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Healthy eating can sometimes take a backseat when people get busy with their careers or get tied up with family responsibilities. Some of the most common problems that people suffer from is acidity, upset stomach and gas. Another health problem that people often face is stomach ulcer, which can worsen if you don’t eat the right food. Since food plays a major role, let’s find out what a stomach ulcer diet looks like.
HealthShots consulted Dr Deepak Lahoti, Senior Director, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, New Delhi, to know more about stomach ulcer.
What is stomach ulcer?
Dr Lahoti describes stomach ulcer as a breach in internal lining of the stomach. It can also be due to adverse effects of medications like aspirin or bacterial infection with Helicobacter pylori. It may be superficial or deep, and may result in bleeding or pain.
Worst foods for stomach ulcer
Most of the times, antibiotics and other medications are needed to cure stomach ulcers. But there are foods which we consume on a daily basis that can add to acidity and injury to gastric lining (drinks for acidity).
Here’s what to avoid
1. Coffee and alcohol
There is a protective mucosal lining along the gastrointestinal tract, and it can erode if you have alcohol. When that happens, there can be inflammation and bleeding. Be it caffeinated or decaffeinated coffees, it can increase acid production and exacerbate ulcer disease symptoms.
It might be something that you love, but it also causes discomfort for people with ulcer. It’s best to wait until your ulcer gets healed then you can indulge in chocolates.
3. Spicy food
It’s been widely believed that spicy food is a major cause of ulcers. This might not be true in all the cases, but in some people, they have worsened the symptoms.
4. Acidic food
Foods such as citrus ones and tomatoes should be avoided. Stomach pain can happen if you have citrus fruits. But stomach pain can also be a sign of a more serious condition like ulcer in the stomach. If you regularly consume citrus fruits and find that they aggravate your stomach and cause pain, you should see a doctor.
5. Excessive tea
Excessive tea is not good for stomach ulcers due to its ability to relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase stomach acid production. The caffeine in tea may even aggravate or cause heartburn (heartburn vs acid reflux).
Good food options for stomach ulcer
The following foods have protective properties to defend stomach lining against acid.
The expert explains that the term gastric mucosa refers to the lining of your stomach. It is important as it lubricates the foods that reach your stomach to facilitate their movement within that organ and shields your stomach cavity from microorganisms. Several conditions such as gastritis or inflammation of the gastric mucosa can happen due to damage of the stomach lining. Carrot juice with vitamin A may assist in preventing these issues (benefits of carrots).
2. Butternut squash
Despite its low calorie content, butternut squash is packed with numerous nutrients, including vitamin A and vitamin C, which help in curing stomach ulcers, says Dr Lahoti.
3. Red and orange bell peppers
Vitamin C can be found in large quantities in red and orange bell peppers. Ulcers are more common in vitamin C-deficient people.
Ulcers can be treated with pumpkins, which may reduce the risk of duodenal ulcers. This happens by increasing the activity of an enzyme known as alkaline phosphatase and the thickness of the mucosa, or inner stomach lining.
The high quantity of vitamin C in cantaloupe helps in curing ulcer problems.