Diet for Stomach Ulcer: What to Eat and What to Limit

Ulcers are sores that can occur in your digestive tract, including your oesophagus, stomach and intestines. Mostly the cause of ulcers are due to a bacterial infection known as a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) as well as the chronic use

Updated: August 17, 2020

Ulcers are sores that can occur in your digestive tract, including your esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Mostly the cause of ulcers is due to a bacterial infection known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) as well as the chronic use of over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Diet recommendations are based on including certain foods that may have ingredients that fight against the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. A higher intake of fat and salt can greatly increase your chance of getting an ulcer and cause other gastrointestinal problems.

The ulcer can be prevented or successfully treated by carefully controlling your diet. While choosing your diet plan  make sure that your stomach produces less acid when digesting the food. Eating large and heavy meals requires the stomach to produce large amounts of stomach acid. It is advisable to eat small meals which should be low in fat and sugar and high in fiber.

Foods to be Included in your Diet:


  • Seaweeds have an antiulcer effect because they release prostaglandins. The seaweeds powder should be added to your food as a seasoning. If not possible you can take seaweed as capsules also.
  • Foods like wheat germ, hazelnuts, cold-pressed sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, will have Vitamin E which lower the risk of ulcers.
  • Seafood and whole grains will have zinc which will also be helpful in producing less acidic juice in the stomach.
  • Seaweed, wheat germ, almonds, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds contain an amino acid that has healing property.
  • L-Glutamine is an alternative to an amino acid that can be taken to help improve an ulcer.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, red or green peppers, cabbage contain beta-carotene, and vitamin C which help protect the lining of the stomach and intestine.
  • Leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain calcium and B vitamins.
  • Fruits such as grapes, apricots, and kiwi fruit will also have vitamin C and beta-carotene.
  • Fruits like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries,  are packed with antioxidant power. These antioxidant-rich foods help protect and activate your immune system and help fight the infection. They may also help protect against stomach cancer.
  • The fatty acids contained in olive oil can also help treat an H. pylori infection.
  • Fermented probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi, can prevent reinfection.
  • White meats such as chicken or turkey and fish which contain protein should be added to your diet.
  • Egg white is a good source of protein and calcium.
  • Oily fish, like sardines, mackerel, salmon, and herring contain omega-3 fatty acids which produce prostaglandins, that help to protect the lining of the stomach and intestines.
  • Krill oil, cod liver oil, or seed oil supplement that are high in EPA and DFA can be added to your diet if you are not fond of fish.
  • Low-fat cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, tofu, and other soy products will be helpful in healing ulcers.
  • Herbal teas made of licorice, chamomile, and marshmallow root support the body's healing process.

Supplements:

A probiotic supplement as part of your diet plan can be added if you are taking antibiotics for ulcer treatment.
Supplements such as saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium have a probiotic property which helps reduce antibiotic-associated side effects. It may also improve the effectiveness of the antibiotic. 

Foods to Limit and Avoid in Ulcer:

  • Avoid red meat until your ulcer has healed. Red meat contains a lot of protein and fat and it takes a long time to digest. It stays in the stomach for longer resulting in more acid secretion to digest it. 
  • Avoid caffeinated foods such as chocolate, coffee, and soft drinks.
  • Avoid dairy products that are high in fat.
  • Avoid spicy foods and seasonings such as chili peppers and black pepper.
  • Reduce your salt intake. Try using seaweed instead of salt to provide flavor. 
  • Avoid foods containing high sodium such as canned soup, salted nuts, tortilla chips, potato or corn chips, canned vegetables, packaged, and processed foods.


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