Foods that stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, such as coffee, black tea and cola drinks should be avoided during the treatment of H. pylori , as well as foods that irritate the stomach, such as pepper, and processed and fatty meats, such as bacon and sausage.
The H. pylori is a bacterium which lodges in the stomach and usually causes gastritis, but, in some cases, this infection can also lead to other problems such as stomach cancer, ulcers, vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia, diabetes and a fatty liver. So, the treat
Best foods during treatment
The foods that help in the treatment are:
Probiotics are present in foods such as yogurt and kefir, and can also be taken as supplements, in powder or capsule form. Probiotics are formed by good bacteria that live in the intestine and stimulate the production of substances that fight this bacterium and decrease the side effects that appear during the treatment of the disease, such as diarrhea, constipation and poor digestion.
2. Omega-3 e omega-6
Omega-3 and omega-6 help to reduce stomach inflammation and prevent the growth of H. pylori, helping to treat the disease. These good fats can be found in foods like fish oil, olive oil, carrot seeds and grapefruit seed oil.
3. Fruits and vegetables
Non-acidic fruits and boiled vegetables should be eaten during the treatment of H. pylori because they are easily digested and help to improve bowel function. On the other hand, certain fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries help to fight the growth of this bacterium and so can be eaten moderately.
4. Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
These 3 vegetables, especially broccoli, contain substances called isothiocyanates which can help prevent cancer and fight H. pylori, reducing the spread of this bacterium in the intestine. These vegetables are easy to digest and help reduce gastric pain caused during treatment, with 70 g of broccoli a day being recommended for the best results.
5. White meats and fish
White meats and fish contain a lower concentration of fat, which helps with digestion and prevents the food from staying too long in the stomach, causing pain and a feeling of being full during treatment. The best way to eat these meats is by boiling them with salt and a bay leaf to add flavor without causing acidity to the stomach. If grilling the meat or fish, use olive oil or 1 tablespoon of water. Roasting meat, without oil, in the oven is also possible, but fried chicken and fish aren’t advisable.
How to relieve the treatment’s unpleasant symptoms
The treatment to fight H. pylori usually lasts for 7 days and is done with the use of proton pump inhibitor drugs such as Omeprazole and Pantoprazole, as well as antibiotics such as Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin. These are taken twice a day, and common side effects are:
1. Metallic taste in the mouth
This can happen early on in the treatment, possibly getting worse over time. To help treat this problem, season salads with vinegar and sprinkle baking soda and salt on the toothpaste before brushing your teeth. This will help both neutralize the acids in the mouth and produce more saliva, which can get rid of the metallic taste.
2. Nausea and stomach pain
Nausea and stomach pain usually appear from the second day of treatment onwards, so to prevent them from happening, it is important to drink plenty of water, rest, and eat easily digestible foods such as yogurt, white cheeses, and cream crackers.
Drinking ginger tea shortly after waking up and eating 1 slice of toast or 3 cream crackers, as well as not drinking huge amounts of liquids in one sitting, are good ways of relieving morning sickness.
Diarrhea usually appears after the third day of treatment, because antibiotics, in addition to eliminating H. pylori, also end up damaging the intestinal flora and causing diarrhea.
Eating 1 plain yogurt a day and easily digestible foods such as soups, purees, white rice, fish and white meats is a good way to stop diarrhea and restore the intestinal flora.
What not to eat during treatment
During treatment it is important to avoid eating foods that can irritate the stomach or that may stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, as well as foods that worsen side effects, such as the “stuffed” feeling and poor digestion. So, it is important to avoid eating the following:
- Coffee, chocolate and black tea, because they contain caffeine, a substance that stimulates stomach movement and gastric juice secretion, causing more irritation;
- Soft drinks and fizzy drinks, as they distend the stomach and can cause pain and acid reflux;
- Alcoholic beverages, because they increase stomach inflammation;
- Sour fruits like lemon, orange and pineapple, as they can cause stomach pain and heartburn;
- Pepper and spicy foods such as garlic, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, Worcester sauce, soy sauce, garlic sauce and stock cubes;
- Fatty meats, fried foods and yellow cheeses, because they are rich in fat, which makes digestion difficult and increase the time that food stays in the stomach;
- Processed meats and canned foods, as they have a lot of preservatives and chemical additives that can irritate the stomach and intestine, increasing inflammation.
So, drinking more water and eating white cheeses and fresh fruits that can help to reduce stomach inflammation and regulate intestinal transit is recommended.
Diet menu during the treatment of H. pylori
The table below has an example of a 3-day menu to be followed during treatment:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
1 plain yogurt + 1 slice of bread with white cheese and an egg.
Strawberry smoothie made with skimmed milk and oats.
1 glass of milk + 1 scrambled egg with white cheese.
2 slices of papaya + 1 teaspoon of chia seeds.
1 banana + 7 cashew nuts.
1 glass of green juice + 3 cream crackers.
4 tablespoons of rice + 2 tablespoons of beans + chicken with tomato sauce + cabbage salad.
Mashed potato + 1/2 piece of salmon + salad with steamed broccoli.
Vegetable soup made with cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and chicken.
1 glass of skimmed milk + cereal.
1 plain yogurt + bread with red fruit jam.
Chicken sandwich with ricotta cream.
After the treatment, it is important to remember to always thoroughly clean fruits and vegetables before eating because H. pylori may be present in raw vegetables and infect the stomach again.