Gastritis is an uncomfortable inflammation of your stomach lining. If you have this condition, you'll benefit from carefully following a gastritis diet plan to reduce flare-ups of your symptoms.
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Breakfast may pose a challenge, however, as typical beverages and foods that come with the morning meal, such as coffee and fruit, can be irritating to those with gastritis. What you end up eating depends a lot on your tastes and personal tolerance. Pay attention to which foods agree with you and don't irritate your sensitive stomach lining.
Keep a food diary to help you identify the foods that irritate your gastritis and avoid them at breakfast. For many people, low-fat, high-fiber and mildly spiced foods are best at breakfast and other times of day.
All About Gastritis
When you have gastritis, or inflammation of your stomach lining, you produce less of the thick layer of mucus that coats the stomach and protects it from caustic digestive juices. As a result, the acid in your stomach irritates the lining and leads to acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) pain and discomfort.
Gastritis may result from a number of factors, explains Harvard Health Publishing. These include:
- Excessive drinking and/or smoking
- Long-term use of medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen
- Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
- Injury or shock
Some cases of gastritis occur due to an autoimmune condition. Your immune system attacks the cells that line your stomach, mistaking them for foreign invaders.
Symptoms of Gastritis
If you've been diagnosed with gastritis, you're all too familiar with the symptoms of this uncomfortable condition. You may have pain in the upper part of your abdomen, belching, lack of appetite or feeling full, bloating, heartburn and nausea — sometimes with vomiting.
Symptoms of gastritis can come and go or be relatively constant. What you eat can aggravate and cause symptoms to exacerbate. That's why breakfast for gastritis is so important: It sets the tone for the whole day.
Read more: Food for Gastric Pain
Not all people with gastritis are bothered by the same foods. Harvard Health suggests you keep a food diary and track what symptoms arise in conjunction with your meal choices. When you identify a connection, eliminate the offending food for a few weeks to see if your gastritis symptoms improve.
In general, a diet for gastritis eliminates:
- Fatty foods
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits
- Acidic beverages, such as coffee, fruit juice and cola
You still have a wide range of foods available to enjoy at breakfast and other meals even if you have gastritis.
Foods That Heal Gastritis
Gastritis caused by the H. pylori infection may benefit from the addition of certain foods to your diet. Research published in the Polish journal, Przeglad Gastroenterologiczny, in July 2016 found that the addition of foods with antibacterial activity can help relieve H. pylori activity. These foods include broccoli sprouts and highbush blueberry juice.
When you make breakfast, or at other times of the day, you can benefit from adding these foods. Top an egg white veggie omelet with fresh broccoli sprouts or enjoy a glass of blueberry juice — delicious on its own or in a smoothie.
Probiotics, widely found in yogurt, may also relieve symptoms and assist in the healing of H. pylori infection, a major cause of gastritis. The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology published research in September 2018 confirming that the probiotics Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces could be helpful in healing H. pylori. These strains of probiotics are readily found in many commercial yogurts.
Gastritis Breakfast Plan
Start by eliminating aggravating foods, explains Harvard Health Publishing. Skip the orange or tomato juice, and definitely the mimosas and bloody marys, because alcohol and juice together are even more likely to upset your inflamed stomach lining. Wean yourself off coffee or limit yourself to one cup if you just can't bear to give it up.
Opt for healthy, low-fat options to soothe your stomach on a gastritis breakfast plan. Oatmeal, for example, with a splash of milk and chopped apple and cinnamon or sliced banana is digested pretty easily without irritating gastritis. Alternative hot cereals that may be acceptable to your stomach include cooked quinoa or cream of wheat.
An omelet made with egg whites, chopped peppers, mushrooms and onions is another digestible meal. Vary the fillings to include spinach, chopped broccoli and zucchini. Roast chopped potatoes tossed in a little olive oil if you crave hash browns. Store-bought or restaurant versions likely contain a lot of fat that could irritate gastritis.
Most breakfast meats, like bacon and sausage, have a fair amount of fat and could also irritate gastritis patients. Try a sausage made with lower-fat meat such as turkey or ground chicken. Make it a mild sausage, too, because you want to avoid heavy spice.
Although some fruits may be a trigger, low-acid types blended into a smoothie may soothe your stomach and not fill you up too much. Use a frozen banana as a base and add almond milk with just a few strawberries, blueberries or chunks of mango.
If you prefer cow's milk and it doesn't irritate your gastritis, use it instead. Add plain yogurt with the Lactobacillus and/or Bifidobacterium probiotics to add a little tang and to possibly help soothe gastritis symptoms, too. Probiotics can be effective in healing H. pylori infection, explains a comprehensive paper published in Gastroenterology Research and Practice in October 2018.
If you don't have time to mix together a smoothie, mix yogurt with sliced banana and/or a sprinkling of muesli. This may be well tolerated and it's quick to prepare.
Read more: Foods to Soothe an Upset Stomach
Make Breakfast a Small Meal
Another way to ease the impact breakfast has on your gastritis symptoms is to eat it in stages. Make your gastritis breakfast plan include smaller, more frequent meals are often less irritating to an inflamed gut, explains NCH Healthcare Services, which is located in Southwest Florida. Have a banana or cup of yogurt early and then mid-morning, enjoy a snack of hot cereal or a small smoothie.
Continue to split up other meals throughout the day to get all the calories and nutrition you need, without overloading a sensitive stomach lining.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Gastritis"
- InformedHealth.org: "Gastritis: Overview"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Gastritis"
- Przeglad Gastroenterologiczny: "Diet and Helicobacter pylori Infection"
- Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology: "Helicobacter pylori Infection and Gastric Dysbiosis: Can Probiotics Administration Be Useful to Treat This Condition?"
- NCH Healthcare System: "Gastritis"
- Gastroenterology Research and Practice: "What Roles Do Probiotics Play in the Eradication of Helicobacter pylori? Current Knowledge and Ongoing Research"