Hiatal Hernia Diet Menu: Top 10 Foods to Eat!

Hiatal Hernia Diet

Since heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia, it is not unusual for people to find that making dietary changes can help to bring about some symptom relief. But, it is important to understand that while a hiatal hernia diet may help to prevent the recurrence of rising stomach acid and the uncomfortable symptoms associated with it, dietary changes alone do not help or treat the internal hernia. A hiatal hernia and GERD often go hand in hand, however, and the unnatural placement of the stomach as a result of the condition can make acid related symptoms more pronounced.

A diet for hiatal hernia symptoms often includes two separate approaches, with the first being acid reflux foods to avoid. Some trigger foods such as those that are very fatty or oily (think deep fried) as well as those that are very spicy are good things to avoid on a hiatal hernia diet. Many dairy products are also worth staying away from; particularly high fat versions (although many find that enjoying low or no fat dairy products are fine and do not bring about symptoms). Carbonated beverages as well as highly caffeinated beverages like coffee are also not ideal parts of a hiatal hernia diet. Specific trigger foods include tomatoes, garlic and onions as well as both peppermint and spearmint.

A diet for hiatal hernia tends to include more whole and fresh foods prepared in other methods than frying. Fruits and vegetables are often at the top of the list for inclusion as well as whole grains. It is important to remember that using dietary changes for hiatal hernia relief means both choosing the right foods as well as choosing the right seasonings and methods of preparation. So for instance, while selecting lean meats is important, it is not helpful if the lean meats are covered in spice and deep fried.

Additionally, a hiatal hernia diet works best along with healthy lifestyle changes. These can include tried and true hiatal hernia remedies such as sipping room temperature water if symptoms present as well as sleeping properly with the head slightly elevated for maximum symptom relief. Stress has been linked to hiatal hernias and therefore stress management can also be an important part of treating the condition.

Starting a hiatal hernia diet can be challenging, but it does offer a tremendous amount of room for creativity and experimentation. Picking the right foods is the best way to start, and deciding how to combine them into flavorful yet non-irritating combinations can quickly follow. Consider our favorite top ten picks for edibles to include as a part of a hiatal hernia diet to start to pave the road to symptom relief!

1. Chicken and Fish: Any type of lean meat is acceptable while on a diet geared towards reducing hiatal hernia symptoms. However, both chicken and fish are ideal because they are not only low in fat; they are also very versatile meats. Fish in particular not only provides a tasty protein option but also boasts a wealth of nutrients that are important to many vital physiological processes.

2. Apples: It has been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and while doctor visits may not actually be reduced by consuming apples regularly, their benefits cannot be denied. Packed with nutrients including bowel regulating fiber, apples are a low acid producing fruit that can also help provide the body with energy.

3. Bananas: While the yellow fruit is best known for its role in combating muscle cramps thanks to a healthy heaping dose of potassium, they are also great inclusions in a hiatal hernia diet. They are low acid producing foods and an excellent alternative to the best avoided altogether acid producing citrus options yet provide many of the same nutrients.

4. Carrots: They might not be everyone’s favorite vegetable, but many people with a hiatal hernia find that they are an excellent veggie for staving off hiatal hernia symptoms. Responsible for less acid production and more healthy nutrient content, they are ideal for keeping acid in its place. Carrots should be steamed with water only during cooking however and it is important to skip the butter!

5. Water: Although not necessarily a food, water is essential for helping to prevent hernia symptoms. Not only is proper hydration essential to proper physiological processing, water is one of the quickest home remedies for hiatal hernia symptoms. Drinking water regularly is important to a hiatal hernia diet, and it can serve in place of carbonated beverages or those that are caffeinated.

6. Tea: Drinking tea for hiatal hernia relief is both accepted and shunned. It is advisable by most to avoid tea altogether if a hernia is present (even decaffeinated versions). However, some people do find that decaf green tea is an acceptable beverage that does not bring about symptoms. Additionally, naturalists note that concoctions like slippery elm tea may help provide beneficial mucus coatings to the affected area and chamomile tea may provide anti inflammatory benefits as well.

7. Cinnamon: Since adding spices and seasonings is not normally advisable in heavy doses for people with a hiatal hernia, sweetening things up a bit with nature’s digestive aid may do just the trick. Cinnamon is thought to help calm and soothe the stomach and may help to keep acid related symptoms at bay.

8. Green Beans and Peas: Most vegetables are acceptable on a hiatal hernia diet. However some are better than others thanks to the fact that they are less likely to create acid relate symptoms. Both peas and green beans are suitable veggies and when prepared properly are not only low in fat but also nutritionally powerful.

9. Grains: In general, grains are ideal for helping to promote healthy digestion and keep all gastrointestinal processes in check. The best choices for those with a hiatal hernia are oatmeal and bran, brown rice and pastas.

10. Certain Snack Food: Candy Bars and fried potato chips are not recommended parts of a hiatal hernia diet. The high fat and sugar content make them poor choices and more likely to bring about uncomfortable symptoms. However, there are some snacks that are suitable for those managing the symptoms of a hiatal hernia including salt pretzels and rice cakes. Graham crackers as well as baked potato chips can also be included, although their intake should be in moderation.