Foods to Heal an Inflamed Stomach lining

Foods to Heal an Inflamed Stomach lining

How would you chose the right foods to heal an inflamed stomach lining? Maybe you’ve had a bad stomach virus or a sore stomach that won’t go away? If so, read on, as it’s likely that you are experiencing an inflamed stomach lining, poor gut health, or gastritis.

What is Gastritis?

Gastritis is when the stomach lining has become inflamed. This can be due to a bacterial infection, an overgrowth of bad gut bacteria, repeated gastro episodes, a disease, or a dependence on drugs or antibiotics. It can be quick, or develop slowly over a longer timeframe and can last a few days, weeks, or longer. Gastritis symptoms are generally a burning stomach pain after eating, a loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea or vomiting (possibly during exercise) and abdominal pain or bloating. It’s always a good idea to visit your GP for a diagnosis as there can be other causes and serious side effects. To read more about the causes and symptoms, pop over to read our article on gastritis. 

You might also have a H.Pylori bacteria infection in your gut. This is quite common and left untreated it can cause severe stomach inflammation and ulcers. Your doctor can test and prescribe treatment, but ensure that you follow a strict diet during the first few months after diagnosis to help your digestive tract heal and keep the bacteria at bay.

Healing your stomach lining 

When it comes to actually healing your stomach lining, it can take time, however avoiding any overly processed, sugary or salty foods, alcohol, drugs (especially anti inflammatory) and staying hydrated can help.

The following food choices can really help to heal your stomach lining:

  • If bad bacteria overgrowth is the culprit, that is, your bad gut bacteria outnumber your good bacteria which is resulting in inflammation and digestion issues, you will need to change your diet amongst other health overhauls. The right foods to include are lots of fruit, veg, legumes, beans, and wholegrains.
  • A 14 day gut clean up might be in order, or you can just check out our list of foods high in prebiotics, probiotics and fibre.
  • Red meat can be harder to digest and can stress an inflamed stomach, so it’s a good idea to reduce your red meat intake, swap it with chicken or other good lean protein and iron sources, and slowly re introduce when symptoms dissipate. For non meat protein sources you may want to increase intake of beans and other legumes, soy foods, fish and eggs.
  • We also recommend trying digestive enzymes which can assist with bloating, gas and IBS symptoms. The crew at Nuzest have created a range which is perfect for IBS, whilst ensuring they are free from all additives which can cause further GI symptoms. They also have a digestive support Pea Protein which doesn’t contain any nasties, is naturally sweetened with coconut sugar not flavouring, and has probiotics. Perfect for protein supplementation whilst you are getting your IBS under control and avoiding all animal products!
  • Vitamin C is one of the best nutrients you can add to your diet to try and eradicate any bacteria infections and to reduce oxidative stress, which is often the culprit of an inflamed stomach.
  • Cut out the salt as it can cause damage to the lining of your stomach but also increase the amount of bad bacteria in your gut.
  • Avoid nurofen, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are a terrible culprit when it comes to further damaging your stomach lining and can often be the actual cause of gastritis
  • If you are lactose intolerant but tolerant of dairy other than milk, there is some evidence that intolerance can worsen with gastritis, so its worth keeping an eye on this and potentially reducing your intake for a few days. Swapping to soy alternatives for a few weeks has been beneficial for a lot of people.
  • Good meat and protein choices are chicken and fish (preferably fresh), however keep an eye on your tolerance for fatty fish in the early days of the stomach lining recovery. Fats (even healthy fats) can irritate a damaged stomach lining.
  • Fibre is important as it moves food quickly through your GI tract to reduce irritation. Water is hence also important to move it along, but lots of small regular sips, and never with meals.
  • Another tip to reduce the harmful bacteria in your gut is to eat foods rich in flavonoids : apples, celery, cranberries (including cranberry juice), onions, garlic, and tea.
  • Cranberry juice is great at supressing the bad bacteria in your gut. It’s also great for treating urinary tract infections, so this old folk remedy is one to take seriously.
  • Sip Liquorice Root and/or chamomile tea
  • Many people believe that herbs can help reduce the inflammation of the stomach. Slippery elm, mastic, licorice and peppermint are known to help protect the stomach and speed up the recovery process.
  • Cook with Turmeric and ginger, they are both have great anti inflammatory properties (Turmeric is one of the best out there).
  • Eat dark leafy greens and foods high in B vitamins and calcium, such as almonds and beans. Vitamin B is absorbed through the stomach lining, so chances are you haven’t been getting enough of this important vitamin (which will affect not just energy levels, but your mental health and happiness as well)
  • Eat anti inflammatory antioxidant rich foods, including vegetables (such as squash and capsicum) as research supports their protection against inflammation in the presence of bad gut bacteria 
  • When it comes to eating wholegrains, keep an eye on Quinoa as it can irritate some people’s stomach lining
  • Take a look at any long term antibiotics and speak to your GP about a course of action.
  • Avoid refined foods such as breads, pasta and added sugar which are harder on your inflamed stomach lining
  • Avoid beverages that increase acid production and irritate stomach lining such as coffee and carbonated beverages. Sorry!
  • Excessive alcohol can cause gastritis, but abstaining from alcohol from 3-4 weeks in combination with other treatments can really help with inflammation and H.Pylori control (15).
  • Eat your fruit, don’t drink it. Very important to avoid citric fruit juices or any acidic foods.
  • Avoid fried or spicy foods which also irritate your inflamed stomach lining whilst it’s healing, then gently reintroduce
  • Foods high in fat tend to irritate stomach lining, including commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, donuts, processed foods, and margarine. Stick to healthy fats.
  • Some soups can also be high in fat and should be avoided whilst your stomach lining is healing.
  • Avoid cigarettes, as smoking can increase the incidence of H.Pylori infection and inflammation

Again, eating foods high in prebiotics, probiotics and fibre is going to be key to avoiding further stomach inflammation. Probiotics (supplements or food sources) have many benefits from settling digestive disorders, to weight loss, skin conditions, heart health and mental health. 

In addition to eating foods high in live probiotics you should also eat foods high in prebiotics and fibre, which provide food to your own gut probiotics to allow them to thrive. Read this article on the healthy gut food list – a high prebiotic, high fibre diet

Try Our 14 Day Healthy Gut Meal plan and Recipes

Our 14 Day healthy gut meal plan has been designed especially for those experiencing gut irritation and will help to heal an inflamed stomach lining. The recipes will nurture a healthy gut through their antioxidant and anti inflammatory ingredients. All full of prebiotics, probiotics, fibre, polyphenols, multi-grains, gut friendly fruit and vegetables. They’re NOT full of added sugars and artificial ingredients.

Nourishe 14 Day meal plan healthy gut

A sample of tasty recipes from the meal plan include:

Green Smoothie

Vanilla Turmeric Chia Pudding

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Bowl

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

Detox Salad

Butternut Squash Soup

Tempeh Taco Salad

Moroccan Chickpea & Pomegranate Salad

Salmon Beet & Dill Salad

Breakfast: Lemon Blueberry Chia Pudding
Snack: Beet Ginger Juice
Lunch: Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
Snack: Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Dinner: Thai Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

Keep an eye on what triggers discomfort in your stomach

As with all foods, it’s best to take note of what upsets your stomach and if something that should be healing actually upsets your stomach be sure to remove it from your diet.  It’s important to ensure that you aren’t overly restricting your nutrient intake so look for alternative sources in particular of protein, fat or fibre in your diet if you are removing anything for a few weeks.

Remember – increase the variety of foods after a few weeks, if you stay on a restricted diet your good gut bacteria won’t flourish. This can be one of the main culprits for a bad gut bacteria overgrowth and damaged stomach lining.

Other Tips for a healthy Stomach Lining

Once you’ve seen your GP, calmed down the symptoms of your gastritis it’s time to get serious about your diet. Ensure that you have plenty of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract to suppress the growth of bad bacteria.

More information such as this can be found in our nutrition guides which can be downloaded below


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