Esophagitis is characterized by inflammation or irritation of the lining of the esophagus. If you are diagnosed with esophagitis, consume soft foods that are easier to swallow, notes The Cleveland Clinic. Paying attention to the foods you eat can help ease pain or discomfort associated with esophagitis. Consult with a registered dietitian for a full list of healthy foods necessary for your condition.
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Soft Fruits and Vegetables
You may still enjoy various soft, cooked or canned fruits and vegetables if you are suffering from esophagitis. Examples include fresh bananas, canned peaches, applesauce, avocados, squash and spinach. Fruit and vegetable juices may be consumed if tolerated. Potatoes are another great option, and they may be enjoyed mashed, baked, boiled or creamed. These foods are easy to swallow and will not irritate or stick to the lining of your esophagus. In addition, fruits and vegetables are significant sources of many essential vitamins and minerals.
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and soft cheeses may be tolerated. This also includes ice cream, custards, puddings, sherbet and cottage cheese. Avoid dairy products that contain nuts, seeds, spices, granola or whole fruits. Choose low-fat products over whole to reduce your saturated fat intake. Dairy products are also good sources of protein, calcium and vitamin B-12.
Cereals & Crackers
Refined and cooked ready-to-eat cereals may also be tolerated by esophagitis patients. Plain white rice, rolls, white crackers, refined breads and pastas are other grains that can be consumed. Whole grains such as popcorn, brown rice and breads with nuts and seeds may be hard to swallow and should be avoided. Once a week, you may gradually introduce a new high-fiber grain such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal or quinoa if tolerated.
Take small bites and always thoroughly chew your food before swallowing. Food restrictions are based on personal tolerance. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be able to tolerate a wide variety of foods. In general, the MayoClinic recommends to avoid citrus fruits, spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Spicy foods include those prepared with spices such as chili, curry and pepper. Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds and fried foods may also be hard to swallow and should be avoided. Consult with a registered dietitian to determine your specific nutritional needs based on your condition and activity level.