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Dietary recommendations for gastritis

What is gastritis?

It is the acute or chronic inflammation of the stomach mucosa.

Possible causes

The most common causes of gastritis are:

Certain medications such as acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

Drinking too much alcohol.

Infection of the stomach with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.

There are also other less common causes:

Autoimmune diseases, such as pernicious anemia.

Reflux of bile into the stomach (biliary reflux).

Cocaine consumption.

Ingesting or drinking corrosive or caustic substances (such as poisons).

Excessive stress

Chronic vomiting

Viral infection, such as cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus (occurs more often in people with a weak immune system).

Trauma or a sudden, serious illness such as major surgery, kidney failure, or being on a breathing machine can also cause gastritis.

Gastritis can occur quickly (acute gastritis) or be sustained over time (chronic gastritis).

What are the symptoms of gastritis?

Symptoms vary from person to person, and in many people, there are no symptoms.

The most common are:


Nausea and vomiting, some with black blood, looking like coffee grounds.


Poor digestion or dyspepsia.


Intestinal gas with belching.

Loss of appetite.

A feeling of distension of the abdomen.

Black stools.

Bad taste in the mouth.


The treatment will always depend on the cause. Some resolve spontaneously with time. If you have heartburn, it is recommended to take antacids and other medications that reduce it, since it can cause more irritation to the inflamed areas. These medications will help relieve symptoms and facilitate healing. Check with your doctor first.

For gastritis caused by infections, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. He or she will also recommend a diet in which you should avoid foods and beverages that aggravate your symptoms.

 Nutritional recommendations

Regarding dietary treatment, gastritis requires a diet that is gentle and non-irritating to the stomach lining. The general rules of an adequate diet for gastritis would be:

Chew food slowly, avoiding eating in a hurry. Eat sitting down.

Fractionate food intake into 5 meals a day and do not overeat.

Do not drink abundant liquids with meals and drink them in small gulps.

Avoid extreme temperatures, i.e., food and beverages should be warm.

Do not lie down immediately after eating.

Avoid prolonged fasting.

Use simple cooking methods, avoiding fried and fatty foods.

Avoid stimulating drinks: coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

Avoid fatty and spicy foods.

Consume fruits and vegetables preferably cooked, avoiding eating them raw.

What foods should we consume more of?

Pasta, rice, potato, and white bread: have anti-inflammatory, sedative, and calming effects.

Cooked vegetables without skin, especially pumpkin, and carrots: neutralize acidity and protect the gastric mucosa.

Cooked, stewed, and canned fruits: they are very well tolerated and reduce inflammation of the stomach mucosa.

Lean meats, fish, egg whites.

Cheese and skimmed dairy products.

Water and caffeine-free beverages.

Other foods: oatmeal, avocado, custard apple…

Simple cooking: griddle, grill, oven, boiled.

What foods should we eat in moderation?

Raw and flatulent vegetables.

Garlic, onion, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper.

Whole-grain products or very rich in fiber.

Fruits with skin, green or unripe.

Chocolate, pastries, and ice cream: irritate the gastric mucosa.

Grape and citrus juices: due to their acidity they are indigestible and aggressive in the case of gastritis.

Carbonated drinks: contain irritating substances such as additives, sugars, acids, etc.

Other foods: whole milk, cream, butter, sausages, seafood, fermented and cured cheeses.

What foods should we avoid?

Pepper, ground bell pepper, mustard, and vinegar: inflame the gastric mucosa, increasing the production of gastric juices.

Fatty sauces, canned and spicy foods.

Alcohol: irritates the stomach mucosa causing an inflammatory reaction.

Coffee and tea: they favor the secretion of acids.

What is the prognosis of gastritis?

Most cases improve rapidly once treatment is started. The chances of a cure depend on the cause. With proper treatment and a healthy lifestyle for the stomach, both the evolution and the prognosis will be favorable and, in most cases, acute gastritis heals. In the case of gastritis with a chronic course, the prognosis may be less favorable and require a longer treatment. In both cases, it will always be advisable to have a healthy lifestyle and pay special attention to nutrition that takes care of the stomach.

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