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Diet For Gastritis: Best & Worst Foods

written by: Kumara Velu • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 9/30/2010

If you've been diagnosed with gastritis it's crucial to watch what you eat or you will aggravate your condition. Here are tips on a the best diet for gastritis.

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    Gastritis results from the inflammation of the stomach lining. Medical experts are agreed that excessive consumption of alcohol, prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and infection caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) as important contributing factors. A gastritis patient experiences abdominal upsets, bloating and belching which could be followed with nausea and vomiting.

    While medication offers relief in most cases, a proper diet for gastritis goes a long way in alleviating the condition. The key is to consume food with the stomach in mind. The best food to eat with gastritis should be easily digestible and nutritious.

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    Foods to Avoid

    Dairy foods increase the production of acid in the stomach. You don’t have to totally cut out such foods from your diet. You could reduce their consumption to three or less servings a day. Opt for low-fat or fat-free dairy products to effectively regulate stomach acid production.

    Alcohol, as has been mentioned, aggravates gastritis. Black and red pepper, curry powder, hot peppers and chili are a strict no-no. If you stay away from them, you’ll see a positive effect on your gastritis.

    Teas, cocoa, chocolate and colas should be avoided. Coffee increases the acidity level in your stomach.

    Check to see if seasonings like cinnamon, garlic and cloves upset your stomach. Even if they don’t, limit their intake as a precaution. Peppermint, tomatoes, and citrus juices should also be reduced or eliminated from your diet if they cause stomach discomfort or heartburn.

    Gas-producing foods like peas, broccoli, cabbage and some nuts should also be avoided or minimized, depending on how they affect your stomach.

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    Foods to Include

    Foods that would not aggravate gastritis include wheat bran, leafy vegetables, carrot juice, banana, salads and unpolished rice.

    Especially beneficial is coconut water. Consuming it will provide you with the necessary minerals and vitamins while allowing your stomach to rest. The chance of your stomach returning to its normal condition is greatly increased if you consume nothing but coconut water for the first twenty-four hours.

    Bananas are energy-giving and nutritious. It has a calming effect on gastritis and protects the intestinal coating. Consuming bananas when you’re hungry is a good way to keep gastritis at bay.

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    Eating Habits to Ease Gastritis

    While the food you eat determines the extent of relief you’ll gain from gastritis, the manner in which you consume your food will also help determine whether you’ll manage to keep gastritis at bay.

    Don’t eat in a hurried manner. Chew your food slowly so that your stomach could properly digest it.

    Take smaller meals and allows a period of a few hours before you eat again. This will allow your stomach ample time to break down the food and properly digest it. If possible, your next meal should be a snack that’s easy on your stomach, even if hunger overpowers you.

    Avoid taking meals late at night. Your stomach would find it difficult to digest late-night meals. If you’re hungry at night take a light snack. Take food at least a few hours before going to bed.

    Avoid drinking too much water during meals and soon after. Drinking too much water dilutes your gastric juice and makes digestion difficult. Instead, drink a little extra water in between meals.

    Refrain from eating different kinds of foods at the same time. Foods that don’t agree with each other may cause bloating, heartburn or flatulence.

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    Conclusion

    You should observe a strict diet for gastritis. Monitor your food intake in addition to following your doctor’s advice on medication. If you’re taking NSAIDs and it’s aggravating your gastritis, consult your doctor and ask for `stomach-friendly’ medicine. Gastritis shouldn’t be treated lightly as it could lead to stomach cancer.

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    References

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastritis/DS00488/DSECTION=causes - causes of gastritis

    http://www.botanical-online.com/dietgastritis.htm - eating habits to ease gastritis

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/52105-foods-avoid-gastritis/ - foods to avoid for gastritis