Stomach ulcer is an inflammation in the lining of the stomach. When the stomach acid touches the ulcer, it causes burning sensation and pain. High fiber foods such as sweet potato develop a protective lining on the ulcer to relieve you from pain and heal the ulcer.
Stomach ulcers generally known as peptic ulcers cause pain in the midsection area between the navel and the chest bones.
Interestingly, you may have stomach ulcer but have no symptoms or you may not have any ulcer but have symptoms like ulcer. In either case you have to heal the condition in the same manner.
Can Sweet Potatoes Heal Stomach Ulcers?
Sweet potato is not just simply a tasty and yummy food, but also is very nutritional food that can treat many health conditions.
Who doesn't like sweet potatoes? But lots of people, who are concerned about their weight and diabetes, generally try to avoid sweet potato which neither increases weight nor causes diabetes.
Although sweet potato is a starchy food item, it contains less sugar than the normal potato. The glycemic index of sweet potato ranges between 40 to 50 depending on where it is grown as compared to the glycemic index of potato which ranges from 60 to 90.
Low glycemic index foods are good for both weight reduction and diabetes.
Sweet potato is very soothing on the stomach lining. In fact, it creates a protective layer on the lining of the intestine.
A study published in “Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2012” (1) indicate that sweet potatoes actually are effective against peptic ulcers.
What are the Causes and Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers?
Most stomach ulcers occur because of the imbalance of digestive fluid between stomach and duodenum. That is why sometimes these ulcers are also known as duodenal ulcers.
One of the biggest contributors to cause this imbalance of digestive fluids is a bacteria called H.pylori (Helicobacter pylori). More than 70% of all the stomach ulcers are generally caused by H. pylori.
Other causes of ulcer include
- Alcohol consumption
- Chewing tobacco
- Eating spicy food
- Overuse of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs(NSAID) such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, naproxen and many others
- Consuming some drugs like steroids and anticoagulants.
- Family history
- Certain health conditions such as lung, liver and kidney diseases
Over the last couple of decades stress has become one of the key contributors after h.pylori to cause ulcers. This is perhaps because we are more stressed out people as compared to previous generations. Consuming more alcohol, smoking profusely and stress together make a good case for stomach ulcer.
Even our consumption of over the counter medicines such as aspirin and Ibuprofen have significantly increased compared to the last generation.
Bottom line is, incidences of stomach ulcers are increasing in the developed countries due to other causes than the infection by bacteria H. pylori which is more prevalent in the developing countries.
So, how do you know if you have an ulcer or not?
Well, look at the following warning signs of peptic ulcers or stomach ulcer.
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the stomach between the meals and/or at night
- Heartburn and Acid Reflux
In the severe cases of ulcer you may get bleeding in the stools and you may even vomit blood. In the worst case, it can cause holes in the intestine and induce severe pain which can be life threatening.
Since there are so many identifiable warning signs of stomach ulcers, you must take quick action to heal your stomach
Good news is that most of the stomach ulcers heal on their own and the others can be treated easily with some lifestyle and dietary changes.
Only some ulcers may require medication or even surgery. But that is rare and it will happen only if you have not taken care of ulcer in its early stages
How to Use Sweet Potatoes to Heal Stomach Ulcers?
You can eat sweet potatoes in many different ways including adding them to other vegetables for cooking, boiling and eating, baking and eating or making a soup to consume.
Do not fry it or eat it with hot spices. Fatty food is certainly bad for stomach ulcers. Some recent research shows that Chili, which makes your food hot and spicy actually is good for stomach ulcers. But we are not going to get into that debate here; we will simply avoid very hot and spicy food to heal your stomach ulcer.
Method 1 - Boiling
Boiling the sweet potato and eating it is one of the best ways to eat sweet potato for healing ulcer.
- Take a small size sweet potato of approximately 100 gram weight in a heating pot.
- Add sufficient water in the pot to cover it
- Boil until the sweet potato becomes soft.
- Do not over boil it
- Remove it from water and let it cool to palatable temperatures.
- Eat it.
You can add olive oil if you want.
Eat this boiled potato twice daily for two weeks to heal your stomach ulcer.
Method 2 - Dry It to Make Powder
You can make dry powder from sweet potato to consume daily 3 times for 2 weeks. This is a more convenient way of consuming sweet potatoes for the specific purpose of healing the ulcers. You may miss the enjoyment of eating sweet potato, but this method is equally powerful to heal your ulcer.
- Boil half kg sweet potatoes in water until they are completely soften and broken into pieces
- Let it cool down a bit
- Pour the mix of soft and sweet potato and water into a Blender and blend well
- Strain the blended sweet potato with a cloth in a tray.
- Let the sweet potatoes settle at the bottom of the tray. It might take a couple of hours.
- Remove the water from the top
- Dry the remains in the tray in sunlight.
- Make a powder of the dried sweet potatoes and store it in a sealed jar.
- Consume 1 tablespoon of the powder by mixing in a cup of water and drink it 3 times a day.
Method 3- Bake Sweet Potatoes
Bake 100 gram sweet potato and eat it twice daily. You can add olive oil before eating. Do not grease it with olive oil before baking. You don't want to oxidize olive oil during the baking process.
Since you have stomach ulcer, you should take dietary precautions more seriously.
Do not eat street food as there is a possibility of contamination and you may add more H. pylori to your body. Avoid all kinds of spicy and fatty foods. Take sufficient rest and drink lots of water. Avoid citrus fruits.