- Foods containing flavonoids, like apples, celery, cranberries (including cranberry juice), onions, garlic, and tea may inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
- Eat foods high in B vitamins and calcium, such as almonds, beans, whole grains, spinach.
- Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
lean meats, fish, or beans for protein.
- olive oil
- 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
- Exercise 30 minutes daily.
The following supplements may help with digestive health:
- A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation. Fish oil may increase the risk of bleeding. If you take aspirin or other anticoagulants (blood thinners), talk to your doctor before taking fish oil.
- Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus). Probiotics or "friendly" bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria, such as H. pylori. Probiotics may help suppress H. pylori infection, and may also help reduce side effects from taking antibiotics, the treatment for an H. pylori infection. Some probiotic supplements need to be refrigerated for best results. People who have weakened immune systems, or who are taking immune-suppressive drugs, should take probiotics only under the direction of their physician.
- Vitamin C. Studies show that pharmacological doses of vitamin C may improve the effectiveness of H. pylori-eradication therapy. Speak with your physician about what dose might be appropriate for you.
Herbs may strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider before starting any treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, or teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Herbs can interact with medications or other supplements, and some herbs may not be appropriate for people with certain medical conditions. Work with a knowledgeable herbal prescriber and keep all of your medical providers informed of any herbs or supplements you are considering. Unless otherwise indicated, you should make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted.
- Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon). Some preliminary research suggests cranberry may inhibit H. pylori growth in the stomach. Avoid cranberry extract if you have an aspirin allergy. Cranberry may increase the risk of bleeding in people who take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, among others. Cranberry may decrease the speed at which your body processes certain medications and therefore increase the amount of those medications in your bloodstream at a given time. Speak with your doctor if you have concerns.
- Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus) standardized extract. Mastic is a traditional treatment for peptic ulcers and inhibits H. pylori in test tubes. More studies are needed to see whether it works in humans.
- DGL-licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) standardized extract, chewed either 1 hour before, or 2 hours after meals, may help protect against stomach damage from NSAIDs. Glycyrrhizin is a chemical found in licorice that causes side effects and drug interactions. DGL is deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or licorice with the glycyrrhizin removed. Take medications at least 1 hour before or after taking DGL.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita). May help relieve symptoms of peptic ulcer. Each tablet contains 0.2 ml peppermint oil. Be sure to use the enteric coated form to avoid heartburn. Peppermint can potentially interact with a variety of medications, and it can be toxic at high doses. Speak with your physician.