8 Foods To Avoid With H. Pylori Infection

Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.

Diet is a very essential part of the treatment of your H. Pylori infection. Certain foods can help your H. Pylori gastritis, while other foods may worsen your condition.

 

Today we will share a list of foods to avoid H. Pylori infection [Based on scientific evidence]. Avoid the foods below completely or at least consume them moderately. We also included some alternatives for you to eat instead.

foods to avoid with H. pylori

 

Summary of foods to avoid with H. Pylori gastritis

1- Caffeine

  • Coffee (Espresso is highest in caffeine content)
  • Energy drinks.
  • Tea.
  • Soft drinks.
  • Caffeinated water. (for example, Waterjoe ®)
  • Chocolate.
  • Cocoa.

2- Citrus fruits.

  • Lemon (better to avoid completely).
  • Oranges (you can take them with caution).
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit.

3- Fatty and fried foods

  • Fatty cuts of beef, pork, or lamb.
  • Bacon fat, ham fat, and lard.
  • Fatty dairy products such as cheese, whole milk, and butter.
  • Nuts such as cashews and walnuts.
  • Greasy foods.

4- spicy foods.

  • Peppers (especially black peppers)
  • Spicy or chili sauce.
  • Curry.
  • Many Asian recipes a stir-fry.

5- Carbonated (soft) drinks.

  • Coca-Cola, Pepsi.
  • Fanta, Sprite.
  • Carbonated alcoholic drinks.

6- Alochol

  • Avoid drinking alochol in large amounts.
  • Although some studies found that drinking a small amount can help H. Pylori eradication may induce gastritis.

7- Tomatoes (& its products).

  • Tomatoes (especially row tomatoes).
  • Tomato sauce and Ketchup (especially hot type).
  • Tomato juice.

8- Other Acidic foods

  • Corn oil.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Soy sauce.
  • Vinegar.
  • Sugar, molasses, and aspartame.
  • Maple syrup, processed honey.
  • Salt.

1– Caffeine (the most important food to avoid with H Pylori Infection).

Caffeine is famous for inducing gastric upset. You must avoid caffeine with H. pylori gastritis or limit its consumption.

Caffeine can induce gastritis by Increasing acid production inside your stomach. This can worsen Helicobacter Pylori infection and gastritis [ref].

Highest caffeine-containing foods and drinks: [ref]

  • Coffee (Espresso is highest in caffeine content)
  • Energy drinks.
  • Tea.
  • Soft drinks.
  • Caffeinated water. (for example, Waterjoe ®)
  • Chocolate.
  • Cocoa.
  • Also found in certain medications.

Alternatives to caffeine:

  • Decaffeinated coffee.
  • Switch to other drinks not containing caffeine.

MORE: Don’t Eat Chocolate after Hiatal Hernia Surgery (2 main reasons).

2– Citrus fruits [Controversial role in H. Pylori]

Some fruits are highly acidic, most importantly citrus fruits. You must avoid these fruits with H. Pylori infection as they add acidity to your stomach and worsen gastritis.

However, these citrus fruits contain a high amount of Vitamin C, which is thought protective against H. Pylori [ref].

Vitamin C is very important for your immunity against H. Pylori, and cutting citrus fruits completely may not help to eradicate H. pylori. This 2018 review article concluded that including vitamin c (ascorbic acid, or ascorbate) may help H. pylori eradication, especially with antibiotic-resistant H. Pylori.

[Source]

They include: [ref]

  • Lemon (better to avoid completely).
  • Oranges (you can take them with caution).
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit.

Citrus fruits are acidic in nature, and eating too much of them can be problematic if you have h pylori infection. Lemon is the most “acidic” food to avoid. But oranges can be consumed in small amounts with caution.

Beneficial fruits to eat instead:

  • Guava (richest source of vitamin C, which can help H. pylori eradication)
  • Apples.
  • Papaya.
  • Banana.
  • Melon.

3– Fatty foods and fried foods

Fatty foods should be avoided with H. pylori gastritis as they:

  • They are more acidic, triggering gastritis.
  • The presence of fat in the small intestine makes your stomach more sluggish in motility → this lets food stay longer inside your stomach → more exposure of your gastric wall to irritant food and acid → worsening of h pylori gastritis. [ref].
  • Also, fat can cause heartburn as it relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter causing gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD).

Examples of fatty foods to avoid with H pylori:

  • Fatty cuts of beef, pork, or lamb.
  • Bacon fat, ham fat, and lard.
  • Fatty dairy products such as cheese, whole milk, and butter.
  • Nuts such as cashews and walnuts.
  • Greasy foods.

4-Spicy foods.

Spices and spicy food can aggravate H. Pylori gastritis as they:

  • Irritate the gastric wall, leading to inflammation and epigastric pain.
  • Many spicy foods contain a compound called “capsaicin,” which slows down the rate of digestion, and as a result, food stays longer inside your stomach, leading to more irritation. [ref]
  • Also, it triggers Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

Examples of common spicy foods:

  • Peppers (especially black peppers)
  • Spicy or chili sauce.
  • Curry.
  • Many Asian recipes a stir-fry.

5- Carbonated drinks.

This 2011 study found a strong link between soft drinks and h pylori gastritis. Consumers of soft drinks presented 63% of the H.pylori positive group versus only 23% of the H. pylori-negative group.

SOFT DRINKS AVOID WITH H PYLORI

[Source]

The above result may indicate that soft drinks may play a role in getting h pylori infection. Avoiding soft drinks may help with H. pylori infection.

Also, carbonated drinks may increase the risk of reflux disease (a common association with H. pylori infection).

Examples of soft drinks to avoid with H pylori infection:

6- alcohol (its Role in H.Pylori infection Controversial).

The role of alcohol and whether to avoid it or not is still uncertain.

Evidence exists that alcohol(especially if consumed in moderate amounts) can eliminate H pylori infection. This meta-analysis found that consuming a small amount seems to eradicate H.pylori infection.

However, the same meta-analysis found that larger doses may aggravate the condition (Dose-related U-shaped relationship).

[Source]

On the other hand, alcohol(especially wine and beer) was found to increase the amount of stomach acid, leading to the triggering of H. Pylori gastritis symptoms [ref]

We think it is better to avoid alcoholic beverages, especially if you are already taking the H. Pylori eradication Medications or have already eradicated it.

7– Tomatoes, sauce, & Ketchup.

Another type of food to avoid with H. Pylori is tomatoes and their products. Because of its acidity, it may trigger gastritis and worsen your condition.

Try to restrict tomatoes and tomato products to as much as you can. Examples include:

  • Tomatoes (especially row tomatoes).
  • Tomato sauce and Ketchup (especially hot type).
  • Tomato juice.

8-Other acidic foods

Some other foods and drinks are acidic. Acidic foods should be avoided with h pylori gastritis as they increase the symptoms.

Examples:

  • Corn oil.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Soy sauce.
  • Vinegar.
  • Sugar, molasses, and aspartame.
  • Maple syrup, processed honey.
  • Salt: there is research evidence that consuming table salt increases heartburn and gastritis [ref], but the exact cause or mechanism is still unknown.

Bonus 1: Does onion and Garlic Help H Pylori gastritis?

The onion and garlic rule in H. pylori infection is controversial; some studies found a beneficial effect of consuming onion and garlic as they can inhibit the growth of H. pylori and protect against gastric cancer [ref].

However, consumption of onion and garlic (especially the raw form) is linked to the triggering of gastritis and GERD [ref].

So, regarding the uncertainty about its role in H. Pylori infection, we recommend a trial and error approach. Keep a food diary and check symptoms after consumption of onion or garlic. If there is an increase in gastritis symptoms, you should avoid eating them.

Bonus 2: Medications to avoid with H. pylori infection:

Some medications are known to induce gastritis. Taking them with H. pylori infection can cause further damage.

If you are suffering from H. Pylori gastritis. Always consult your doctor about any medication you currently use or plan to use.

Examples of medications to avoid with H. Pylori infection:

  • Aspirin (Acetyl Salicylic acid): especially in concentrations of more than 300 mg).
  • Other Non-Steroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) include Ibuprofen (Advil ®), Ketoprofen, and Naproxen.

[HINT: You can use a safer alternative such as Paracetamol]

  • Prescription corticosteroids (such as Prednisolone).
  • Iron tablets and supplements.
  • Potassium supplements.
  • Certain antibiotics.
  • Cancer chemotherapy.

More:
What to Expect After H. Pylori Treatment? Gastroenterologist Explains.

6 Foods That Can Kill H. pylori Naturally.