Lemon for gastritis and stomach ulcer

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Can you eat citrus fruits for gastritis, ulcer and heartburn?


Doubts about whether lemon and citrus are good for gastritis

Hi, I have chronic gastritis and a doctor told me that citrus fruits make me bad, except lemon. I wanted to ask your opinion about it. Many thanks in advance for all your information.

* Consultation received through the Facebook page of Botanical online.

Photo of lemon

Photo of lemon

Why citrus are not recommended for gastritis and ulcer?

It is true that in the diet for gastritis or ulcer, it is often recommended to avoid acidic fruits, such as orange, lemon, sour apples, tomatoes,…

This is because fruit acid lowers the pH of the stomach and increase gastric acidity.

This property is beneficial because it facilitates digestion, but in sensitive stomachs, these acids produce more pain as the acidity increases. It is the opposite effect of stomach-protecting medications. Therefore, if you have an empty stomach, it is best to take low-acid foods.

Is lemon good for the stomach if there is gastritis?

half a lemon

Photo of half a lemon

As explained above, some fruits have acids that produce acidity. Among the acids in fruits, citric acid has the most acidity, because it has three acidic groups in its molecule.

lemon squeezed in salad

Photo of lemon squeezed in salad

In response to your query, in principle we see no reason for your doctor “not to recommend acidic fruits” and “recommend the lemon”, since as we indicated, lemon is the most acidic of all fruits because of their acid content citric.

For this reason lemon water is used as digestive, because citric acid is strong and helps to digest food.

Why is lemon sometimes recommended?

Because the use of stomach protectors makes digestion longer and longer. In those cases, a little lemon speeds up this digestive process.

Therefore, our recommendation would be to avoid eating acidic fruits on an empty stomach, but they can be taken during or after meals, with other foods in the stomach, because it does not produce as much acidity (it is counteracted by the presence of food) and helps to digest. This may be why your doctor has recommended it to you.

Conclusion: Is it good or bad to take citrus fruits in sensitive stomachs?

A recommendation of this type should always be personalized, as it depends on the medical assessment. In general, we recommend that you:

Chew foods very well and cook them for a long time to facilitate digestion (boiled, steamed, soft cooking, avoid plates and burned). Very good boiled potatoes, virgin olive oil, steamed or mashed carrots, baked apples, apple compote, hummus from very cooked chickpeas, etc. No vegetarians: eggs, white meat, etc.

potatoes boiled with oil

Photo of potatoes boiled with oil, good food for the stomach

At first do not take acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemons, oranges, citrus fruits, etc. for at least 2 weeks or until you consult your doctor or dietitian (according to your healthcare professional’s opinion, analyze your case personally).

In the treatment of gastritis it is recommended to follow a food as respectful as possible with the stomach. For example, eating boiled potatoes, vegetable soups, egg, virgin oil, avocado, walnuts, fruits, baked apples, applesauce, almonds, etc. And avoiding spicy foods, too hot foods, lots of salt, lots of fat, etc.

*More information:

Lemon edible properties

Lemon juice properties

Lemon for weight loss

Lemon on an empty stomach

Infusion of lemon and honey

Lemon essential oil

punto rojo More information on lemon

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.