Are Onions Bad for Gastritis?

Although onions can cause gas, they have nutrients that may be helpful for people with certain stomach ailments, such as gastritis. Many gastritis sufferers do not experience symptoms, but others develop nausea, abdominal pain, indigestion and vomiting. Talk to your doctor about how onions and other flavonoid-rich foods might ease the symptoms of gastritis.

Red onions for sale at a market. (Image: Tanantornanutra/iStock/Getty Images)

About Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach. Chronic users of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prone to this condition. Another common cause of gastritis is H. pylori infection. This contagious ulcer-forming microorganism infects approximately 20 to 50 percent of people in the United States, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. In other countries, as many as 80 percent of people may contract the bacteria through contaminated food or water. In addition to acquiring gastritis, people who fail to treat H. pylori infections may develop cancer or peptic ulcers.

Onions and Gastritis

Because onions may inhibit the growth of H. pylori, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that people with gastritis consume them along with other beneficial foods, such as apples, celery, cranberries and cranberry juice. Additionally, studies suggest that high intakes of garlic and allium vegetables, including leeks and onions, may help protect against gastric and colorectal cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Fried Onions

Not all onion dishes will benefit gastritis sufferers. Because fried foods can increase inflammation in the stomach lining, fried onions and onion rings may be problematic. Avoid these foods and focus on fresh onions and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Refined foods, such as white breads and sugar-laden snacks, are also poor options for those with gastritis, as are beverages that promote acid production and irritate the stomach lining, such as alcohol and carbonated drinks. Tea, however, works the same way fresh onions do to inhibit H. pylori growth.


In comparison to other antioxidant-rich foods like apples and tea, onions are the most beneficial for people with gastritis because quercetin, a type of flavonoid, is most readily absorbed from onions. To get more onions in your diet, consider adding them to your usual recipes. They add flavor to soups, salads and casseroles and can be cooked to reduce their pungent taste.

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