During the treatment for H. pylori your diet should consist in avoiding foods that stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, such as coffee, black tea and cola drinks, as well as foods that irritate the stomach, such as pepper, processed and fatty meats, such as bacon and sausage.
The H. pylori is a bacteria that is lodged in the stomach and usually causes gastritis, but in some cases, this infection can also lead to other problems such as ulcers, stomach cancer, vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia, diabetes and a fatty liver. So, when it is diagnosed, you will need to follow the treatment indicated by your doctor until the symptoms disappear.
Foods allowed in the treatment of H. pylori
The foods that help in the treatment are:
Probiotics are present in foods such as yogurt and kefir, and can also be consumed in supplements, in powder or capsule form. Probiotics are formed by good bacteria that inhabit the intestine and stimulate the production of substances that fight this bacteria 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
Consuming omega-3 and omega-6 helps 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
During the treatment of H. pylori you should consume non acidic fruits and cooked vegetables because they are easily digested and help to improve bowel function. But certain fruits like raspberry, strawberry, blackberry and blueberry help to fight the growth of this bacteria and so can be consumed 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 proliferation of this bacteria in the intestine. In addition, these vegetables are easy to digest and help reduce gastric discomfort caused during treatment. So, to achieve the desired effect, it is recommended you consume 70 g of broccoli a day.
5. White meats and fish
White meats and fish contain a lower concentration of fat, which facilitates digestion through the stomach and prevents the food from taking too long to digest, which can cause pain and a feeling of being stuffed during treatment. The best way to consume these meats is cooking them in water, salt and a bay leaf, to give it more flavor, without causing acidity to the stomach. If you decide to grill the meat or fish you should use olive oil or 1 tablespoon of water. You can also choose to roast the meat in the oven and never use oil or eat fried chicken and fish.
How to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms of the treatment
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 and antibiotics such as Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin. These medications are taken 2x / day, and in general there are side effects such as:
1. Metallic taste in the mouth
It appears early in the treatment and may worsen over the course of days. To help relieve this taste, you can season your salad with vinegar and, when brushing your teeth, sprinkle on the toothpaste baking soda and salt. This will help neutralize the acids in the mouth and help to produce more saliva, which can assist in eliminating the metallic taste.
2. Nausea and stomach pain
Nausea and stomach pain usually appear from the second day of treatment, and to avoid them it is important to drink plenty of water, rest, and consume easily digestible foods such as yogurt, white cheeses, and cream crackers.
To relieve morning sickness, one should take ginger tea on awakening, eat 1 slice of plain toasted bread or 3 salt and water crackers and avoid drinking large volumes of liquids at one time.
Diarrhea usually appears after the third day of treatment, as antibiotics, in addition to eliminating H. pylori, also end up damaging the intestinal flora, causing diarrhea.
To fight diarrhea and replenish the intestinal flora, you should eat 1 natural yogurt a day and eat easily digestible foods such as soups, purees, white rice, fish and white meats.
What not to eat during H.pylori treatment
During drug treatment it is important to avoid the consumption of foods that irritate the stomach or that stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, in addition to foods that worsen collateral symptoms such as feeling stuffed and poor digestion. So, it is important to avoid in your diet:
- Coffee, chocolate and black tea, because they contain caffeine, substance that stimulates stomach movement and gastric juice secretion, causing more irritation;
- Soft drinks and carbonated drinks, as they distend the stomach and can cause pain and reflux;
- Alcoholic beverages, because they increase stomach inflammation;
- Sour fruits like lemon, orange and pineapple, as they can cause pain and heartburn;
- Pepper and spicy foods such as garlic, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, English sauce, soy sauce, garlic sauce and diced condiments;
- 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 are rich in preservatives and chemical additives that can irritate the stomach and intestine, increasing inflammation.
So, it is recommended to increase the consumption of water, white cheeses and fresh fruits, which can help to reduce stomach inflammation and to regulate intestinal transit.
Diet menu during treatment of H. pylori
The table below has an example of a 3 day menu to be used during treatment:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 natural yogurt + 1 slice of bread with white cheese and an egg.||Strawberry vitamin with skimmed milk and oats.||1 glass of milk + 1 scrambled egg with white cheese.|
|Morning snack||2 slices of papaya + 1 teaspoon of chia seeds.||1 banana + 7 cashew nuts.||1 glass of green juice + 3 salt and water crackers.|
|Lunch/Dinner||4 tablespoons of rice + 2 tablespoons of beans + chicken with tomato sauce + cabbage salad.|
potato puree + 1/2 slice of salmon + salad with steamed broccoli.
|Vegetable soup with cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, zucchini and chicken.|
|Afternoon snack||1 glass of skimmed milk + cereal.||1 natural yogurt + bread with red fruit jam.||Chicken sandwich with ricotta cream.|
After the treatment, it is important to remember to thoroughly clean your fruits and vegetables before eating because H. pylori may be present in raw vegetables and infect the stomach again. Learn how can you be infected with H. pylori.