If you have an ulcer or gastritis, consider drinking a glass of cranberry juice. The juice appears to be a helpful natural treatment for both ailments. Ulcers are open sores in the esophagus, stomach or small intestine. Gastritis is the term for a group of conditions that includes a common element -- inflammation. If you have ulcers or gastritis, talk with your doctor about your diet and the advisability of including cranberry juice.
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Ulcers have different names, depending on their location. Gastric ulcers develop in your stomach. Duodenal ulcers affect the upper portion of the small intestine. Esophageal ulcers develop in the esophagus. The symptom you are most likely to experience with an ulcer is abdominal pain. Contrary to popular belief, ulcers are not caused by stress or spicy foods, according to the Mayo Clinic website. A bacterial infection is commonly the cause.
Gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, is often caused by an infection with the same bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers, according to the Mayo Clinic website. An injury, certain pain medications and alcohol use can also cause gastritis. It can develop suddenly or over a period of time. Gastritis may lead to ulcers or cancer, but for most people, the condition isn't serious. You may be able to improve your condition quickly with treatment.
You can get a healthy dose of vitamins C, K and E in one 8-oz. serving of cranberry juice. Cranberry juice provides nearly 40 percent of your vitamin C, about 15 percent of your vitamin K and 10 percent of your vitamin E for the day. It also provides 4 percent of your iron and 2 percent of your calcium and vitamin A. In addition to being a good source of vitamins, cranberry juice has anti-oxidants.
Benefits for Conditions
If you are treating ulcers, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking cranberry juice and consuming other foods that contain flavonoids. Flavonoids inhibit the growth of the bacteria responsible for many ulcers and gastritis. Cranberry juice does contain citric acid. If your stomach is especially sensitive to citric acid, talk with your doctor about other ways to get cranberry in your diet.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Peptic Ulcer
- Mayo Clinic: Gastritis Definition
- Saint Francis Care: Gastritis
- Mayo Clinic: Peptic Ulcer Definition
- Veganpeace.com: Good Sources - Vitamin K
- Veganpeace.com: Good Sources - Vitamin E
- "Nutrition": Modulation of Helicobacter Pylori Colonization; M. Gotteland, et. al; 2008
- New York Times; Can Cranberry Juice Cure Ulcers?; Anahad O'Connor; June 6, 2011