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Foods to Eat and Those To Avoid When You Have Ulcers

Foods to Eat and Those To Avoid When You Have Ulcers


When you have ulcers, a doctor would recommend that you eat some food and avoid others. Stomach ulcers can even cause death, which is why you should always be cautious.

Stomach ulcers are sores in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. They occur when the protective mucus that lines the stomach becomes ineffective. The stomach produces a strong acid to help digest food and protect against microbes. To protect the tissues of the body from this acid, it also secretes a thick layer of mucus. If the mucus layer is worn away and stops functioning effectively, the acid can damage the stomach tissue, causing an ulcer.


The most common ulcer symptom is burning stomach pain. Stomach acid makes the pain worse, as does having an empty stomach. The pain can often be relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication, but then it may come back. The pain may be worse between meals and at night.

The recommended stomach ulcer diet includes a couple of minor adjustments to your lifestyle, as well as some small but sensible changes in your eating habits. This ulcer diet is more of a guide that will keep you aware of what foods are good, or bad, for your ulcers.

The most common foods that triggers ulcers are

  1.   Highly processed or seasoned meats or poultry or fish – such as corned beef, polonies, sausages, sardines and anchovies
  2.   Abrasive roughage – like bran, nuts, popcorn, and seeds.
  3.   Red meat in large quantities – animal proteins are high in acids.
  4.   High-fat breads and cereals such as croissants, biscuits and crackers, and granola-based cereals. Also breads with nuts or dried fruit, or seeds.
  5.   Wild rice
  6.   Raw vegetables, corn, tomatoes and tomato based products
  7.   Berries, figs, lemons, grapefruit, oranges, pineapples, and tangerines
  8.   Orange, pineapple and grapefruit juice
  9.   All fried or fatty meat, poultry, or fish
  10.   Highly seasoned salad dressings, cakes, cookies, pies, pastries
  11.   Chips, doughnuts, fried potatoes and buttered popcorn
  12.   Coconut, chocolate and sweets and desserts containing nuts, coconut or fruit should be avoided.

Also avoid the habits below

  •   Try abstaining from alcohol – it also raises acid levels
  •   Smoking – nicotine also raises acid levels. Smoking is known to delay ulcer healing.
  •   Try not to use any form of aspirin (check packaging inserts)
  •   Medications containing ibuprofen (check packaging inserts) can delay the healing process
  •   Antacids should be used sparingly or avoided as these may cause diarrhoea.
  •   Stop eating any food that causes discomfort – even if it tastes nice!!
  • Avoid all coffee and other sources of caffeine, including decaffeinated coffee
  • Avoid milk and milk products as well

Below are foods that have been found to be well tolerated by ulcer patients.

Vegetables – Fresh, frozen, or canned. Vegetables, Okra, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, carrots and carrot juice, potatoes, cabbage juice.

Fruit – Papaya, avocados, bananas, Blue grapes, almonds and almond milk and any other fresh, frozen, and canned fruits.

High-fibre foods – Brown rice, barley, oats, are helpful as they can naturally coat and soothe your stomach lining.

Meat in small 6oz portions at most – lean beef, pork, lamb, veal, crispy bacon, lean ham, and skinless poultry.

Fish – All fresh, frozen, or canned fish packed in water

To achieve best results of your stomach ulcer diet, here are some common sense to follow

  • Chew your food properly
  • Eat smaller amounts of foods more frequently. Don’t let your stomach go empty for long periods of time.
  • Eat SLOWLY.
  • Chew and swallow food slowly. Be relaxed when you are eating
  • Sit upright or even stand up when you eat
  • Choose low fat foods rather than fatty foods
  • Finish eating at least two hours before you go to bed.
  • Drink Water – lots of it! A glass of water can relieve abdominal pains within ten minutes.
  • Cook your food well.
  1. Various foods will affect various people in various ways, even if those foods are actually recommended in an ulcer diet.