The "ABC's" of a healthier tummy
Nothing says comfort like classic veggies cooked to perfection. However, some foods can take you from bad to worse when you have an ulcer.
Highly seasoned, high-fat meals can irritate your stomach, but these vegetables can heal. And they’re easy to remember, just think “ABC.” Chop up your veggies, add some flavor, and stir-fry to tie it all together. You’ll have a great meal that will help fight ulcers and keep them from coming back.
Artichokes heal an aching gut.
Artichokes have a long history of treating conditions like nausea and indigestion. Recent studies confirm the ulcer-fighting potential of artichokes. They stimulate the production of stomach mucus, which protects the lining.
Artichokes protect against ulcers another way — fiber. It helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. One medium arti- choke contains over 40 percent of your daily value of fiber.
Once you know how to prepare them, artichokes are not so scary. Canned artichokes are the easiest way to go, but you don’t want to buy only artichoke hearts because you’ll miss out on all the great benefits the leaves have to offer.
If you want to use fresh artichokes, follow these four easy steps.
- Chop off the stems and the top inch of the bud.
- Remove the tough outer leaves until you reach the soft, pale green leaves.
- Cut artichokes in half, lengthwise, and remove the choke, which is the fuzzy part in the middle.
- Stir fry the artichokes with the rest of your veggies.
Beat bad bacteria with vitamin-filled broccoli.
Studies show sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli and broccoli sprouts, helps destroy H. pylori. Adding vitamins C and E to your ulcer therapy can also help your body fight H. pylori. In a recent study, people took 500 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 IU (international units) of vitamin E twice a day for 30 days with good results.
Scientists think these vitamins speed up the healing process by increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics, minimizing stomach damage, and strengthening your immune system.
Fruits are famous for their vitamin C, but don’t forget about vegetables. Many are also packed with C and are less acidic. One cup of broccoli contains 135 percent of the vitamin C you need each day and 4 percent daily value of vitamin E. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin A and fiber.
Cabbage gets an A+ in stomach healing.
In early studies, scientists noted a connection between cabbage juice and peptic ulcers. Today, research supports the theory that cabbage helps stop stomach damage caused by ulcers. One way it does this is through sulforaphane, which kills H. pylori.
Scientists have also suggested that vitamin A helps prevent ulcers from forming in your upper small intestine. Cooked cabbage has 20 percent daily value of vitamin A. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.
Make your belly better and your taste buds happier.
Ginger and garlic irritate some people’s stomachs, but if they don’t bother you, look to them for extra protection.
- Ginger can thicken the lining of your stomach, lower acidity, and reduce ulcers caused by aspirin. Chemicals found in ginger seem to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Allicin fights bacteria, including H. pylori. It can be found in garlic oil or powder but not in fresh garlic until it is crushed. A medium-size clove of garlic will do the trick.
These three vegetables can make some people gassy. To minimize gas and help with digestion, eat slowly and chew food thoroughly. If needed, you can take digestive enzymes like Beano that help your body digest foods.
- FC&A Staff Writer