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The Best Foods for Gastric Problems

by
author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
The Best Foods for Gastric Problems
A variety of nutritious foods may help ease gastric symptoms. Photo Credit Barbara Dudzińska/iStock/Getty Images

Common gastric conditions include gas pain and bloating, indigestion and ulcers, which affect 25 million Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to medical treatments, when necessary, certain foods may help manage your symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, seek medical guidance.

Yogurt and Kefir

The Best Foods for Gastric Problems
Yogurt Photo Credit pattymalajak/iStock/Getty Images

Yogurt and kefir are cultured dairy products that contain valuable amounts of calcium, protein and beneficial bacterial known as probiotics. Although research is ongoing, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, probiotics may help restore balance in your intestinal tract and alleviate the effects of harmful bacteria, including H. pylori, which causes ulcers. Probiotics may also help ease chronic stomach inflammation, abdominal cramps associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea. For best potential results, consume yogurt and kefir containing live-active cultures, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium bifidus, on a routine basis.

Rice

The Best Foods for Gastric Problems
Brown rice Photo Credit eskymaks/iStock/Getty Images

Rice is a complex carbohydrate that provides glucose, your body's main dietary source of energy. Although all whole grains provide rich amounts of nutrients and fiber, rice is the only grain that does not stimulate gas production in the digestive tract, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. If you are prone to gas, gas pain or bloating, replace other grains with brown, basmati or wild rice. If all fiber-rich foods worsen your symptoms, such as diarrhea or cramping associated with inflammatory bowel diseases, switch back to instant or well-cooked white rice, and gradually increase your fiber intake by mixing in small amounts of high-fiber rice so your body can adjust to an increased fiber intake.

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Fruits and Vegetables

The Best Foods for Gastric Problems
Raspberries Photo Credit Paul Katz/Photodisc/Getty Images

Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, which support your body's ability to resist and heal from diseases and infections. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables may expedite recovery from stomach ulcers, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or reduce your risk for developing one in the first place. Particularly fiber-rich varieties include raspberries, apples, pears, artichokes, peas, beans, lentils, kale, spinach and artichokes. If you are prone to heartburn and acid reflux, avoid acidic foods, including lemons, orange juice and tomato products, which may trigger or worsen your symptoms.

Soy Products

The Best Foods for Gastric Problems
Soybeans Photo Credit Jonathan Austin Daniels/iStock/Getty Images

Soy is a protein-rich legume used in a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. Many people lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose, a sugar that occurs naturally in cow's milk, according to the NDDIC. If you are among them, you may experience gas, bloating and stomach pain after consuming milk, cheese or other dairy-based foods. Soy-based milk, yogurt and cheese provide useful nondairy alternatives, many of which are fortified with calcium. Whole soybeans and tofu, which is soybean curd, also contain protein and calcium.

The Bland Diet

The Best Foods for Gastric Problems
Soup Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Following a bland diet -- a diet primarily made up of non-spicy foods that are soft and low in fiber -- under medical supervision might also help relieve gastric problems. The diet includes low-fat dairy products, refined wheat products, tofu, creamy peanut butter and soup, and excludes fatty foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

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