Stomach ulcers are open sores that develop on the stomach lining.
They can also be called gastric ulcers or peptic ulcers.
Although eating does not cause or cure ulcers, certain foods may aggravate the discomfort while others can help you recover more quickly.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 17 Dec 2021.
Best And Worst Foods To Consume If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are open sores that develop on the stomach lining. They can also be called gastric ulcers or peptic ulcers. They can affect people from a young age, but they are more common in people over 60 years old. Men are also more likely to have stomach ulcers.
What Causes Ulcers?
Certain foods were formerly thought to cause ulcers by doctors. However, we now know that other factors, such as long-term use of painkillers or infection with the bacterium H. pylori, may cause them. Although eating does not cause or cure ulcers, certain foods may aggravate the discomfort while others can help you recover more quickly.
Best: Foods With Probiotics
Probiotic bacteria may be found in yoghurt, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh. They may aid in the treatment of ulcers by preventing H. pylori infections or enhancing the effectiveness of current therapies.
Best: Fibre-Rich Foods
Apples, pears, oats, and other high-fibre meals are beneficial to ulcers in two ways. Fibre may help relieve bloating and discomfort by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach. A high-fibre diet has also been found to help prevent ulcers in studies.
Best: Sweet Potato
It’s rich in vitamin A, which has been shown to help reduce stomach ulcers and may also have a role in preventing them. Spinach, carrots, cantaloupe, and cow liver are some more foods high in vitamin A.
Best: Red Bell Pepper
It’s high in vitamin C, which may aid in the prevention of ulcers in various ways. Vitamin C, for example, is essential for wound healing. Ulcers are more common in those who don’t receive enough. This vitamin may also be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, and broccoli.
To cure ulcers, doctors used to advise patients to consume milk. That was before newer treatments, such as acid-blocking medications, where available. We now know that milk will not help prevent or treat an ulcer. It may aggravate the situation by causing your stomach to produce more acid.
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It’s advisable to restrict or avoid drinking if you’re prone to ulcers or already have one. According to studies, alcohol irritates and even damages the digestive system. It may aggravate ulcers.
Worst: Fatty Foods
They take longer to digest, which may cause bloating and stomach discomfort, which is terrible news if you have an ulcer. Take a break from them if they make your stomach hurt.
Spicy Foods: It Depends
Doctors used to believe that spicy food was a significant cause of ulcers. This is no longer the case. Nonetheless, some individuals report that it exacerbates their symptoms. If anything gives you pain, stay away from it.
Citrus Fruits: It Depends
It would seem, at first glance, that acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes would exacerbate ulcers. However, there is no conclusive proof that they have any impact on them. Still, we all respond to meals differently, so if acidic foods aggravate your ulcer, avoid them.
Chocolate: It Depends
Chocolate may provide a variety of health advantages. However, some individuals with ulcers may have pain as a result of it. Wait until your ulcer has healed before consuming chocolate if it makes you feel worse.
Caffeine: Ask Your Doctor
The evidence on whether caffeine, namely coffee, makes ulcers worse is conflicting. Even yet, if you have one, it’s still popular advice to get rid of it. Consult your doctor, but you may not need to stop drinking coffee if your symptoms do not worsen.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Definition & Facts for Peptic Ulcers (Stomach Ulcers).”
- Mayo Clinic: “Peptic Ulcer,” “Belching, intestinal gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them.”
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- Canadian Family Physician: “How diet and lifestyle affect duodenal ulcers. Review of the evidence.”
- CDC: “Helicobacter pylori and Peptic Ulcer Disease.”
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America: “Diet, Nutrition, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”
- Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Effectiveness of Citrus Fruits on Helicobacter pylori.”
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- National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin A,” “Vitamin C.”
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Peptic Ulcers.”
- Digestive Diseases and Sciences: “Vitamin C, Gastritis, and Gastric Disease: a historical review and update.”
- World Journal of Gastroenterology: “Consumption of spicy foods and the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome.”
- American College of Gastroenterology: “Gastroparesis.”