Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of ulcer. The diet should be so arranged as to provide adequate nutrition to afford rest to the disturbed organs to maintain continuous neutralisation of the gastric acid, to inhibit the production of acid and to reduce mechanical and chemical irritation.
Milk, cream, butter, fruits and fresh, raw and boiled vegetables and natural foods are the best diet for an ulcer patient. The fruits recommended are banana, mango, musk melon and dates. Such a diet will progressively reduce the acidity in the stomach. A low-salt diet can greatly help in curing hyperacidity and ulcers.
The use of banana and plantain is considered highly beneficial in the treatment of peptic ulcer. These fruits are antiulcerogenic and have long been used in folk medicine to treat ulcers. They are said to contain an unidentified compound called, perhaps jokingly, Vitamin U (against ulcers). According to British pharmacist Dr. Ralph Best of the University of Aston in Birmingham, bananas stimulate proliferation of cells and mucus that form a stronger barrier between the stomach lining and corrosive acid. Plantains should, however, be cooked before. eating because they are too hard and tough to eat raw. Green plantains are considered a more potent medicine for healing ulcers than ripe ones.
Cabbage is another useful remedy for peptic ulcers. It contains antiulcer drugs. In a research study, Dr. Garnett Chenery, a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in the 1950s, demonstrated that just 850 ml of fresh cabbage juice every day relieved pain and healed both gastric and duodenal ulcers better and faster than standard treatments did. In a test of 55 patients who drank cabbage juice, 95 per cent felt better within two to five days. X-rays and gastroscopy revealed a rapid healing of gastric ulcers in only one-quarter of the average time. The duodenal ulcers of patients fed cabbage also healed in one-third the usual time. Cabbage can also be boiled in water and this water taken twice daily after cooling.
Almond milk made from blanched almonds in a blender is also beneficial in the treatment of ulcer. It binds the excess of acid in the stomach and supplies high-quality protein. Raw goat's milk is also highly beneficial. It actually helps to heal peptic ulcer.
Raw fruits and vegetables should be avoided for a few weeks, as many of these are especially irritating. Potatoes and squashes are, however, well-tolerated. All sour fruits should be avoided, especially citrus fruits.
Certain foods do not agree in cases of gastric complaints and should be eliminated. These include fried and greasy foods which are always difficult to digest; flesh foods which require a high amount of acid in the stomach for their digestion and acid causes more pain and flatulence in the sensitive stomach; condiments, preserves and sugar which are stomach irritants; and tea, coffee, tobacco and alcohol which create an acidic reaction in the stomach. The healing capacity and vitality of the body will increase if these harmful and unsuitable foods are avoided.