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What to Eat When You Have an Ulcer

What to Eat When You Have an Ulcer

You need to be very careful on what to eat when you have an ulcer, so that the condition does not get aggravated. You should be wise while it comes to choosing foods for yourself and avoiding those that will harm the stomach. This article provides some information on the same.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Experiencing stomach ulcers or gastritis can be quite distressing with all the pain, discomfort, and food restrictions. An ulcer, also referred to as peptic ulcer, is a sore that is formed in the gastrointestinal tract due to a bacterial infection. The Helicobacter pylori bacteria, mainly responsible for this condition, attacks the inner lining of the digestive tract and causes damage. This leads to the eruption of sores, or ulcers, in the digestive tract lining. Certain medications are also known to cause ulcers, since they erode the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Some doctors believe that stress is also a factor responsible in aggravating this condition. Moreover, it also depends on the food that we consume, which can either aggravate or reduce the symptoms. Hence, a stomach ulcer diet is designed for this condition. This diet includes foods that are safe to consume and help in reducing the severity of the ulcers.

Foods to Eat

Generally, doctors advice the affected person to follow certain diet restrictions to minimize the pain and discomfort caused due to this disorder. Here is a list of what you can eat:
  • Bagels
  • Barley
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Dinner rolls
  • English muffins
  • French toast
  • Low-fat pancakes
  • Bran flakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Noodles
  • Pasta
  • Pita breads
  • Waffles
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Cabbage
  • Cabbage juice
  • Potatoes, mashed or baked
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Salad greens
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Wood apples
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy foods
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Soy products
  • Tofu
  • Lean meat
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
Foods to Avoid

Being aware of the foods to avoid with ulcers is an added advantage. Not including them will be helpful as these foods can worsen the condition. Here is a list of what you should avoid:
  • Chocolate and other cocoa products
  • Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Condiments like nutmeg, cinnamon, mustard, cloves etc.
  • Garlic, ginger and other spices
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Junk foods like potato chips, fries and other fried foods
  • Peppermint
  • Foods that induce bloating and gas like Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, sauerkraut, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
Some Important Pointers Regarding Ulcers

Ulcers can be quite a painful affair, so proper precautions must be exercised so as not to aggravate them. Here are some points to consider if you are affected by this condition.
  • Eat small, regular meals instead of having larger meals. Smaller meals can be easily digested, without putting too much strain on the stomach.
  • Foods containing flavonoids and probiotics like green teas, yogurt, etc., have a soothing effect on the ulcer pain.
  • Avoid oily as well as spicy foods, as these may flare up the ulcer, causing more pain and discomfort. Foods containing chilies, chili powder, black and red pepper, etc., tend to irritate the inner lining of the stomach and aggravate this condition.
  • Caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks should also be strictly avoided. These drinks increase the acidity levels in the stomach and also the intensity of pain.
  • Nicotine can also exacerbate the ulcer and even cause bleeding. So, smoking should be completely stopped to avoid this complication.
  • Modifying the lifestyle accordingly will prove beneficial in treating this condition successfully and also in preventing the recurrence of ulcers and other problems related to the digestive system.
The aforementioned food restrictions will help reduce the intensity of the ulcer and bring down the pain. Apart from food, appropriate medications and routine checkup with a health care provider can provide relief from this health disorder without any serious complications.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.