with meals.
• Avoid long periods of gaps in between meals, try to eat a healthy snack in-between
meals.
• Reduce your stress.
• Avoid carbonated drinks and high caffeine drinks.
• Use acid suppression medication if necessary as indicated by your doctor.

Food to eat [3]
• High fibre foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables with skins on and legumes.
• Low fat foods such as fish, lean meats and vegetables.
• Foods with low acidity including vegetables and beans e.g. chick-peas (kadala),
kidney beans, potato, carrots, beans etc.
• Yoghurt/curd, oatmeal, peppermint tea, coconut water, apples, parsley, thyme,
chamomile tea can help soothe gastritis.

Food to avoid [1,4]
• Coffee
• Carbonated drinks

Alcohol
• Fruit juice
• Fried fatty foods
• Foods you’re allergic to or have an intolerance to
• Spicy foods
• Raw salads

Different foods can trigger gastritis for different individuals, so it is best to find out what
your triggers are and safely trial what foods help soothe your gastritis.
If you’re in severe pain and finding it difficult to manage gastritis with food alone, please
consult your GP for medical advice.

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