In the era of proton pump inhibitors, evidence suggests that there is no need to place the patients with peptic ulcer disease under a strict diet. Two major goals are to avoid elevated levels of gastric acid secretion and to prevent direct irritation of the mucous layer of the stomach. Due to this, the patient has to only slightly modify his or her diet.
- In the past people thought that frequent ingestion of milk helped with symptoms associated with peptic ulcer. This misconception has now been disproven by a number of studies. Moreover, milk can cause a significant rise in gastric secretion if consumed in large quantities.
- Spices, including red, black, and chili pepper should be avoided as they may cause dyspepsia by irritating the gastric mucosa. Though other studies suggest that daily pepper ingestion might have a cytoprotective effect.
- All scientists, however, agree that avoiding concentrated forms of alcohol (40% and above) are a wise decision, as it exacerbates the inflammation caused by the ulcer, preventing it from healing.
- Coffee should be avoided due to its ability to cause dyspepsia. The effects of tea and carbonated beverages are inconclusive, though they do cause an increase in acid production.
- Fried and fatty food, in addition to flour and sugar, can irritate the peptic ulcer and increase the acidity of the stomach’s content, which slows down the healing process. Thus, these types of food should be avoided.
- Dietary fiber was found to provide some protection against ulcer disease. Thus, fresh fruits (with the exception of citrus fruits), vegetables, oatmeal, barley, and whole grain bread is a good dietary choice.
- Food that contains flavonoids, including cranberries, celery, apples, garlic, and onions, inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori.
- Eat 5-6 small meals evenly spaced throughout the day in order to avoid overeating. Also, chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly. Allow for your drinks to cool down if there are too hot and heat up if they are too cold, in order to avoid irritating your esophagus and stomach.
- Drink chamomile and peppermint tea. Both of those drinks soothe the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. However, if you have GERD it is best to avoid peppermint, as it can exacerbate its symptoms.
- Take one spoonful of aloe vera juice after each meal to promote healing of peptic ulcers.