If a person is diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, that person should avoid foods that are acidic, such as citrus fruits, fatty foods, fried foods, spicy foods, coffee, tea, mints, chocolate, garlic, onions, soda, oil, butter and all dairy products, according to WebMD. These foods can leave too much acid in the esophagus and lead to additional symptoms.
While dealing with the hiatal hernia and waiting for recovery, there are foods that are more likely to help heal without causing any additional symptoms. These foods are on the other side of the spectrum and are low in acid, which includes bananas, green beans, apples, grains, egg whites, peas, broccoli, carrots, pretzels, lean meat, fish, rice cakes and Graham crackers, according to WebMD. A person suffering from a hiatal hernia can usually recover on their own at home, but if the problem is persistent then surgery or medication may be necessary, writes Mayo Clinic.
Many people have hiatal hernias and do not even know that they have them because the symptoms are non-existent. For patients who do experience symptoms, proper food choices while in recovery can help alleviate the common symptoms of heartburn, dry cough, bad breath and difficulty swallowing, writes the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. Visit a doctor if symptoms persist for a long period of time or get worse.