The best diet for a hiatal hernia consists of foods that do not produce much acid and do not weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, according to WebMD. However, each individual with a hiatal hernia is affected differently and should track the effects of various foods to reach conclusive results.
Foods less likely to worsen hiatal hernia symptoms include grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, baked potato chips, and water, also reported by WebMD. Appropriate foods are apples and bananas. Good vegetable options include carrots, broccoli, green beans and peas. An individual with a hiatal hernia may also eat egg whites, egg substitutes, and low-fat sweets without mint or chocolate.
Foods to avoid with a hiatal hernia include tomato-based foods, citrus foods, chocolate, spicy foods and high-fat foods, per WebMD. An individual with a hiatal hernia should avoid such beverages as coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Garlic, onions, spearmint and peppermint should also be avoided.
It is best for an individual with a hiatal hernia to eat meals at least three to four hours before lying down, as stated by Cleveland Clinic. The head of the individual’s bed can be elevated 6 inches to help prevent the stomach’s contents from moving upward from the stomach. An individual with a hiatal hernia should also avoid smoking.