In the case of gastritis, the right diet can calm the stomach – and relieve unpleasant symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, or a feeling of fullness. Gastritis is an inflammatory disease of the gastric mucosa that can be both chronic and acute. But which diet exactly helps with gastritis? We explain it to you.
Characteristics and symptoms: Chronic vs. acute gastritis
In general, a distinction is made between a chronic and an acute course in gastritis (also: inflammation of the gastric mucosa). Acute gastritis usually occurs suddenly. The mucous membrane of the stomach reacts to a stimulus with an overproduction of gastric acid. The consequences are upper abdominal pain, nausea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, and/or a feeling of fullness. As a rule, the symptoms subside on their own after a few days. Depending on the severity of gastritis, however, medication can also be used. If, on the other hand, chronic gastritis is present, the symptoms last longer. There are three different types, each with a different cause:
- Type A: This is often referred to as autoimmune gastritis. The immune system attacks the body’s cells in the gastric mucosa. There is autoimmune-mediated destruction of the gastric acid and intrinsic factor-producing parietal cells.
- Type B: Caused by infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which reduces the production of gastric mucus. As a result, the gastric mucosa cannot be adequately protected from the effects of gastric acid.
- Type C: Harmful (chemical) noxae such as alcohol, medication, or bile reflux are the cause of type C gastritis.
As soon as acute gastritis does not heal completely, there is a possibility that it will turn into chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa. The side effects are usually much less noticeable. Heartburn, mild nausea, slight stomach pains, or loss of appetite occur again and again at different times. Even if the symptoms are less pronounced than with acute gastritis, there is a great risk: the continuous irritation of the stomach wall of the affected person can promote stomach or intestinal ulcers. It can also lead to a dangerous gastric perforation.
How can you specifically prevent gastritis?
In most cases, gastritis will heal on its own. If the person concerned takes care of their stomach and follows a healthy lifestyle, the chances of recovery are very good. To prevent the gastric mucosa from becoming ill again, the causes should be combated. Those affected should not only do something to protect the gastric mucosa, no, they should also reduce stress, for example. Because gastritis is often a cry for help from the human psyche.
What is the right diet for gastritis?
Those affected should attach importance to a stomach-friendly diet and also avoid nicotine, alcohol, and coffee. It is also better not to eat greasy, heavily seasoned, or hot foods. There are no precise instructions for the right diet in the case of gastric mucosal inflammation. However, the food should not have an irritating effect and should not additionally burden the stomach. The best way for those affected to relieve their stomach is to eat light food that is easy to digest. These include high-carbohydrate, low-protein, and low-fat dishes as well as steamed vegetables, lean poultry, oats, or mild fruit types that are not very acidic. Meals should be mildly seasoned and, if possible, eating in smaller portions throughout the day.
What nutrients does the body need in gastritis?
It is best to avoid taking medication (e.g. against stomach acid). It is better to make sure that you have a sufficient intake of various vitamins and vital substances – to protect your stomach and your gastric mucosa. Important is for example:
- vitamin C
- pantothenic acid
More nutrition and life tips for gastritis
- Fresh cuisine: Always prepare your food fresh and avoid ready meals. These usually contain hidden sugar, fat, or salt.
- Take your time: Enjoy your food and take your time with it. Celebrate cooking too.
- Antioxidants: Eat foods rich in antioxidants. This includes many types of vegetables and fruits. Highly recommended: broccoli.
- Avoid dairy products: Although milk can temporarily relieve symptoms, it also increases the production of stomach acid.
- Stress management: Anyone who has had severe private or professional stress that has lasted for a long time should try to avoid it. Think about your health.
- Exercise: To improve general health, integrate short walks into your everyday life and/or sporting activities.
- Avoid medication: Pill for headaches? doesn’t have to