Are you a Nigerian or know one suffering from ulcer pains?
Have you tried different methods for treating that ulcer?
Here, I will unveil to you the list of the best friendly foods for ulcer patients in Nigeria to eat.
As you know that the correct diet plan is necessary for the treatment and prevention of the symptoms from flaring up.
Sit back as l bring to you foods that can help you heal ulcers naturally.
Likewise, these meals could help prohibit ulcers from coming up.
What is Ulcer?
Ulcer comes from the Greek word elkos, which means “wound.”
It simply means a crack on the skin, in the lining of an organ, or on the surface of the tissue.
Therefore, an ulcer can be defined as an open wound or sore that is inflamed and painful.
Ulcers are sores on the lining of your stomach or small intestine.
However, we can see this sore on the outer part of the body.
Ulcer sores can be found in every part of the body from the head to your foot.
Types of Ulcers
There are different ulcers.
Each type depends on the part of the body in which the sore is.
- Diabetic foot
1. Peptic Ulcer
Peptic ulcer can be simply defined as the death of cells on the surface of the lining of:
- The lower part of the esophagus.
- The stomach
- Or the upper part of the small intestine.
This peptic ulcer is of three types; they are gastric ulcers, esophageal ulcers, and duodenal ulcers.
Gastric ulcers are one type of peptic ulcers in which the sore develops on the lining of the stomach.
An esophageal ulcer is also a type of peptic.
Here the sore developed inside the esophagus.
That is, esophageal ulcers are found in the throat.
Duodenal ulcers are ulcers in which the sore develops in the upper section of the small intestine called the duodenum.
2. Arterial Ulcers
Arterial ulcers are kinds of ulcers in which the sores are formed on the lower extremities such as the legs and feet.
The formation of this sore results from an inadequate flow of blood to the lower part of the body.
Underlying skin and tissue are deprived of oxygen.
Hence, this leads to the death of the tissue and then aids in the formation of an open wound.
3. Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers are the white sores found inside your mouth.
They can come out on your tongue, lip, and inside of your cheeks.
It can be found in all parts of the mouth.
Causes of Ulcer in Nigeria
Have you been diagnosed with an ulcer?
Would you like to prevent having one?
Then it is pertinent to know the causes of ulcers to know how to manage and prevent them.
Ulcers are caused by a variety of things.
Here I will discuss the five most common causes of ulcers.
These are the major causes of ulcers:
- Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori)
- Extensive Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
- Alcohol intake
1. Helicobacter pylori Bacteria
Helicobacter pylori bacteria, also known as H. pylori, are the most common cause of ulcers.
It is a type of bacteria that infects the stomach and small bowel.
It is the major cause of peptic ulcer disease and gastritis.
However, it is mostly found in children.
When you are affected by H. pylori, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Dull or burning stomach pain.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Frequent sickness.
- Bloody vomit.
- Loss of appetite.
It is important to note that H. pylori is contagious.
These bacteria are found in saliva, plaque on teeth, and poop and can be transferred from one person to another.
It can be contacted through H. pylori-contaminated water or foods.
However, you can lower the chances of contracting the bacteria by:
- Frequently drinking water.
- Using clean water for cooking.
- Washing your hands every well with soap and water.
2. Long Usage of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) commonly called painkillers can cause the formation of ulcers.
NSAIDs include medications like ibuprofen, diclofenac, aspirin, chymoral forte, and so on.
If you have been diagnosed with an ulcer, it is advisable to abstain from any NSAIDs except with a medical prescription.
However, it is advisable to reduce if not stop the usage of NSAIDs if you do not have an ulcer.
If you’re taking NSAIDs, eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like berries, tomatoes, and leafy greens.
3. Alcohol Consumption
Excessive intake of alcohol can lead to the formation of sores in the stomach.
It increases the amount of acid in the stomach.
Hence, lead to the irritation of the lining of your stomach.
If you already have a peptic ulcer, drinking alcohol can worsen the condition.
Ultimately, if you desire quick healing, it is advisable to quit drinking alcohol.
It has been established that stress takes a cost on our health.
This is especially so for people with ulcers.
Stress increases the chance of having an ulcer.
When the body is stressed, there is an increase in the production of stomach acid.
Hence led to the formation of sores in the stomach.
If you smoke, then you have the chance to develop an ulcer.
Smoking is another major cause of ulcers.
Epidemiologic studies show that cigarette smoking can cause peptic ulcer disease.
Hence, if you want to heal fast, it’s adequate to quit smoking.
Best Foods for Ulcer
Food is an essential part of our well-being.
A correct diet aids in the healing and prevention of ulcers.
Healthy food helps reduce the pain and irritation associated with the sores of the affected part of the body.
Research has shown that many foods can help in the ulcer healing journey.
23 Best Foods for Ulcer Patients in Nigeria
These Nigerian foods play a crucial function in ulcers healing process.
1. Pap (Akamu/Ogi)
Pap is an affordable and easy-to-prepare meal that is good for ulcer patients in Nigeria because it is easier to digest, may soothe ulcer symptoms, and promote stomach ulcer wound healing.
It is generally safe for everyone-both young and old to drink.
One effective way of treating stomach ulcers with pap in Nigeria is by adding honey to it and drink.
Honey contains essential nutrients like proteins, amino acids, organic acids, minerals, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, which benefit health.
Another way pap can be used to treat stomach ulcers is by combining it with boiled fish.
Fish oil can be used to treat stomach ulcers because it reduces oxidative stress and unpleasant stomach mucosal factors.
There are no negative effects of consuming pap by ulcer patients unless the pap is eaten raw, in which case it may increase your ulcer symptoms, wound, and potentially trigger ulcer bleeding, as well as induce gastritis (an irritated stomach).
Cooked pap will be more beneficial to your ulcer.
Mixing pap with milk might aggravate an ulcer since milk causes more stomach acid to be released.
2. Okra Soup
Okra provides us with some iron, lectin (which may reduce the risk of certain cancers), niacin, phosphorus, and copper and being a good source of fiber, improves digestion, whilst keeping you satiated for a long time.
Because okra is alkaline, consuming it regularly can help neutralize the acid in your stomach and relieve pain.
However, you should avoid making your okra soup spicy or adding spicy stew to it, as this can worsen the pain.
One of the best foods for ulcer patients in Nigeria is oatmeal.
Research has found out that a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of developing ulcer disease.
An excellent example of food rich in soluble fiber is oats.
This is so because they contain polysaccharides which create a protective layer around the stomach lining.
Similarly, it prevents irritants from reaching the internal organs.
Again, oatmeal is also thought to work by slowing down the production of stomach acid.
This helps decrease inflammation.
Oats have a low glycemic index and contain essential amino acids that help in healing ulcers.
Yet, it might even reduce symptoms like heartburn and constipation.
However, people with ulcers are not to eat raw oats as they might not be digestible.
4. Unripe Bananas
Bananas contain a substance that inhibits the growth of H. pylori.
These substances help in boosting the lining of the stomach.
However, it is preferable for someone suffering from ulcers to consider eating unripe bananas rather than ripe ones.
5. Green Tea
Emerging research shows that green tea and other foods that are rich in flavonoids are important to our health.
This is so because they have a potential protective effect against chronic gastritis, H. pylori infection, and stomach cancer.
These foods seem to inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a major cause of ulcers.
Also, in a laboratory study of green, white, and black teas, it was showed that these teas inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
However, consumption of green tea should be in moderation.
Yogurt is also one of the best foods for ulcer patients in Nigeria treatment because it contains probiotics.
Probiotics are good bacteria in the stomach that help in relieving inflammation.
Yogurt is prepared from milk, which has been fermented by probiotics.
Eating yogurt is linked with many health benefits, including ulcer relief and improved bone.
Yet beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
However, it is important to note that not all yogurt contains live probiotics.
Some have been killed during processing.
When next you are buying yogurt, don’t forget to choose the one with active or live cultures, especially Bifidobacterium.
Ultimately, avoid sweetened varieties which are less effective.
Farm Fresh Yogurt is one of the bests for ulcer treament in Nigeria.
Apple is known for its high soluble fiber content.
Fiber-containing foods work to ease ulcers in two ways.
First, they work by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach while easing bloating and pain.
Also, it has been shown that they may help prevent ulcers.
Pears are very effective in easing the symptoms of ulcers as they can protect against the Helicobacter pylori.
Also, they contain flavonoids and antioxidants that inhibit the growth of these deadly bacteria.
The fiber in pears plays a role in keeping ulcers at bay, especially those in the duodenum.
The soluble fiber present in the fruit forms a slippery slime in the stomach.
This slime acts as an obstacle between the stomach lining and corrosive stomach acids.
Cabbage contains S-methylmethionine, which is often also referred to as “Vitamin U”.
An imbalance of the stomach pH causes ulcers.
When you consume cabbage, the S-methylmethionine present in it helps in alkalizing the stomach.
Scientists also believe that the amino acid glutamine present in vegetables gives cabbage its anti-ulcer property.
Ultimately, cabbage not only helps prevent ulcers but can also speed up the healing of existing sores.
Honey is known for its powerful antibacterial property.
It is widely used in the treatment of open wounds and burns, even in hospitals and clinics.
It is for this same reason it can help heal an ulcer.
Honey may help prevent H. pylori.
Ultimately, researchers have tested natural honey on bacteria from gastric ulcers and discovered that it inhibited bacterial growth.
The cauliflower is a vegetable that is common in the market.
It contains sulforaphane, which is a compound that appears to smother H. pylori.
Try to eat a cup of cauliflower a day, either steamed or in a desi sabzi style.
Aside from fighting your ulcer, it also provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin C and a generous amount of fiber.
12. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are known for their richness in vitamin A.
This vitamin A aids in the healing of stomach ulcers.
Potatoes have unique antibacterial molecules that help in treating stomach ulcers.
Also, it helps in the prevention of ulcers.
The good news is that it has no side effects.
13. Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are also one of the best foods for ulcer patients.
It contains a lot of vitamin C to protect the stomach from ulcers in various respects.
Vitamin C also plays an important role in the wound-healing process.
Ultimately, those who are deficient in vitamin C are more likely to develop ulcers than others who are not.
14. Herbs and Spices
It has been proven in a review of studies on food and H. pylori that herbs and spices can kill bacteria.
This is so because herbs and spices are significant sources of antioxidants.
Some species you can eat are turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic.
15. Broccoli Sprouts
Oral consumption of broccoli sprouts can eradicate H. pylori because of the presence of sulforaphane.
This sulforaphane is known for its antibacterial effects, which help to reduce stomach pain.
16. Bean and Legumes
Beans and legumes are significant sources of fiber.
Hence is a wonderful food to treat ulcers.
Most fish that are found in cold water are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
These acids help in alleviating inflammation.
And ultimately helps prevent more ulcers by lessening the damaging effects of gastritis.
Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3.
Carrots are so rich in carotenoids.
They help reduce the side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
This is so because of its gastroprotective components.
19. Brown Rice
Brown rice is known as a great cure for duodenal ulcers.
The lipid present in rice bran and rice germ
is outstandingly protective against peptic ulceration.
However, this lipid has been lost in the white during preparation.
20. Soya Beans
Soya bean or its milk has been used in the complete treatment of ulcers in different patients.
It helps relieve the sore by neutralizing gastric acid to a pH of above 3.0.
Berries are known for their powerful flavonoids.
The presence of these flavonoids helps defend the stomach lining by increasing stomach mucus.
The stomach mucus aids in stopping the growth of H. pylori.
22. Olive Oil
Olive oil can help soothe your ulcer.
From research, it has been proven that olive oil is good to treat chronic ulcer conditions.
The compounds found in extra virgin olive oil have antibiotic properties which work against strains of ulcer-causing H. pylori.
It also works against strains that are normally resistant to antibiotics.
Cherries are powerful antioxidants that work to ease pain by reducing inflammation.
Also, eating cherries guards you against ulcers.
23 Nigerian Foods to Avoid as an Ulcer Patient
As an ulcer patient in Nigeria, stop or minimize the consumption of these foods.
- Garden Egg
- High Fatty Meat
- Highly Spiced Food
- Roasted Fish and Meat
- Salty Meals
- Small Chops
Food Timetable for an Ulcer Patient in Nigeria
|Sunday||Cooked Unripe Plantain with Boiled Fish||Carrots and Cabbage||Pasta with Fish stew|
|Monday||Rice with Vegetables||Banana with Groudnut||Whole Wheat Bread with Green Tea|
|Tuesday||Jollof Rice with Boiled Fish and Salad||Akpu (Fufu) with Vegetable/Bitter Leaf/Afang Soup||Bananas (Two or Three)|
|Wednesday||Brown Rice with Fish Stew||Sliced Cucumber with Groudnuts||Sweet Potatoes|
|Thursday||Pap||Soya Beans||Pasta with Fish stew|
|Friday||Oatmeal with Avocado Pear||Akpu (Fufu) with Vegetable/Bitter Leaf/Afang Soup||Pap|
|Saturday||Brown Rice with Chicken Stew||Pawpaw and Watermelon (1 Slice Each)||Sweet Potatoes Porridge with Vegetables|
Note: Avoid milk if you are lactose intolerant and always drink enough pure water, first thing in the morning.
Ulcer Treatment and Home Remedies in Nigeria
If you are suffering from ulcer pains, it is advisable to visit a medical practitioner.
Your doctor will treat you by recommending medicines to help the ulcer heal.
Also, they look at the causative factors and try to manage the ulcer.
The major objectives of treating ulcers are two.
The first is to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.
While the second reason is to boost the protective lining that comes in direct contact with stomach acids.
Numerous proven home remedies can be used in the treatment of ulcers.
However, the best ones will be discussed here.
1. Blended Unripe Plantain
Plantain is a common food in Nigeria, so most people are familiar with it.
To treat your ulcer at home with unripe plantain, get 2-3 green plantains and water.
Then wash, peel, and cut the green plantain into smaller sizes.
Put your cut unripe plantain into a container with a cover (or lid).
After which, you fill the container up to half or more with water and shake well.
Then leave for 2 days for it to ferment.
Start taking 20 ml before meals in the morning and evening.
Use this continuously for 2 to 3 weeks and experience a lasting cure.
2. Jute Leave
Jute leaves are most popular in the western region of Nigeria known as ‘Ewedu’
Ewedu can be used for curing all forms of ulcer pains.
All you need is to get your fresh jute leaves.
Then rinse the leaves thoroughly and blend.
Your wonderful working ulcer remedy is ready for use.
Drink as much as you can.
It is 100% safe.
Note that organically grown jute leaves are preferable.
If you wish to cook your jute leaves, do so without adding potash and salt.
After cooking, allow it to cool, then drink as much as you can.
Ultimately, it is advisable to drink the jute-leaves extract for maximum results.
3. Vegetable Soup
Green vegetables are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
To get the best result, cook carrot, cabbage, and red bell pepper together.
Then drink it, it helps heal ulcers quickly.
- Drink blended cabbage juice or raw/cooked liquid pap twice daily (morning and night) for 1 – 3 weeks.
- Stop taking fried foods (fried meat or fish, plantain) or too oily meals like fried rice.
- Stay away from spicy foods like suya and pepper soup.
- Stay away from hard and crunchy snacks like plantain chips and potato chips.
- Avoid carbonated drinks as it cause a lot of pain for an ulcer patient. Take plenty of water instead, or drink unsweetened yoghurt.
- Avoid mint sweets (lemon plus, peppermint, tom-tom, and the likes).
- Don’t take rough meals like eba and yam. Eat small portions if you must.
- Drink a liter of water every morning when you wake up. It helps to dilute the acid your stomach may have secreted overnight.
- Eat swallows more with draw soup (ewedu, okro, and less of egusi).
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, e.g., bananas, pawpaw, watermelon, avocado pear, cucumber, carrots, and cabbage.
- If you can get apple cider vinegar (ACV), it’s good for heartburns and ulcer too. Just add like 2 tablespoons of it into a glass of water. It gives relief. Research howed that antacids are not too good for heartburns.
- Eat in bits. A little at a time, so your stomach can digest it in bits. Always have snacks like biscuits, banana in case you are hungry.
- Don’t eat hot foods.
- Drink water before and after eating.
- Too much of groundnut, walnut, and cashew nuts may cause pains.
- NEVER eat ROASTED CORN. It’s rough and can cause the ulcer to bleed, hence causing pain.
Treating ulcers may be overwhelming.
However, when you take precautions about the foods you eat, you will find relief.
With the home remedies and foods for ulcer patients in Nigeria listed above, you will be cured of your sores.
However, it is recommended to see your doctor if you notice any ulcer symptoms.
Ultimately, do not forget to drink enough water, eat fruits and vegetables, avoid stress and have regular exercise.
I wish you an ulcer-free life.