Gastritis and Ulcers: Allowed and Forbidden Foods

We're going to tell you which foods can be consumed in cases of gastritis, and which should be eliminated from the diet to prevent it from worsening.
Gastritis and Ulcers: Allowed and Forbidden Foods
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 05 June, 2022

Gastritis and ulcers are two health problems that affect the digestive tract and can seriously affect well-being. Although sometimes it’s necessary to resort to medication, it’s also possible to adapt the diet to reduce the symptoms and live with the pathology. It’s essential to know which foods can be included in the diet in these situations and those that are totally forbidden.

Before starting, it should be noted that many digestive disorders are caused by bad habits maintained over time. For example, alcohol consumption or smoking can greatly increase the risk of gastritis. Also obesity.

Foods allowed in gastritis and ulcer

When managing gastritis and ulcers, you should resort to a diet based on fresh products, with a controlled fat intake. You’ll need to ensure the consumption of nutrients with anti-inflammatory potential in order to ensure that the tissues recover progressively, reducing the symptoms.

It’ll be important to include the following foodstuffs:

  • Fruit: Apples, pears, and bananas are recommended. They provide prebiotic fiber, a substance that has been shown to improve the health of the microbiota and have a positive impact on digestion. Achieving a good diversity of microorganisms at an intestinal level will prevent the development of many pathologies.
  • Vegetables: Zucchini, eggplant, spinach, and carrots should feature in your diet. Their consumption is recommended after a cooking process, especially in times of increased pain, as it’ll make digestion easier.
  • Meat: Chicken and turkey are the most suitable, since they have little fat. This speeds up gastric emptying. Fish and seafood may also be recommended. Proteins will be decisive to help repair the damaged tissue, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
  • Dairy: Not everyone tolerates them equally, but the best in these cases are the fermented type. They have probiotics that can help maintain a controlled state of internal inflammation. Be careful with the fatty ones in times of pain.
A woman drinking milk.
Many people with gastric ulcers say that a glass of milk calms their symptomatology.

The role of vitamin C

It’s important to keep in mind that vitamin C is an important nutrient in the management of these digestive problems due to its ability to stimulate collagen synthesis. We’re talking about the most abundant protein in the body, which is part of all tissues. However, most of the foods that contain this element have an irritant potential or are very acidic.

Because of this, it may be a good strategy to resort to supplementation. This will help the stomach wounds to heal and the situation internally to normalize.

Get to know more: A Healthy Diet for Gastritis

Prohibited foods in gastritis and ulcer

Some foods and drinks should be totally avoided, in order to reduce the symptoms of gastritis and ulcers. Almost all of them aren’t recommended in the context of almost any nutritional guideline, as they don’t provide any quality nutrients.

  • Alcohol: This substance is toxic, regardless of the dose consumed. It’s inflammatory and increases the incidence of many chronic and complex pathologies. This is evidenced by research published in the journal Drug Metabolism Reviews.
  • Spicy foods: Although beneficial to health due to their ability to activate the metabolism, they have an irritant potential. If there’s damage to the digestive tract linings, they should be avoided in order to control the symptoms.
  • Sauces: These are usually very fatty, which delays gastric emptying. They may also contain artificial additives, elements that can damage the diversity and density of the intestinal microbiota.
  • Ultra-processed foods: All foodstuffs with a high content of trans fatty acids should be excluded. These elements increase internal inflammation and oxidation, leading to DNA damage.
Spicy food.
Spicy spices irritate the gastric mucosa. This could increase acid production and intensify symptoms.

Improve your diet to control gastritis and ulcers

A number of foods can make gastritis and ulcer management easier. Others, however, will cause symptoms to become more intense and damage to worsen. For this reason, it’s key to optimize the diet to emphasize the consumption of recommended products.

In this way, the need to include drugs in the routines can be avoided, which in the medium-term, benefits the functioning of the organism. Finally, keep in mind that it isn’t only the diet that matters when it comes to facilitating coexistence with digestive or intestinal pathologies. It’ll also be necessary to promote a series of healthy habits as a whole.

It’s vital that you practice physical exercise on a regular basis. This prevents you from putting on weight, as this can alter the internal inflammatory levels and predispose the body to the appearance of pathologies.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Holscher H. D. (2017). Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut microbes8(2), 172–184.
  • Bauer, J., Biolo, G., Cederholm, T., Cesari, M., Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., Morley, J. E., Phillips, S., Sieber, C., Stehle, P., Teta, D., Visvanathan, R., Volpi, E., & Boirie, Y. (2013). Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association14(8), 542–559.
  • Le Daré, B., Lagente, V., & Gicquel, T. (2019). Ethanol and its metabolites: update on toxicity, benefits, and focus on immunomodulatory effects. Drug metabolism reviews51(4), 545–561.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.