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Ulcers form in your stomach very much like they do in your mouth. In the case of your stomach, the sores form on the lining of your digestive tract. At one time the medical opinion was that stomach ulcers arose from a high stressful lifestyle and the excessive consumption of acidic food. Recent studies have actually shown the culprit behind ulcers is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori or H pylori as doctors call it. Another cause may be that certain people make too much stomach acid and the excess could burn the lining of your digestive tract. Emotional or physical stress can aggravate the condition, causing flare-ups.
Ulcers can also result from the consumption of anti-inflammatory drugs. While, the consumption of the medicine doesn’t affect your digestive tract per se, long-term consumption may hurt the stomach lining and give rise to ulcers. Among drugs that you should watch out for are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.
To cope with a stomach ulcer, apart from taking your prescribed medication, you should also pay close attention to your diet. Here are suggestions for food and diet for stomach ulcers.
You should choose foods that will not irritate your digestive system. Your goal will be to restrict the overproduction of stomach acid and, as far as possible, keep at bay unpleasant side effects like heartburn.
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If you’re fond of consuming large meals, you should cut them down to smaller sizes. Say, if you eat three hefty meals a day, spread them out to 5 or 6 smaller meals. Smaller meals would go easier on your stomach and put less stress on your digestive tract.
Also if you’ve been consuming plenty of processed foods, make a switch to fiber- rich foods, focusing on vegetables and fruits.
Don’t consume your meals in a highly agitated or stressed state. Relax and calm yourself before consuming your meals and while eating. While eating, chew your food unhurriedly to allow for easy digestion. Also, after food spend a good amount of time resting, allowing your food to digest.
Take your night meal at least three hours before going to bed.
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Foods to Avoid
Depending on your condition, the intake of the following foods should be minimized. Better still; eliminate them from your diet.
Breads and cereals with high-fat content like biscuits, croissants and Granola-type cereals, including snack crackers, bran cereals and bread baked with nuts and dried fruit should be avoided.
Vegetables are generally easy on your stomach, but avoid raw vegetables, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, cabbage, turnips, tomatoes and onions.
Exclude fruits like pineapples, lemon, grapefruit, oranges and their juices. If you’re fond of consuming berries and figs, cut them out, too.
As for milk and dairy products, exclude whole milk, chocolate milk, evaporated milk and cheese with high milk content.
Stay away from highly seasoned meat and fish and the fried type. Watch out for canned anchovies, sardines, luncheon meat and sausages.
High–fat snacks like chips, buttered popcorn, cakes and cookies and most sweets and deserts should also be kept at bay. Don’t forget carbonated beverages and the caffeine-based ones like coffee and tea as well.
Seasonings and condiments like barbeque sauce, chili sauce, pickles, chili powder and other spicy stuff have an adverse effect on your digestive tract.
To round up, quit smoking and drinking.
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What to Include in Food Diet for Stomach Ulcers
Foods with flavonoids like celery, cranberries and apples could be included in your diet. They impede the growth of H. pylori.
Cook with healthier cooking oil like olive oil or sunflower oil.
Include foods that are rich in B-vitamins and calcium like whole grains, beans, almonds and leafy vegetables like spinach and even seaweed. Also drink 6 to 8 glasses of water, filtered, if possible.
Raw honey heals wounds and strengthens the stomach lining. If possible, go for Manuka honey. Manuka honey has the ability to fight and eradicate H.pylori. In a clinical trial, it was found that ulcer patients who consumed 20 grams of Manuka honey four times a day, an hour before meals and bedtime, experienced less stomach pain and discomfort than those who took ordinary honey.
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Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Vol. 87, January 1994, pp. 9-12 - healing and antibacterial properties of Manuka honey