If you have an ulcer, you may wonder if oatmeal is one of those foods that are good for you. This article provides answers and much more.
Before now, it was thought that foods cause ulcers. But recent research and studies proved that food doesn’t cause ulcers, however certain foods can make the pain worse and others can help in the healing process.
Talking about foods that can help you heal faster, eating food that contains soluble fiber such as oatmeal keeps your digestive tract healthy.
Read further to know why oatmeal is good for ulcer, as well as those foods that can help you heal faster and those that you should avoid eating.
What is stomach ulcer?
Stomach or peptic ulcers, the most common type of ulcer, are painful, open sores that develop over time in the lining of the digestive tract. It’s often caused by Helicobacter pylori popularly known as H. pylori infection.
Another cause is the long-term use of anti-inflammatory pain reliever drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Ulcers are slow to heal and they can cause bleeding inside your body, infection, and digestive problems.
While food cannot cause ulcers, some foods especially, acidic or fatty foods can worsen it, cause more pain, and slow down its healing.
Other ulcer-related illnesses like gastritis, which is the irritation or inflammation of the stomach wall lining can graduate to ulcers if not well managed and taken care of.
Why is oatmeal good for ulcer?
Oats and oatmeal are fiber-rich, nutritious, and non-acidic food options that help to prevent stomach flares with ulcer. Research shows that fiber lowers the amount of acid in your stomach and reduces bloating and pain.
A cup of oatmeal contains as much as 7 to 10 grams of dietary fiber as well as a great number of vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet. To sweeten your oatmeal, you can top it with fresh fruits like bananas, apples, and pears.
These fruits are also rich in fiber and the fructose in them is less likely to trigger acid reflux compared to sugar.
However, be careful with instant oatmeal and avoid adding fruits with citric acid in oatmeal as these can cause inflammation of the sores.
Foods to eat with a peptic ulcer
If you’re dealing with an ulcer, what you eat is important as this can determine how better or worse the ulcer becomes.
Here are the foods you should include in your diet for fast healing:
1. Probiotics foods
Foods that are probiotics contain microorganisms that support cells that line the guts to prevent bad bacteria from food and drinks from entering your blood.
This speeds up the healing of stomach ulcers by preventing H.pylori from reaching the stomach lining. They also help you digest food easily and are rich in essential vitamins.
Fermented dairy products like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut are excellent examples of these types of food.
2. Whole grains
Whole grains such as barley, rice, wheat, and oatmeal, are excellent sources of dietary fiber which is helpful for healing ulcer. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are known to absorb stomach acid and reduce the symptoms of GERD.
They significantly improve your digestive health and make you feel fuller for a long, thereby reducing hunger pain. For breakfast, you can go with oatmeal or other whole wheat cereal.
But avoid using whole milk as this can cause inflammation instead go for almond milk, oat milk, or any non-fat milk.
Food with high sugar or fat can spike acid production, but vegetables are rich in vitamin A and are low in both fat and sugar. They help to reduce the development of all kinds of stomach diseases including heartburn.
Cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and beets, are perfect examples of vegetables that help with ulcers.
You can eat baked potatoes with steamed broccoli or make a veggie quesadilla, or eat a mixed green salad with fresh-cut vegetables and a light oil and vinegar dressing.
4. Lean proteins
Lean proteins such as beans, legumes, fish, and seafood have low-fat content, therefore eating them wouldn’t spike acid production. Better still, you should grill, roast, or bake them instead of frying them to reduce fat content.
You may include turkey or chicken in your food but do not make them the major dish. You can eat them with rice, or vegetables to spice up your diet.
5. Healthy fats
Foods with fats take time to digest and they have high acid content. So, indulging in them will only make your ulcer sorer. However, not all fats are unhealthy. Nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil have healthy fat contents.
Moreso, nuts, seeds, and avocado have fiber in high value which is really beneficial for your digestive tracts if you’re managing ulcers.
6. Flavonoid-rich foods
Flavonoids are phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory effects and protect your cells from radicals that cause oxidative stress.
In other words, they are powerful antioxidants that help the body function optimally and protect it against toxins and stressors. Examples include berries, cranberries, kale, and broccoli.
Foods to avoid with pelvic ulcer
To safeguard yourself from further stomach pain and worsening stomach ulcers, some of the foods you should avoid include:
1. Dairy dessert and coffee
Dairy desserts like a milkshake, ice cream, and custard are one of the common culprits that increases the release of stomach acid during the process of digestion.
Also, caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee is not a healthy drink option for you if you’re treating ulcer because they have the tendency to increase acid production.
2. Fatty food
Fatty foods like red meat, fried chicken, and French fries, are bad for you in several ways. They are harder to digest and require larger amounts of digestive acids to break them down.
Saturated fats also provide H. pylori an ideal environment to thrive, unlike polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats that inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
3. Spicy food
Spicy foods particularly spike the release of stomach acid and can be really hurting because of the sore opening in the stomach. So, it’s best that you avoid taking spicy Mexican food or chili.
Other food to avoid include:
- Salad dressing
- Baked goods like cupcakes
Tips for eating with ulcer
The way you treat a stomach ulcer is as important as what you eat. You may assume that denying yourself food would help you heal.
But that is far from the truth. In fact, it will not only deprive you of your daily needed nutrients but it can make things worse. By choosing the right food, you can reduce ulcer pain but an empty stomach causes even more release of acid.
Therefore, some of the things you can do include:
- Eating five or six smaller meals every day instead of three hearty ones
- Sitting upright on a chair while eating to avoid stomach compressing
- Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly
- Relaxing for your food to settle after every meal
- Taking your food at least two to three hours before bedtime
How long does it take for an ulcer to heal?
Stomach ulcers take 8 weeks and above to heal depending on the severity of the ulcer.
What is a good diet for a stomach ulcer?
Good diets for stomach ulcer includes fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, vegetables, and probiotic foods like yogurt, among others.
What should you drink with an ulcer?
The safest drink for ulcers is simply water. But taking water all of the time can be tiring. Other safe drink options include cranberry juice, kefir, yogurt, and caffeine-free herbal tea.
What should you not drink with an ulcer?
Avoid any type of alcoholic drink, coffee, citrus drinks, tomato juice, and all carbonated drinks.
If you have a pelvic ulcer, one of the most important things to do is to adjust your diet. You need foods like oatmeal that are rich in fiber and antioxidants to help curb stomach ulcers and fight off bacteria that may want to worsen the ulcer.
Foods like broccoli and green leaves also have vitamin A which helps to relieve ulcer pain and promotes its healing. Stare clear of fatty foods, carbonated drinks, coffee, and several other foods as highlighted in this article so as not to worsen the ulcer.
Most importantly, talk to a nutritionist or doctor, so that they can give you professional recommendations and medications to help you recover faster.
Finally, find out if diabetics can eat cheesecake without a sugar spike in this article.
I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.