The Best Diet for Hiatal Hernia Sufferers

Are you suffering from the painful symptoms of a hiatal hernia? Discover the best diet to reduce your discomfort and improve your health. You’ll learn how to navigate the challenges of this condition as you create a healthier lifestyle.

Quick facts: Best Diet For Hiatal Hernia

  • ✅ Eating smaller meals throughout the day, rather than two or three large meals, can help relieve hiatal hernia symptoms. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ High fat, processed, and fried foods should be avoided in order to reduce hiatal hernia symptoms. (Harvard Health Publishing)
  • ✅ Eating foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, can reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. (Cleveland Clinic)
  • ✅ Eating beverages such as coffee, tea and alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to the development of hiatal hernia. (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • ✅ Eating probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kefir can help reduce inflammation in the body and help relieve hiatal hernia symptoms. (Healthline)


Hiatal hernia is a medical condition where the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm, causing symptoms such as heartburn and chest pain. For those who suffer from hiatal hernia, diet plays an important role in reducing their symptoms. A proper diet for hiatal hernia should ensure sufficient intake of essential nutrients while avoiding foods that can exacerbate the symptoms of this condition.

Some common dietary recommendations for people with hiatal hernia include:

  • Eating small meals and snacks throughout the day.
  • Avoiding acidic or spicy foods and carbonated drinks.
  • Limiting caffeine intake.
  • Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly.
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Avoiding trigger food such as onions, garlic, tomatoes and chocolate.
  • Including fiber-rich foods in your diet to help promote regular bowel movements.
  • Making lifestyle changes like exercising regularly can also help reduce hiatal hernia symptoms.

Causes of Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. Hiatal hernias are usually caused by a combination of factors, such as weakened diaphragm muscles and extra weight. Other causes include foods that relax or weaken the lower esophageal sphincter and weaken supporting structures in the abdomen and chest areas.This can cause acid reflux, which contributes to even more weakening of muscles and ligaments leading to further hernias. Intense exercise, excess weight, genetics, pregnancy, some medications, smoking and alcohol can also lead to hiatal hernia formation.

To help ease digestive discomfort from hiatal hernias, dietary changes are recommended:

  • Eating smaller meals more often rather than larger meals fewer times per day is recommended for reducing symptoms of hiatal hernia.
  • Avoiding spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol may also be beneficial for reducing symptoms of hiatal hernia.
  • Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help promote healthy digestion as well.

Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia is a condition where the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, resulting in pain and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms of hiatal hernia can include chest pain, heartburn, regurgitation of food or liquids, difficulty swallowing solid foods or liquids, abdominal bloating and belching. It is important to note that not all individuals will experience all of these symptoms.

The best diet for hiatal hernia sufferers focuses on low-fat meals and small portion sizes, as large meals can increase pressure in the abdomen and exacerbate symptoms. Eating slowly can also aid in digestion and reduce discomfort. Additionally, eating several small meals throughout the day may counteract frequent acid reflux episodes typically experienced with hiatal hernias.

It is also important to:

  • Limit caffeine intake as it may cause acid reflux flare ups.
  • Avoid fatty and fried foods as well as chocolate, alcohol and citrus fruits to help lessen symptoms associated with the condition.

Diet for Hiatal Hernia

Many people with hiatal hernia can experience both immediate and long-term relief of symptoms by adjusting their diets. Eating smaller meals more often and avoiding foods that are known to cause discomfort are important parts of treating hiatal hernia.

In this article, we will look at what foods to avoid and what foods to include in your diet for hiatal hernia:

Foods to Avoid

Hiatal hernia sufferers should take special care to avoid certain foods that may trigger a flare up of symptoms. Some of these foods include fried and fatty foods, spicy dishes, full-fat dairy products, tomato-based foods, citrus fruits and juices, peppermint and spearmint, chocolate and other caffeine sources like tea or soft drinks. Eating smaller meals more often can help reduce the pressure on the stomach sphincter that occurs when eating large meals.

Other foods to avoid including high fat meats like bacon or sausage, processed snacks such as potato chips or pretzels, high-fat dairy products such as whole milk yogurt or sour cream and pastries with a high fat content such as doughnuts. Carbonated drinks can also cause bloating so it is important to minimize consumption of these beverages. It is also important to cut back on alcohol consumption as this can further irritate the stomach lining.

Foods to Eat

The best diet for hiatal hernia sufferers is one that consists of mostly low-fat and non-acidic foods. This includes lean meats, fish, chicken, soy products, legumes, nuts, seeds and dairy alternatives. High fiber foods such as whole grains and fruits and vegetables can also be beneficial for those with hiatal hernias. Eating several small meals throughout the day is also recommended to help reduce reflux symptoms.

It is important to avoid trigger foods that can exacerbate hiatal hernias such as fried or fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, mints or any spicy or acidic foods. Carbonated beverages like sodas should also be avoided as they can cause abdominal bloating which may worsen the symptoms of a hiatal hernia. Additionally it’s important to avoid large meals as these can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (which can cause reflux). To help prevent flare-ups it’s best to eat slowly and chew food thoroughly before swallowing in order to reduce stomach acid production.

Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements may be beneficial for those with a hiatal hernia. Supplements such as probiotics, digestive enzymes and vitamin B-12 may help reduce symptoms of a hiatal hernia.

Probiotics can help restore the balance of bacteria in the intestines, which helps reduce digestive symptoms associated with hiatal hernia. Digestive enzymes can break down food more easily and can help improve digestion. Vitamin B-12 is essential for proper digestive function and plays an important role in digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.

Other supplements that may be beneficial include omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, ginger and glutamine. Consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement to make sure it is safe for you to take and will not interact with any medication you are already taking.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are an important part of managing and reducing the symptoms of hiatal hernia. Eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can help to improve digestion, reduce pain and control acid reflux.

People with hiatal hernia should avoid foods that can cause heartburn or other symptoms such as chocolate, caffeine, acidic foods (citrus fruits and juices), spicy foods and fried or fatty foods. It is recommended to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than large meals infrequently. Additionally, it is best to avoid lying down for 2-3 hours after eating a meal in order to allow ample time for digestion.

Exercising regularly may also reduce symptoms by improving digestive function and aiding weight loss which can take pressure off of the stomach area. Additionally, exercises like yoga may also help with relaxation which can also reduce pain caused by hiatal hernias.


Overall, the best diet for hiatal hernia sufferers should be healthy and balanced, with plenty of nutrient-rich whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. It is also important to avoid acidic and spicy foods, as these can worsen symptoms. Furthermore, high-fiber foods should be avoided due to their potential for triggering acid reflux. Instead, low-fat dairy products and lean meats may be beneficial for hiatal hernia sufferers.

Finally, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. By following these dietary tips, hiatal hernia sufferers can lead a healthier lifestyle and reduce their symptoms.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Hiatal Hernia

Q1: What is the best diet for hiatal hernia?

A1: The best diet for hiatal hernia is one that is low in fat and acid. Foods that are recommended for a hiatal hernia diet include high-fiber foods, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Avoiding caffeine, carbonated drinks, fried foods, and acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits is also important.

Q2: Are there any foods to avoid with hiatal hernia?

A2: Yes, it is important to avoid foods that are high in fat and acid when following a diet for hiatal hernia. These include fried foods, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits.

Q3: Are there any supplements that can help with hiatal hernia?

A3: Yes, certain supplements can help ease the symptoms of hiatal hernia. These include probiotics, digestive enzymes, and aloe vera juice. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they are safe for you.

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