Doctors do not recommend adding citrus fruits to the diet of a person with a hiatus hernia, as these are highly acidic foods that can affect the lower esophageal sphincter, explains WebMD. Vegetables are allowed, but should be steamed with water only.
Making dietary changes is key to treating a hiatus hernia, as it can help alleviate heartburn symptoms, notes WebMD. Individuals with a hiatus hernia should eat smaller, frequent meals and avoid consumption of foods that may trigger symptoms. Physicians also recommend eating several hours prior to sleeping or resting.
Trigger foods often enable stomach acids to reach the esophagus more easily, states WebMD. Anyone who experiences heartburn symptoms when eating a particular food should avoid eating the food in the future. Common trigger foods include citrus foods, especially lemons, oranges and grapefruits, and chocolates, high-fat foods, fried foods, garlic and onions. Citrus juices and foods with tomato ingredients should also be avoided. Spicy foods, peppermint, spearmint, coffee, tea are other trigger foods.
Dietitians say that individuals with a hiatus hernia can still enjoy a variety of foods by cooking them using healthy methods, particularly baking and grilling foods, removing fat from meat, and minimizing use of seasonings, says WebMD. It also helps to pick lean meats, lean beef and pork cuts, and to choose low-fat dairy products.