Foods that Fight Ulcers


An ulcer is an area of damage to the inner lining of the stomach, esophagus, or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Over 25 million Americans will have a peptic ulcer at some point in their lifetime. People of all ages can suffer from ulcers. Men and women are equally affected.

About 60% of peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection of H Pylori which can usually be cured. Another 20% are caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and another 20% have miscellaneous causes such as cigarettes or no clear cause.

If you have an ulcer, certain foods can aggravate it and worsen your symptoms, while other foods might improve your symptoms.  Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s list of Foods that Fight Ulcers:

  • Honey: Modern medicine has finally caught on to a folk remedy that has been used for centuries. Because honey fights bacteria, hospitals and clinics sometimes apply it to burns and other open wounds. These healing reasons can help heal an ulcer.
  • Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, and Kale: These cruciferous vegetables all contain sulforaphane, a compound that appears to squelch H. pylori. In one study, after patients who tested positive for the bacteria ate a half cup of broccoli sprouts twice daily for seven days, 78 percent tested negative for the bacteria.
  • Cabbage:  The amino acid glutamine gives cabbage its anti-ulcer punch. Glutamine helps to fortify the mucosal lining of the gut and to improve blood flow to the stomach, meaning it not only helps prevent ulcers but can also speed healing of existing sores.
  • Green Tea: Has healing properties in the whole body, including the stomach, esophagus, and duodenum.  Read our reasons why Green Tea is great here.
  • Foods like yogurt and kefir (fermented milk) contain “good” bacteria that can inhibit H. pylori and may help ulcers heal faster. In one large study in Sweden, people who ate fermented milk products like yogurt at least three times a week were much less likely to have ulcers than people who ate yogurt less often.
  • Unripe Plantain: This large, green, banana-like fruit is starchy and sticky in texture. It helps to soothe inflamed and irritated mucous membranes and has some antibacterial properties to boot. Studies on rats with ulcers caused by daily aspirin use have shown that unripe green plantain can both prevent the formation of ulcers and help to heal them.
  • Foods High In Fiber: Read our list of Top 10 Fibers here. Besides keeping you regular, fibre has a role in keeping ulcers at bay, especially those in the duodenum. A number of studies have found that people who eat high-fiber diets have a lower risk of developing ulcers.

Here are the food to avoid if you suffer from ulcers:

  • Drinks that increase acid production can worsen an existing ulcer and cause more pain by also irritating your stomach lining.
  • Foods that might increase acid production include alcohol, coffee — including decaffeinated coffee — carbonated beverages and fruit juices with citric acid.
  • Milk, once the mainstay of ulcer diets, is now considered to increase acid production and worsen ulcers, although it might have a temporary soothing effect.

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