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Certain foods were once thought to cause ulcers. However, doctors have discovered that other factors, such as long-term use of painkillers or infections from bacteria such as H. pylori, can be the culprit. Although certain foods do not cause or treat ulcers, some foods can aggravate the discomfort, while others can help you heal more quickly.

What is an Ulcer?

Source: TED-Ed/YouTube

Ulcers, also commonly referred to as peptic ulcers, are “open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine.” There are typically two kinds of ulcers: gastric ulcers — which “occur on the inside of the stomach” — and duodenal ulcers — which “occur on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine” or duodenum. While stomach ulcers usually require a combination of medications, and the food you eat doesn’t cause or treat ulcers, some can make your pain worse, and other foods may help you heal faster. Let’s take a look at what they are!

Foods That Help Alleviate Stomach Ulcers:

  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • leafy greens
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage

These foods may help protect you against ulcer-causing bacteria. Ulcers are usually caused by an H. pylori infection, and these foods listed above are rich in antioxidants, which may help protect against them. These plant foods are packed full of vitamins and minerals that can also activate and strengthen your immune system.

Foods To Avoid When You Have An Ulcer:

  • alcohol
  • acidic foods, such as citrus
  • caffeine
  • coffee
  • chocolate
  • spicy food

Those who experience a stomach ulcer also frequently experience acid reflux. In some people, certain foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), at the bottom of the esophagus. Acid can build up in the esophagus more easily with a loosened LES, causing heartburn and indigestion. By avoiding or limiting these foods and drinks and trying not to eat too late at night, you can help lessen reflux symptoms.

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