Is Corn Bad for Stomach Ulcers

Probably there is nothing quite such a crisp cob of sweet corn. But if you have stomach ulcer, it’s important to make sure everything in your diet is OK to eat. Certain foods have an effect to make the disease worse, making the recovery take longer to heal. How about corn? Is it actually bad for stomach ulcers?

Corn health benefits

Corn is actually a healthy vegetable loaded with several nutrients, though it is high in starch (a kind of carbohydrate). Its high carbohydrate property is a good way to keep you full of energy throughout the day.

This vegetable is not as popular as spinach and kale that have better reputations as top nutrition stars, but it also has something to count. It provides vitamins (B and C), as well as a few important minerals (potassium and magnesium) [1].

Vitamin B is involved in our energy metabolism. Vitamin C is an immune system booster; it’s important in our cell repair and also plays a key role to help fight aging. Magnesium is required to help support muscle contraction and nerve conduction.

Yellow color of corn provides lutein and zeaxanthin, both are carotenoids (antioxidants). Dietary intake of antioxidants is important for your eye health, especially carotenoids [2]. Most carotenoids found in corn are lutein and zeaxanthin, accounting for about 70 percent.

A half cup serving of corn contains for about 3 grams of fiber. This is a good way to help manage your healthy weight. Diet high in fiber is also good to maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

This starchy food can be part of your healthy meal plan, though portion size matters. It is high in starch, eating too much starch is bad for your weight control – so, consume it in moderation!

Stomach ulcer diet, what to remember?

Stomach ulcer is an open sore that forms on your stomach lining. The ulcer itself is medically called ‘peptic ulcer’, which also can occur on the inside lining of the small intestine’s upper portion (this is called duodenal ulcer).

The open sore develops along the path for what you eat and drink travel during digestion. So it could be quite painful if you consume foods /beverages that irritate the lesion. The good news, many people with the disease can still eat normally — whatever they want as long as they stick to a healthy-balanced diet.

There is no single formula of stomach ulcer diet that works for everyone since this may vary from patient to patient. For example, many people with ulcer can eat chocolate in moderation with no problems, but it could be a trigger for heartburn flare-up for some.

 Although stomach ulcer diet can vary, certain foods are often to blame for triggering /worsening the symptoms.

In general, experts recommend avoiding foods and drinks that can cause a spike in your stomach acid production, hurt /irritate your stomach lining, and cause upset stomach /unpleasant side effects (heartburn, for example). Typically, these include:

  1. High-fat and greasy foods. They’re likely to stay longer in your stomach since they’re usually not easy to digest. This stimulates more stomach acid production.
  2. Acidic foods, including citrus fruits, which are bad for heartburn (one of common stomach ulcer symptoms).
  3. Spicy foods, they could be an irritant for your stomach lining especially if you eat them a lot at one time.
  4. Alcohol and high-caffeine drinks, though drinking tea o in moderation probably is still OK for some people with ulcers.

For more guidance, you might also like to read: stomach ulcer diet restrictions and stomach ulcer do’s & don’ts checklists!

Corn and stomach ulcers

When it comes to stomach ulcer diet, acidic foods are considered bad because they may aggravate several symptoms of the disease. But what to understand, acidic foods won’t cause a significant effect to make stomach become more acidic, contrary to popular belief.

Your stomach environment is already very acidic

The stomach is naturally designed to secrete a powerful ’very acidic’ substance called ‘hydrochloric acid (HCl)’ during the process of digestion. The pH of this substance is between 0.1 and 1.0 which is probably the most acidic thing known. HCl is one of the main components for gastric juice with pH of about 2.0! With digestive enzymes, digestive juice processes what you eat and drink.

So now you know that the digestive liquids of the stomach are already very acidic. Eating acidic foods actually don’t have a significant effect to make the stomach to turn into more acidic. It’s similar to throwing a gallon of salt water into the sea, not carrying much of an effect [3].

But your diet may drive more production of stomach acid, making the stomach to become more acidic which is bad if you have stomach ulcers. What and how you eat matters.

Is corn bad or good for stomach ulcers?

In general, corn is safe for most people. Even it contains a number of healthy properties as mentioned before. Furthermore it is not as acidic as you think. It’s moderately acidic, which should be safe for anyone. Even sweet corn, harvested early (earlier than field corn), is moderately alkaline – also it’s a healthy whole grain. But the way of how you eat corn may be a serious concern if you have stomach ulcers. Corn has a kind of fiber called cellulose that is not easy to digest. If it is not chewed longer enough or if you wolf it down in a rush, it’s harder to digest in the stomach and it tends to sit around in your stomach longer. This may drive more stomach acid production.

If you chew corn longer, probably it’s OK with ulcers. Eating corn without empty stomach might help, too. But when you chew it long enough and you still find that it provokes your ulcer symptoms, avoid it.

Healthful ways to prepare and eat corn

If you do find that corns don’t aggravate your ulcer symptoms, it’s still important to follow healthy ways to prepare and eat them. First off, ingredients play a role.

Popcorns, for example, are now often added too much sodium (salt) and sugar to enhance the flavor. Even some contain high trans-fats which can cause upset stomach and worsen stomach ulcer symptoms. To make seasoning stick, some are sprayed with oil after popping.

Avoid also some with too much butter. Butter hosts extra calories and saturated fats. Instead, try with olive, garlic, basil, and paprika for a different flavor — without adding excessive fats, salts, sugars, or extra carbohydrates.

So if you’re a fan of popcorn, choose some that are less spicy (low in salt and sugar), low /free of tans-fat, or free of other bad things for stomach ulcers.

Also, it’d better to eat corn cooked than raw. Although corn raw is sweet and crunchy (often incorporated in dishes such as salads), it could cause negative reactions when your stomach is not ready enough especially when you have open sores on your stomach lining.

Again corn is high in carbohydrates, as mentioned earlier. Even one small ear has about 19 grams of carbohydrate and 85 calories. So you need to fit it into your meal plan – watch the portion to keep your body weight healthy!

Resources:
  1. Myths about corn, retrieved from HuffPost (2014)
  2. PMID 23571649, the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (2013)
  3. Which foods are acidic, retrieved from this URL.
    1. Blessing May 28, 2019

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