Eating to relieve hiatal hernia symptoms

November 12, 2012

Eating to relieve hiatal hernia symptoms

A hiatal hernia is caused when a section of the stomach bulges through a weakness or hole in the diaphragm, there may be no initial hiatal hernia symptoms – if the hernia is small it may even be unnoticed. Once the hiatal hernia becomes bigger it may, however, cause the unpleasant hiatal hernia symptoms associated with heartburn and acid indigestion – including chest and abdominal pain. This is due to the collection of stomach acid in the oesophagus.

Dietary changes to improve hiatal hernia symptoms

There are many ways of reducing hiatal hernia symptoms – even sitting up straight after eating will offer some relief.

Limiting the intake of known trigger foods will greatly reduce the risk of heartburn or acid indigestion developing. Trigger foods, which may well vary from individual to individual, include the following -

  • Fatty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods
  • Caffeine

The use of over the counter remedies will also be beneficial in alleviating hiatal hernia symptoms.


Lean meat is beneficial to general health as well as in reducing the symptoms associated with a hiatus hernia. Choosing meat such as extra lean beef, skinless chicken breasts, steak are all healthy choices. Eating more baked or steamed fish and vegetarian options will add variety to any eating plan. When cooking for a hiatus hernia diet excessive spices and tomato-based sauces should be avoided.

Fruit and vegetables

The acidic nature of a number of fruits and vegetables makes them unsuitable for a hiatus hernia diet plan. Citrus fruits and juices should be excluded and replaced with fruits such as apples or bananas, peaches, apricots, melon, berries etc. Sauces, dressings and the juice of tomato should be avoided. Beneficial vegetables include carrots, baked potatoes, cabbage, peas, broccoli and cauliflower.

Because of their acidic nature, citrus fruits should be avoided with a hiatal hernia. Instead, eat apples or bananas (fresh or dried) and stay away from juices like grapefruit, orange and tomato juice. Smart vegetable selections include carrots, baked potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and peas. Salad dressings made with tomato should be avoided.


Choosing whole grains is a something all of us should do as part of a health well balanced diet, for individuals with a hiatus hernia the consumption of oatmeal, bran cereals, rice, corn bread and multigrain bread are all good choices.


Many individuals suffering with the symptoms of a hiatus hernia find that sweet dairy products such as milkshakes cause a flare up of their condition. Choosing low fat or fat free dairy products or soy products may prevent any problems occurring.


Caffeinated beverages – including sodas – may irritate a hiatus hernia; many individuals report that decaffeinated products also cause symptoms to develop. In order to keep symptoms to a minimum it is probably best to avoid soda, coffee and alcohol – water may seem to be a boring and bland option but is probably the safest. Herbal teas are a good choice although peppermint should be avoided – rosemary and liquorice teas are noted for their soothing qualities.


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