Most people don't have symptoms when Helicobacter pylori bacteria infect their stomach. This prevalent type of bacteria is the main cause of both duodenal and gastric ulcers, and it increases the risk of stomach cancer. If you have H. pylori, modifications to your diet, along with antibiotic treatment, can help reduce the risk of complications.
Ulcer Foods to Avoid
If you have an ulcer from H. pylori, it's crucial to avoid foods that further irritate your stomach. Foods that increase stomach acid are likely to trigger symptoms. So avoid tomatoes and tomato products, onions, garlic, citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit, along with their juices, and whole-milk dairy foods Spicy foods cause problems as well, so avoid highly seasoned foods. Steer clear of spices like chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper and hot chilies. Hot cocoa, coffee, green and black tea, alcohol, and peppermint or spearmint tea are also not advised.
Step Away From the Salt
A high-salt diet promotes the disease-causing potential of H. pylori, according to a study published in the June 2013 issue of the journal Infection and Immunity. A separate study found that a high-salt diet increases the risk of stomach cancer in people with H. pylori, according to results the Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology published in 2010.
It's recommended that you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. Further reduce your intake to 1,500 milligrams daily if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes or being over age 50. Start cutting back on sodium in your diet. Most of the sodium you eat is not from salt you add to your foods on your own but from packaged and processed foods. So the first step is to prepare more of your meals yourself from fresh ingredients. Keep fresh meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and unsalted nuts and seeds on hand as household staples.
Load Up on Cruciferous Vegetables
Of various dietary components, cruciferous vegetables have the strongest protective effect against H. pyloric complications, according to a study the journal Cancer Causes Control published in March 2008. This family of vegetables includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage. Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these veggies are also linked to chronic disease prevention.
You're at an increased risk for H. pylori if you have diabetes, which makes proper monitoring of your glucose levels crucial. H. pylori infection appears to influence blood sugar. A study published in a 2013 issue of the journal Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that effectively treating H. pylori helps improve glucose control in people with type-2 diabetes. Take extra dietary steps to manage your blood sugar. Know your target range and check your blood sugar regularly. Balance your meals and snacks with protein and high-fiber foods. Avoid drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, limit your intake of sweets to special occasions and avoid skipping meals.