should your Diet stress you out?
You may have picked up by now that we are fairly laid-back
and not big on rules - as a result we are NOT in favor of
a strict day-by-day diet for ulcers at all - diets are so
hard to stick to and who needs the stress of 'breaking your
In the past, doctors were advising all patients with ulcers
to get their stress levels down and gave them a really bland
stomach ulcer diet which had no spicy, and fatty or acidic
foods. Years ago it was proved that an ulcer diet like this
was actually ineffective for treating or avoiding stomach
ulcers. Good news for the chili lovers!
Note that while a bland diet may be ineffective as a treatment,
it is also completely harmless - so if bland is your flavor
and it makes you feel better, then stay with it by all means.
Our stomach ulcer diet really focuses on you in a loose kind
of way - the reason for this is that there are no hard and
fast rules here. Various foods affect various people in
various ways, even if those foods are actually recommended
in an ulcer diet
main goals for any good stomach ulcer diet are;
- To keep you well nourished
- To keep neutralizing gastric acid
- To stop excessive acid production
NOT CONSUME EXCESSIVE QUANTITIES OF ANY FOOD, VITAMIN
DO NOT CONSUME ANY FOOD, VITAMIN OR HERB THAT MAY INTERFERE
WITH ANY OTHER MEDICATION YOU ARE TAKING, OR WITH ANY
MEDICAL CONDITION YOU ALREADY HAVE.
NEW FOODS AND SUBSTANCES SLOWLY INTO YOUR DIET.
IMMEDIATELY ANY FOOD, VITAMIN OR HERB THAT MAY AGGRAVATE
Basic Ulcer Diet
RULE NO. 1
Stay within these guidelines and use only the foods that you
are not reacting to - eat in moderation, excess is dangerous!
To achieve the 3 main goals of your stomach ulcer diet, take
note of the following, most of them are common sense;
- Chew your food properly
- Eat SLOWLY. Many people find it so hard to do this. Taking
meals 'on the run' is a no-no
- Chew and swallow food slowly. Be relaxed when you are
- 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! In most cases, a glass of water
can relieve abdominal pains within ten minutes. A glass
of water a half hour before and two to three hours after
each meal can relieve ulcer pain continuously.
- Eat three small meals plus three snacks per day. Eat regularly
to avoid periods of hunger.
- Monitor other food sources like dairy products, cola
beverages, fatty and fried foods, tomato products, and hot
spices. Some may be marginally aggravating - you can experiment
with these and then adjust your intake to suit what is comfortable
- Try not to drink too much tea or coffee - caffeine raises
- 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 those packaging
- Painkillers and arthritis medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs or NSAID's) which contain ibuprofen (again, check
those packaging inserts)can cause ulcers and delay the healing
- Antacids should be used sparingly or avoided - most antacids
contain magnesium and can cause diarrhea.
- Stop eating any food that causes discomfort - even if
it tastes nice!!
Food Types and Quick Fixes
It is important to remember the main cause
of ulcers is H. pylori and the continuous use of NSAIDS. An
ulcer diet alone is not going to fix your ulcer - it is
only a supplement to the ulcer treatment prescribed.
There are some foods that can really aggravate ulcer symptoms
and delay the healing process. The level of aggravation differs
from person to person. For instance, you may not have any
reaction to a particular food that is really affecting someone
Also remember that over-the-counter drugs and antacids only
offer short term relief. They only mask the symptoms of ulcers,
they do not repair the damage caused by the ulcer, which is
the real problem.
Short term fixes usually do more harm than good - in that
short window period where you get some relief, you will be
under the impression that your ulcer is cured or under control.
This is usually when you tend to 'let go', relax, light up
a smoke and have a glass of wine.
RULE NO. 2
Rather try a vegetarian diet for a while to
reduce inflammation and stop consuming ANY food that you can
feel is aggravating your condition.
FOODS - FEED YOUR ULCER CORRECTLY!
The Good Stuff - This is a short list of foods that
have commonly 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
- Fruit - Papaya, avocados, bananas, Blue grapes, almonds
and almond milk and any other fresh, frozen, and canned
- High-fiber foods - Brown rice, barley, oats, are helpful
as they can naturally coat and soothe your stomach lining.
- Eggs - 3-4 egg yolks per week maximum
- Smooth peanut butter # Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits
- 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
The Bad Stuff - The bad stuff in short is anything
that hurts you. The most common of these are;
- abrasive roughage - like bran, nuts, popcorn, and seeds.
- red meat in large quantities - animal proteins are high
- High-fat breads and cereals such as croissants, biscuits
and crackers, and granola-based cereals. Also breads with
nuts or dried fruit, or seeds.
- Wild rice
- Raw vegetables, corn, tomatoes and tomato based products
- Berries, figs, lemons, grapefruit, oranges, pineapples,
- Orange, pineapple and grapefruit juice
- Highly processed or seasoned meats or poultry or fish
- such as corned beef, polonies, sausages, sardines and
- All fried or fatty meat, poultry, or fish
- Snacks - Highly seasoned salad dressings, cakes, cookies,
pies, pastries, chips, doughnuts, fried potatoes and buttered
popcorn, Coconut, chocolate. Also sweets and desserts containing
nuts, coconut or fruit should be avoided.
Recommended - Vitamins
Including vitamins in your ulcer diet is an
option, but we do recommend this. Vitamins and minerals are
always beneficial regardless of what the big pharmaceutical
companies tell you in the media. At worst, vitamins are harmless,
so there is no harm in trying them out.
At best they could be the key to a speedier recovery. Give
these a go to start with and also speak to your local health
shop to see if there is anything else available in your area
that they can recommend.
- Vitamin A - promotes healing of damaged issue
- Vitamin B complex - for general healing
- Vitamin C and bioflavonoid - heal ulcers
- Vitamin E - assists with pain relief and stomach acid
- Vitamin K - prevents bleeding.
- Calcium, magnesium, Potassium, Zinc are all helpful in
the healing process.
Recommended - Herbs
We are big fans of herbs and herbal
remedies that will assist in the healing of stomach ulcers.
You can safely use these in conjunction with the ulcer diet.
This is a short list of herbs and other natural foods that
can be easily found in most health shops around the world.
- Cabbage juice - a quart of fresh green cabbage juice
daily can help your ulcer to heal more rapidly
- Alfalfa - the herbal version of vitamin K, controls bleeding
- Pau d'arco - a natural antibiotic for bacterial infections
- Calcium/Magnesium - (preferably in a chelate form) - relieves
stress and soothes nerves
- Aloe Vera Juice - the herbal equivalent of Vitamin A in
that it promotes healing of damaged issue
- Chamomile and Golden Seal - use with caution and do not
use on a continuous basis
- Licorice - a natural anti-inflammatory for protecting
the stomach wall.It is used extensively in Chinese medicine's
herbal formulas. It has to be used with caution because
it can elevate blood pressure. DGL (also known as deglycyrrhizinated
licorice) is safer because it does not have the ingredients
that affect blood pressure.
Herbal remedies are becoming more and more popular as time
goes on. Herbal remedies provide new and safer ways to improve
your health, not only for the treatment of ulcers but for
most other conditions as well.
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