Best foods for ulcer patients in nigeria

You may not understand the pain of stomach ulcer if you haven't experienced it. For people with stomach ulcers in Nigeria, sticking with foods like fish and vegetables may be best for you.

A black man preparing Nigerian meal

Key takeaways:

  • Foods are not the primary sources of stomach ulcers, but they can play a role in worsening the symptoms or facilitating the ulcer healing process.
  • Some of the best foods for ulcer patients in Nigeria include okra, fish, cucumber, vegetables, and unripe plantain.
  • Fatty foods, spicy foods, and alcohol are not great food options for people with ulcers.

It is often challenging to come up with a list of foods to eat if you have a stomach ulcer. This is because some foods trigger abdominal pain and worsen ulcer symptoms after eating them.

You may also have this challenge with making food choices if you are in Nigeria. It can be difficult to not be able to eat certain foods despite having a variety of food options in the country. But, you need to know that even with a stomach ulcer, you don't have to miss out on important food nutrients. There are still some nutrient-rich, delicious Nigerian foods that may benefit people with ulcers.

In this article, we'll explore the best food ingredients for people with stomach ulcers, the best Nigerian foods for people with stomach ulcers, and foods to avoid if you have stomach ulcers. Finally, we'll discuss why diet matters for people with stomach ulcers, as well as when to see your doctor for stomach ulcer issues.

What is the best diet for people with stomach ulcers?

The best foods for people with stomach ulcers are those that contain vegetables, high fiber, fruits, and less fat and spice. These include both soups and solid foods.

Different studies have indicated that increased dietary fiber intake may benefit people with different conditions, such as constipation, gastrointestinal diseases, and ulcers.

Foods are not the primary cause of stomach ulcers. Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or an infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria can both result in stomach ulcers. However, some diets can worsen stomach ulcers or facilitate their healing process. Some diets that are generally healthy might contain some ingredients that will cause more harm or pain to an ulcer patient.

People with stomach ulcers should avoid or limit acidic foods (like citrus), alcohol, and milk because they can make their symptoms worse.

Generally, any diet that won't worsen your condition is good for you if you have an ulcer. Also, it is best to stick with diets that help relieve your symptoms, as this speeds up the healing process.

Best Nigerian foods to eat for people with stomach ulcers

Some great Nigerian foods that are good for people with stomach ulcers include:

1. Okra

Okra has numerous health benefits. The best part is that it is quite affordable and readily available in different parts of Nigeria. Okra, also called "okro" in certain parts of the country, can help neutralize the stomach's acidity.

Regular intake of okra helps to protect the digestive tract and is also good for people with some other diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc.

Consider okra if you are looking for some great Nigerian diets for people with stomach ulcers. This vegetable can be used to cook various meals, one of which is the popular okra soup.

2. Fish

Everyone needs protein, including ulcer patients. Fish is one good source of protein for ulcer patients—it is also one of the best foods for people with ulcers in Nigeria.

An older 2006 study carried out on rats found that fish oil significantly reduced the severity of gastric ulcers in the rats.2

However, it is best to boil the fish instead of frying it for ulcer patients. This is because processed and fatty foods like fried fish can irritate the stomach lining.

3. Vegetables

Vegetables are among the best foods for ulcer patients. Vegetables are essential sources of vitamins and other nutrients. They are good sources of antioxidants, making them useful in protecting the body.

Also, vegetables have a good amount of fiber, which is healthy for everyone, including people with stomach ulcers.

A systemic study review of nutrients that may facilitate recovery from H. pylori (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers) infection indicated that people who are low on vegetables and other small nutrients like Vitamin C and E are more likely to get infected.

However, the study also pointed out that vegetables work well for ulcer patients when combined with conventional therapy, like drugs.

4. Unripe plantain

Research on unripe plantains shows that they contain leucocyanidin, a natural flavonoid in the pulp of unripe plantains. This flavonoid helps protect the gastric mucosa.

Plantain is one of Nigeria's staple foods. If you have been diagnosed with an ulcer, you may want to try out nutrient-rich Nigerian foods like unripe plantains, as they are considered one of the best foods for ulcer patients in Nigeria.

Unripe plantain also has many nutritional contents like calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin E, and potassium, making it a healthy diet for everyone, including pregnant people.

5. Garden Egg

Ulcer patients can eat garden eggs. Garden eggs are highly nutritious because they contain some essential minerals, vitamins, fiber, and beta-carotene. These contents make them safe and healthy for people with ulcers to consume.

Garden eggs aid the fast digestion of food and help prevent constipation by controlling bowel movements. Also, research to check for the effects of garden eggs shows that they possess some protective properties against ulcers.

So, having a garden egg may help alleviate your ulcer pain. It is one of the best foods for people with stomach ulcers in Nigeria to try out.

6. Cucumber

Cucumbers are a good choice for regulating stomach acidity and movement because they have a good mix of fiber and water.

Cucumber also has antioxidant properties. It may also help cleanse the body's internal organs by helping to remove old waste products and some chemical toxins. These are some of the reasons why cucumbers are considered one of the best diets for ulcer patients in Nigeria.

Cucumber is a popular vegetable used for preparing different dishes in Nigeria, including salads. It can also be eaten raw and tastes great when paired with groundnuts (peanuts). If you are living with a stomach ulcer in Nigeria, you may want to try cucumbers. If you like it, go ahead and add it to your list of favorite meals.

7. Green pepper

A green pepper (Capsicum annuum) is an unripe bell pepper used in cooking. It is a great Nigerian food ingredient for people with stomach ulcers. It contains an abundance of nutrients like vitamins, protein, and potassium.

Green peppers are also rich in fiber, which means they may help promote the function of the digestive system. It is also not very spicy. If you have a stomach ulcer, you can add green pepper to your salads to boost the fiber.

Other Nigerian foods that are good for ulcer patients

Aside from the foods listed above, there are other Nigerian foods that may be great for people with stomach ulcers, such as:

  • Wheat
  • Moi Moi
  • Egg
  • Carrots
  • Cereals
  • Brown rice
  • Olive oil

Foods to avoid if you have an ulcer

The pain and discomfort that accompany an ulcer are always unbearable and inconvenient. Don't worsen it by eating foods that will trigger the pain. Nigerian foods to avoid or limit if you have a stomach ulcer include:

  • Beans
  • Pepper soup
  • Grapes
  • Food made with nutmeg seed and mustard seed
  • Chili powder
  • Red and black pepper
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit juices
  • Fried fatty foods
  • Hot cocoa
  • Cola
  • Sausages
  • Salty foods

Why diet matters for ulcer patients

Taking food that won't worsen your condition will go a long way toward helping you if you have an ulcer.

An ulcer diet (a combination of the best-recommended foods for ulcer patients) will go a long way to promote healing and lower the irritation that you feel in your stomach lining and duodenum.

Eating healthy foods will also improve your overall health and keep you away from other diseases that might arise.

Also, your ulcer diet shouldn't affect your nutritional status. Make sure you eat a variety of foods that are good for ulcer patients, and you will still be able to get all the nutrients you need.

When to see a healthcare provider for stomach ulcer issues

Ulcer pain can be uncomfortable and occur quite regularly for some people. If the pain gets really bad and lasts for a long time, or if you feel sick, have burning pain in your abdomen, have indigestion, or have heartburn, you should see a doctor.

Also, see your healthcare provider if symptoms don't get better with medications. They may run further tests and recommend another medication for you.

Severe cases of stomach ulcers can lead to internal bleeding. This occurs when the ulcer develops at the site of a blood vessel. In such cases, you should get emergency care. It is always best to report unusual symptoms as soon as you notice them.

Final thoughts

Studies show that some of the foods on this list may be good for people with stomach ulcers. Still, we can't rule out the fact that there is no "one-size-fits-all" regarding the best foods for people with stomach ulcers. Some foods that don't cause discomfort for others may aggravate your symptoms.

People with ulcers need to eat foods that won't make their stomach pain worse or make it hurt even more.

It is okay to try out some foods to determine what works and what doesn't work for you. If you are confused about what to eat, you can ask your doctor about food recommendations or consult a certified nutritionist.