Foods To Eat And Avoid With Stomach Ulcers And Recommended Nutritional Strategies



Published on: 23-May-2024


10 min read




Anvesha Chowdhury


Foods To Eat And Avoid With Stomach Ulcers And Recommended Nutritional Strategies

Foods To Eat And Avoid With Stomach Ulcers And Recommended Nutritional Strategies

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Stomach ulcers, a prevalent digestive concern in India, can significantly impact the quality of life. While the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a leading culprit, regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin can also contribute. The primary goals of treatment involve combating the H. pylori infection (if present), managing pain, and promoting ulcer healing by reducing stomach acid production. 

Common symptoms of stomach ulcers include weight loss, dull stomachache, nausea, vomiting, bloating, belching, heartburn, and even anaemia. It's important to understand that specific foods don't directly cause ulcers, but certain dietary choices can exacerbate symptoms and hinder healing. 

This blog serves as a guide for those living with stomach ulcers in India. We'll explore what foods to eat and avoid with stomach ulcers and discuss Indian dietary nutritional strategies and approaches consisting of foods to avoid with ulcers and gastritis. Let’s get into the topic.  

Table Of Contents 

1. What Are Stomach Ulcers? 

2. 12 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Stomach Ulcers 

3. 7 Foods To Avoid With Stomach Ulcers 

4. Recommended Nutritional Strategies For Stomach Ulcers Diet 

5. Dietitian’s Recommendation 

6. The Final Say 

7. FAQs 

8. References 

What Are Stomach Ulcers? 

A stomach ulcer is a painful condition in which stomach acid damages the stomach lining. A stomach ulcer (peptic ulcer) or gastric ulcer develops on the lining of the stomach. This can be very uncomfortable and cause peptic ulcer symptoms such as burning abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea. Helicobacter pylori is the main cause of stomach ulcers, but factors such as long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and excessive stomach acid can also cause them.  

The discomfort and complications associated with stomach ulcers require a special diet to relieve symptoms and promote healing. The most immediate consequence is the persistent abdominal pain that often accompanies these ulcers. This pain can range from a dull, gnawing discomfort to a sharp, intense sensation that can seriously impact quality of life.   

When the mucus in the stomach and duodenum wears away, stomach acid and digestive enzymes can erode the walls of the stomach and duodenum, causing peptic ulcers. This eventually leads to open ulcers that are continually irritated by the acid. Chronic ulcers may also contribute to the development of more severe conditions, including anaemia due to blood loss and, rarely, an increased risk of stomach cancer. Serious side effects, including internal bleeding, can happen if treatment is not received. The hole can eventually wear out entirely. For this reason, it's crucial to receive a timely diagnosis and the right care to lessen the effects of stomach ulcers on your general health. 

12 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Stomach Ulcers

When dealing with stomach ulcers, it's important to know the foods to eat and avoid with stomach ulcers to manage symptoms effectively. Here are some of the dietitian-recommended foods that can be included in the stomach ulcers diet to help reduce discomfort and promote healing. 

1. Yoghurt 

This is one of the main components of the stomach ulcer diet. Yoghurt is a gut-friendly food rich in probiotics and beneficial bacteria that helps reduce the growth of H. pylori and promote gut health. Choose plain, unsweetened yoghurt to avoid potential irritants.   

2. Oatmeal 

Oatmeal is a comforting and easily digestible breakfast or snack. It creates a protective layer over the stomach, reducing irritation and providing comfort. Choose plain oatmeal, and don't add any sweet toppings.   

3. Lean Protein 

Chicken and fish are excellent sources of lean protein that can be a part of your ulcer treatment diet. This protein is essential for tissue repair and can aid the healing process. Avoid frying meat and choose healthier cooking methods, such as grilling.   

4. Leafy Vegetables 

Leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can enhance immunity and promote healing. These vegetables also contain fibre, which helps regulate digestion and promote gut health.   

5. Ginger 

This can be part of your list of ulcer diet foods. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can minimise inflammation in the stomach lining. Enjoy ginger tea or incorporate a slice of fresh ginger in your meals for additional benefits. 

6. Whole Grains 

Essential nutrients and fibre are prime examples of whole grains, which can help regulate bowel function and enhance the overall health of your digestive system. Add quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, bulgur, and whole-grain bread to your diet.   

7. Strawberry 

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich in numerous antioxidants that reduce inflammation and promote healing. Enjoy as a snack or add to yoghurt or oatmeal for a nutritional boost.   

8. Almonds 

They are high in vitamin E and healthy fats that help protect the stomach lining. They make a filling and nutritious snack but are high in calories, so be careful about portion sizes.   

9. Herbal Tea 

Herbal infusions such as ginger, chamomile, or peppermint tea may help relieve stomach ulcers. It has a soothing effect that can reduce inflammation and ease discomfort. Do not add sugar or caffeine to your tea.   

10. Water 

Staying well hydrated is essential for overall health and helps maintain stomach acid balance. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to aid digestion and promote healing.   

11. Fermented foods 

They are essential in maintaining a healthy stomach. It is a significant source of microorganisms needed for a healthy gut microbiome, including yeast, mould, and bacteria. Consuming fermented foods reduces H. pylori infection in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, the active microorganisms in fermented foods help reduce inflammation. It also improves the histological condition of ulcers. Fermented foods patients can try including sauerkraut, soybean paste, kefir, kimchi, and tempeh  

12. Probiotics 

Many think probiotics are the same as fermented foods. However, not all fermented foods contain probiotics, so they are not created equal. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria/yeast that live in our digestive tract, help with digestion, and protect our bodies from disease. Probiotics help eliminate Helicobacter pylori bacteria and speed up recovery in people suffering from stomach ulcers. Foods containing probiotics include yoghurt, buttermilk, probiotic kefir, tablets, and probiotic powder. 

7 Foods To Avoid With Stomach Ulcers 

For those suffering from ulcers, recognising the foods to avoid with stomach ulcers is key to avoiding pain and promoting healing. Certain gastric ulcer foods to avoid include acidic fruits, fatty foods, and carbonated beverages to minimise irritation. Here are some more foods that you should avoid:   

1. Spicy Food 

This is one of the most important aspects of a peptic ulcer diet. Spices can irritate the stomach lining and increase stomach acid production. Avoid chilli peppers, chilli powder, and other spicy spices.   

2. Citrus Fruits 

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are acidic and can worsen stomach ulcers. Instead, choose non-acidic fruits like apples or bananas.   

3. Coffee And Beverages Containing Caffeine 

Caffeine can stimulate stomach acid production and increase irritation. Reduce your tea, soda, and coffee intake if you have peptic ulcers.   

4. Carbonated Drinks 

Carbonated drinks can cause bloating and worsen acid reflux symptoms. Instead, choose bottled water or herbal tea.   

5. Alcohol 

Alcoholic beverages can irritate the stomach lining, increasing the risk of complications. It is best to avoid alcohol entirely or drink it in moderation.  

6. Fried And Fatty Foods 

These foods can slow digestion, increasing your risk of acid reflux. Choose healthier cooking methods and cut your meat thinner.   

7. Processed Foods 

Prepackaged foods often contain a lot of salt, sugar, preservatives, and artificial additives, which can irritate your stomach. You should always choose fresh, natural foods over processed foods. 

Recommended Nutritional Strategies For Stomach Ulcers Diet 

Diet is integral to your overall treatment strategy and can aid with ulcer healing and symptom relief. The stomach ulcer diet aims to reduce pain and irritation caused by painful ulcers that develop in the stomach lining, oesophagus or small intestine. The appropriate treatment plan in conjunction with an ulcer diet can help: 

  • Address any nutritional deficiencies that may be causing your symptoms.   

  • Provide adequate protein and other essential nutrients your body needs to recover.   

  • Eliminate foods that worsen inflammation.   

  • A diet high in fibre is associated with a lower risk of peptic ulcers, and adding foods rich in zinc and selenium can help speed the healing process.   

  • It helps manage other underlying conditions, such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and bacterial infections, that can contribute to developing ulcers.   

  • Limit your intake of certain foods that cause excessive stomach acid production and reflux. 

Following are the necessary dietary modifications that need to be made in your list of foods to eat and avoid with stomach ulcers: 


  • A balanced diet containing dietary fibre has been shown to help with stomach ulcers. Try to include a good source of soluble fibre in every meal. 

  • Consuming fibre helps maintain regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. Some high fibre foods in India to choose from include vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, oat bran, barley, peanut butter, nut butter, and legumes such as lentils, dried beans, and peas. 

  • This diet, rich in soluble fibre, may also help prevent ulcers from recurring. It may also help regulate digestion and reduce symptoms such as bloating. 

Vitamin A 

  • A Harvard cohort study found that higher total vitamin A intake from food and supplements was often related to a reduced risk of stomach ulcers. 

  • People who consumed the most vitamin A had a 54% lower risk than those who consumed the least. 

  • To increase your intake of this nutrient in your diet, try incorporating more foods like papaya, watermelon, carrots, and pumpkin. 


  • High protein intake is recommended as it supplies essential amino acids for tissue protein synthesis and promotes healing. 

  • It also contains protein for an excellent buffering effect. Regarding stomach ulcers, requirements may increase by approximately 50%. 

  • However, meat proteins should be avoided as they may have an irritating effect. 

  • Milk protein has a good buffering effect and should be included in the regular diet to meet daily requirements. 

Vitamin C 

  • Getting enough vitamin C is essential for ulcer healing and iron absorption, but it is vital to limit your intake of tomatoes, tomato juice, and citrus juices as they can cause heartburn or oesophagal pain in some people. 

  • To meet your vitamin C needs, eat green leafy vegetables and talk to your doctor about the need for supplements. 

Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium 

  • These have also accelerated the healing process of peptic ulcers. 

  • Include these nutrients in your diet through fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.   


Dietitian’s Recommendation 

There has been a constant battle in your head to understand what foods to eat and avoid with stomach ulcers. If you have peptic ulcers, try to indulge in a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fibre. Eat five servings of whole grains and seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Select meals high in flavonoids, soluble fibre, and vitamin A. Include tea in your list of daily drinks. If you do consume alcohol, do it in moderation—no more than two drinks per day for women or over nine drinks per week for males. 

Dt. Lavina Chauhan 

The Final Say 

Eating a balanced diet, avoiding trigger foods, and receiving appropriate treatment can help relieve symptoms, speed recovery, and reduce the likelihood of complications. If you suspect you have a stomach ulcer, analyse what foods to eat and avoid with stomach ulcers, and consult your doctor for a diagnosis and individual treatment. 


1. What is included in a stomach ulcer diet? 

A stomach ulcer diet typically includes high-fibre foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken and fish, and probiotics like yoghurt to promote gut health. 

2. Can you provide a brief list of recommended foods to eat and avoid with stomach ulcers? 

Recommended foods for stomach ulcers include high-fibre options and lean proteins, while spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol are best avoided to prevent irritation and discomfort. 

3. Which foods should be avoided with an ulcer? 

Foods to avoid with an ulcer include:  

  • Chocolate 

  • Peppermint 

  • Garlic 

  • Onions 

  • Tomato-based products 

  • Citrus juices 

  • Red meat 

  • Fried foods 

4. Can you tell me what foods to avoid for both ulcers and gastritis? 

When dealing with ulcers and gastritis, it's advisable to avoid spicy foods, acidic fruits, fatty meals, and fizzy beverages because they might worsen stomach pain and inflammation.  

5. What are some gastric ulcer foods to avoid? 

Gastric ulcer foods to avoid include: 

  • Spicy seasonings 

  • Caffeinated beverages  

  • Alcohol  

  • Acidic fruits like oranges, mosambi, tangerines 

  • High-fat foods 



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