Ulcer is a very serious medical condition that affects the lining of the intestine. This can make digestion very difficult and can cause great discomfort to the person with the condition. Contrary to what most people think about ulcer being caused by spicy foods or not eating well enough, an ulcer is either caused by two things; inflammation in the intestine lining caused by the bacteria helicobacter pylori or some Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID).
But no matter the cause of the ulcer, the discomfort is always there, although some might experience it worse than others. While there are drugs that can help to treat it, your diet is also essential in helping you recover and manage the condition better. If your stomach ulcer is caused by an H. pylori infection, you should eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. They help protect the stomach and activate your immune system to fight the infection. They may also be beneficial in protecting you against stomach cancer.
It is not every food you should eat as you would want to avoid foods that would make your condition worse.
Here, we would be looking at some Nigerian foods that are suitable for an ulcer patient.
Vegetables should become an important part of your diet at this point. Vegetables are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and more, and other minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, and even dietary fibre. These are all essential nutrients that your body needs. Vegetables not only aid digestion, preventing constipation, but help to reduce the pain in the intestine lining.
The good thing about vegetables is that there are so many ways to enjoy them. You can include vegetables in your soup/stews or simply eat it like that. But just make sure you are eating a lot of vegetables. You can find some healthy Nigerian leafy vegetables to eat if you have ulcer.
2. Moi Moi
While those who have ulcer are advised to stay away from beans due to heartburn, they can try moi moi, which is a meal made from ground beans. Moi Moi is easier to digest and does not present any problems such as heartburn or acid reflux. Another reason why moi moi is a good choice is that it is very rich in protein. Remember to avoid using a lot of spices in the food.
3. Unripe Plantain
Unripe plantain is a staple food in some parts of Nigeria, particularly the coastal region. Those with ulcer would appreciate unripe plantain because it provides them with a lot of nutrients they need, including phosphorus, calcium, iron, and more. It also has antibacterial properties that fight the bacteria helicobacter pylori. Unripe plantain can be enjoyed in so many ways, but you should not attempt to fry it. There are so many other important health benefits of unripe plantains.
Fish is also something you should eat more of if you are an ulcer patient. Fish, such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which produce prostaglandins that help to protect the intestine linings, healing the ulcer. Remember to boil the fish rather than fry it. You can also eat other healthy meats like poultry and goat meat.
Another thing you should include in your diet is egg. If you did not like eggs before, then you should make it a point to eat more and more eggs at this point. Eggs are rich in protein which would help to rebuild the mucous lining on the intestine walls. As usual, boiled eggs are what you should rather than fried eggs.
6. Garden Eggs
Garden egg is a very healthy fruit found in Nigeria. A 2011 study boldly stated that African garden eggs possesses ulcer protective abilities, which makes it a cheap source of natural anti-ulcer remedy. You can find out other amazing health benefits of garden eggs.
Other Healthy Nigerian Foods for Ulcer Patients:
- Olive oil
- Okro soup
- Akamu or pap
- Nuts e.g tiger nuts, dates and groundnuts
- Brown rice.