Gastritis can be painful and cause gastrointestinal dysfunction. An inflammation of the lining of the stomach, it may be the result of a number of different causes, including bacterial overgrowth, excessive alcohol consumption, a poor diet or the long-term use of certain medications. Dietary and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce inflammation and relieve the discomfort associated with gastritis.
Fruit contains essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants. If you have gastritis, you should consume two to four servings of fruit per day. Good choices include apples or apple juice, bananas, peaches, pears, applesauce and canned fruit, grapes, melon and kiwi. On average, servings are one medium piece of fresh fruit, 1/2 cup of canned fruit and 4ounces of fruit juice. You may need to avoid some types of fruit due to pain and irritation. These include orange and grapefruit juice, figs, berries and dried fruit.
Vegetables are also rich in nutrients and will help you maintain a healthy weight. You should consume two to four servings of vegetables per day. Eating 1 cup of fresh vegetables, 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, 4 ounces of vegetable juice or 2 cups of salad greens are excellent ways to increase vegetables in your diet. Some vegetables are gas producing and may cause discomfort. Try a variety of vegetables and determine which ones you should avoid. Vegetable juices, peppers, chilies, onion, garlic and tomato products tend to cause the most problems.
Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, making them necessary for a healthy diet. However, you should limit your intake of milk and other dairy foods to two to three servings per day. Additionally, you should select low-fat or fat-free varieties when possible. This will help control the production of stomach acid. Good sources of vitamin D and calcium are 1/2 cup of low-fat ice cream, 1 cup of low-fat yogurt, 2 ounces of cheese, 4 ounces of pudding, 2 eggs or 8 ounces of low-fat or skim milk.
Meat, Poultry and Fish
Most meat, poultry and fish are well tolerated if you have gastritis. The best choices are lean, tender meats, skinless poultry, seafood, fish, shellfish, tofu and soybeans. You should eat two to four 3-ounce servings of these types of foods each day. Avoid fried, greasy or high-fat cuts and highly seasoned or spicy options. Typically, broiling, grilling or roasting are the best-tolerated cooking methods.
On average, you should consume between six and 10 servings of grains per day. Enriched bread and cereals, whole grain bread and crackers, oatmeal, rice, potatoes, barley, graham crackers, pasta, noodles and macaroni products are good examples of acceptable grains. A typical serving size is 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of rice, cooked cereal or pasta, 3/4 cup dry cereal or 6 crackers. Products that may cause you discomfort or irritation include coarse cereals and breads, seeds, potato chips or French fries, refried beans and fatty fried pastries.
Fluids are important to clean out your gastrointestinal tract and soften fiber. You should drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid per day. Water is the ultimate beverage; it replenishes your body, has no calories and does not cause irritation. Fruit drinks, caffeine-free tonics, carbonated beverages and mild herbal teas are also acceptable if you can tolerate them. Avoid coffee, black tea, soft drinks, hot cocoa and alcohol because they will cause discomfort and irritation.