A stomach ulcer is a sore in the inner lining of the stomach. Ulcers form when the intestine or stomach’s protective layer is broken down. It is caused by infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen and excess acid (hyperacidity) in the stomach, which may be related to genetics, lifestyle (stress, smoking), and certain foods. Having an inadequate nutrition is thought to increase ulcer development. Treatment cures most ulcers and symptoms usually go away quickly.
No specific ulcer diet exists, but eating certain types of foods can contribute to an increase in stomach acid and irritate the ulcer while others can promote a healthy digestive system. Adjusting your diet will not cure stomach ulcers, but eating certain foods and avoiding others can help ease symptoms and help with the healing process.
Now, what foods should you eat or avoid if you’re dealing with stomach ulcers?
FOODS TO AVOID
- SPICY FOODS
Spicy foods are most likely to irritate your stomach. If spicy foods set you off, by all means cut them out of your diet.
In the long run, milk is not good for ulcers. It seems to make things worse by causing your stomach to produce more acid, i.e it promotes stomach acidity.
Alcohol stimulates acid secretion, and excessive alcohol is definitely counter productive. It also is directly associated with H. pylori infections, meaning it contributes to stomach ulcers and can make existing ones worse.
- FATTY FOODS
Foods high in saturated fats dishes made with heavy cream, or buttery pastries, tend to promote inflammation.
- CARBONATED BEVERAGES
Carbonated beverages are acidic in nature; sodas and carbonated beverages should also be avoided.
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FOODS TO EAT
- FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fresh fruit and vegetables provide tons of fiber, and they are also a great source of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that could potentially help your body protect and maintain a healthy stomach. Examples are Strawberries, Apples, Celery, and Cranberries.
Honey is a powerful antibacterial and has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth.
Garlic has also been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth.
- WHOLE GRAIN
Whole grains are not just good for your overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a vitamin-rich diet can help your body heal your ulcer. Foods containing polyphenols, an antioxidant, can protect you from ulcers and help ulcers heal. Examples are dark chocolate, blueberries.
Yoghurt contains probiotics which are living bacteria and yeast that help keep your digestive system moving.
There are other ways to eat, when treating ulcers, that won’t be bland or boring.
Instead of fatty cuts of red meat, you can try
- beans and legumes as tolerated.
Instead of coffee, you can try
- Most fruit juices, excluding citrus juices
Instead of buttery pastries, you can try
- Whole grain breads