For years people with indigestion and stomach issues would be told to drink milk to settle their stomachs, without realising this could in fact make things much worse. Instead of lining the stomach or neutralising the acid, Dairy actually produces more acid, which in turn then irritates the stomach lining.
For many Gastritis sufferers’ Dairy foods such as Cheese, Milk and Eggs can be a trigger for their symptoms. So what alternatives can you have that won’t affect your stomach?
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Best Milk for Gastritis
There are some excellent alternatives to cow’s milk these days, most of which are generally tolerated well by people that have stomach issues like Gastritis or those that can’t tolerate dairy.
Is Almond milk good for Gastritis?
This is a favourite of mine and generally the one I use every morning with my oatmeal. When I have had gastritis flares, I am able to use this as a milk alternative and don’t suffer any unwanted side effects. It is generally considered the best-tolerated milk alternative as it is more alkaline.
Benefits of Almond milk
- Low in Calories
- Low in sugar – If you buy unsweetened, lots of Almond milk does have sugar added so check the packaging carefully.
- High in Vitamin E – This helps inflammation in the body, so can be very helpful to Gastritis sufferers
- Good source of Calcium – People often worry that Dairy alternatives won’t be as high in Calcium, but a majority of manufacturers add calcium to their Almond milk so it’s still an excellent way to get your daily intake.
Is Oat milk good for Gastritis?
Oat Milk is another great alternative to Almond milk and is one that I have used regularly over the years. Some people on a Facebook group I follow for Gastritis issues don’t tolerate it as well as Almond milk, but of course, everyone is different. It has a lovely creamy texture.
Benefits of Oat milk
- Vegan friendly
- Gluten-free – Although you do need to check this, as some Oat milk are manufactured in factories that are not Gluten-free environments. It should say on the packaging.
- Good for your heart – It contains beta-glucans, this soluble fibre can be beneficial for your heart.
- Good source of Vitamin – Most Oat milks have added Vitamin B, something that Gastritis sufferers can be lacking.
Homemade Oat Milk
You can easily make your own oat milk, which has the benefit of you knowing exactly what is in it. If you are following a strict Gastritis diet, this can be very important.
- You simply blend some rolled oats (1 cup) with 3 cups of water for about 4—45 seconds.
- Then sieve through a cheesecloth/muslin cloth.
- You can keep the milk in the fridge, and it should last for 4-5 days.
I sometimes add a couple of dates to my mixture, they add a natural sweetness and are generally tolerated by people with digestive issues.
Is Rice Milk Good for Gastritis ?
- Hypoallergenic – The most hypoallergenic of Dairy-free milk. Nut allergy sufferers need to avoid soya and almond milk. Rice milk is usually tolerated well for people with diet sensitivities.
- Low fat and Cholesterol free – A great option for people on a low-fat diet or who have other dietary restrictions.
- Contains antioxidants – It’s full of antioxidants that help your immune system
- Soya milk
- Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids – These acids are great for brain health, and it’s thought that they may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Heart health – Soya milk is full of potassium, which can help keep to lower blood pressure. It can also help to lower cholesterol levels.
Is Lactose free milk good for Gastritis?
If you like your milk to taste like …. Well, milk then this is a good choice, it still has that cow’s milk flavour, but it has no Lactose ( the natural sugar found in Dairy), this sugar can be hard for some people to digest and can give them some unpleasant symptoms like diarrhoea, gas and bloating.
Dairy free alternative foods
Dairy-free spreads – There is a great selection in the supermarkets these days and aren’t generally hard to find. They usually contain Olive oil, Soya, Coconut oil and Sunflower oils. If using for baking I find Coconut oil tends to work well.
Dairy-free cheese – (Or look for Vegan cheese)
There is so much choice out there these days. I used to struggle to find Dairy-free cheese but now it seems to be popping up everywhere. There are various types of cheese containing all sorts of ingredients. Nuts are often used and one of my favourites is cashew nut cheese. But you will also find dairy-free cheese made from Soya, Coconut and root vegetables.
Is Yoghurt good for Gastritis?
I have found yoghurt very beneficial when healing from Gastritis. Eating a live yoghurt each day that had probiotics (good bacteria) in it, really helped with my digestive issues like bloating and constipation.
Adding a dollop to your cereal in the morning or having it as a mid-afternoon snack mixed with some banana are great ways to help your stomach.
There are lots of Dairy-free alternatives available now too.
Whichever one you choose, avoid buying the ones with added fruit or flavoured varieties. They are generally filled with sugar, instead, buy it plain and unsweetened and add your own fruit and maybe a drizzle of honey.
Is Activia Yoghurt good for Gastritis?
I have used Activia in the past and I personally don’t get on with it very well. I avoid the sweetened and flavoured ones but I just don’t feel good after eating them, it just upsets my stomach a little, this is generally only when I am having a Gastritis flare up though. If I have one when my stomach is settled I am fine with it. I know a lot of people have great results though so it’s worth trying it.
Activia yoghurt has become hugely popular over recent years and people often want to know what makes it so different to other yoghurts? The main difference is that it contains Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010, also known as Bifidus Regularis, which is a healthy bacteria only found in Activia. Studies were done to prove the benefits of this bacteria, but it was inconclusive and the researchers felt more studies needed to be carried out, so we will need to wait to find out the results on that one.
But Activia and other live Yoghurts are certainly helpful for many people with digestive issues like Gastritis, as I mention above just avoid the ones filled with sugars and added flavours.
Calcium and Gastritis
The problem with not having Dairy is that it can mean you might not be getting enough Calcium in your diet. Calcium is very important for strong bones and helps us avoid getting osteoporosis.
So, it’s a good idea to make sure the Dairy alternative you’re taking has been fortified with Calcium.
Food’s high in Calcium
Finding foods that have high levels of Calcium is a great way to get the right nutrients without the possible side effects from supplements.
- Leafy green vegetables – such as Spinach and Kale
- Nuts – Almonds are particularly good
- Soy milk
- Sesame seeds
- Oranges and orange juice
The other option is to take a Calcium supplement, two of the main types are Calcium citrate and Calcium carbonate.
Calcium Citrate – People with digestive issues such as IBS and Gastritis do better with Calcium Citrate as it’s easier to digest. It’s common to have symptoms from Calcium such as Gas and bloating, but the Citrate tablets tend to be tolerated better.
Calcium Carbonate – These actually contain more calcium than the Citrate tablets but generally will give the user more side effects. So, if you have digestive issues already it’s better to avoid these.