Food That Is an Irritant to the Stomach Lining

Inflammation of the stomach lining is a condition generally referred to as gastritis. It can be mild or severe and includes symptoms such as pain, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, heartburn and indigestion. Alcohol, coffee, excessive stomach acid induced by stress, cigarette smoking and long-term use of ibuprofen or naproxen can all irritate your stomach lining. Several foods are also known stomach-lining irritants.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

High-Fat Foods

High-fat foods that contain saturated, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats linger in your stomach and are hard to digest. An article published in "Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology" in 2001 noted that studies performed on mice suggest that high-fat foods increase inflammation in stomach lining. Avoid high-fat foods such as fatty meats, processed foods, french fries, onion rings and doughnuts.

Junk Foods and Processed Foods

Junk foods and processed foods often contain chemicals, which can serve as stomach irritants. These foods are difficult to digest and trigger your stomach to produce more acid as it struggles to digest them, according to Sherry A. Rogers, author of "No More Heartburn: Stop Pain in 30 Days -- Naturally." Rogers says that the stomach already supports the most acidic environment in your body, and too much acid irritates the stomach lining, resulting in a burning, inflammatory reaction. Avoid products like fast foods, packaged food and foods made with refined white flour.

Highly Salted Foods

Highly salted foods can cause damage and irritation to gastric mucosa -- the mucous membrane layer of your stomach -- according to Ohio State University Professor of Epidemiology Randall E. Harris, M.D., Ph.D., author of "Epidemiology of Chronic Disease." Foods high in salt include cured meats such as bacon, many sauces and salad dressings, instant soups, and canned and processed foods.

Acidic and Spicy Foods

Because they can contribute to the irritation of stomach lining and cause pain, spicy foods and acidic foods, such as tomatoes, should be avoided by people who are at risk for gastritis, particularly bile gastritis, according to University of Rochester Medical Center. Bile gastritis is a stomach inflammation caused by bile from the liver leaking into the stomach. Eliminating spicy foods, such as hot peppers, cayenne pepper and certain curries, can help bring stomach-lining relief.

Bothersome Beverages

Animal milks, such as cow, goat and sheep, can irritate the stomach lining. Once thought to help prevent conditions such as ulcers, milk is no longer believed to be a good choice, according to James A. Duke, author of "The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods." Milk products increase acid production in your stomach that can irritate ulcers, which are open sores on the stomach lining. In addition, coffee, carbonated beverages, alcohol and certain fruit juices, such as citrus juices, can irritate the stomach lining.