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Foods That Are Bad for an Ulcer

author image Nicki Wolf
Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.
Foods That Are Bad for an Ulcer
sliced jalapenos Photo Credit: Kees Zwanenburg/iStock/Getty Images

Ulcers, sores on the lining of the stomach, esophagus and intestines, can be caused by a bacterial infection or anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen. Stomach acids and other stomach juices can burn the lining of the digestive tract, further irritating the ulcers. Emotional and physical stress can also irritate ulcers. Foods that can irritate the lining of the stomach should be avoided because they may make an ulcer worse.

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Hot Peppers

red chili peppers
red chili peppers Photo Credit: Kevin Britland/iStock/Getty Images

Hot peppers such as jalapenos, ghost peppers, serrano peppers, habanero peppers and ancho peppers may aggravate digestive system ulcers, also called peptic ulcers, by triggering heartburn. This heartburn may irritate the stomach lining and worsen symptoms of ulcers, according to Symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. The belief that hot peppers may cause ulcers persists, although "Real Simple" magazine indicates that peppers have no causal effect.


shaved chocolate
shaved chocolate Photo Credit: Heather Alvis/iStock/Getty Images

Eating chocolate may aggravate ulcers by contributing toward heartburn, so cutting chocolate from the diet may help. The College of Family Physicians of Canada indicates that avoiding both caffeine and milk both may help heal an ulcer, and chocolate contains both. A 2-ounce serving of semi-sweet chocolate provides 44 milligrams of caffeine, and 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate contains 68 milligrams, according to Amano Artisan Chocolate. Some people think drinking milk or eating milk products such as chocolate may help ulcers heal. Although this may temporarily make the stomach feel better, it can ultimately worsen symptoms because it can trigger heartburn.


tomatoes Photo Credit: Baloncici/iStock/Getty Images

Avoiding tomatoes may be beneficial for those with ulcers. Tomatoes have below pH of 4.6, making them a high-acid food, according to an August 2010 article in the Inter-Mountain newspaper. High-acid foods such as tomatoes may trigger heartburn in some people and irritate ulcers. One home remedy for ulcers involves eating sliced tomatoes with pickled lemon and honey to shrink the sores in the digestive system.

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