21 Best & Worst Foods for Hemorrhoids
The inclusion of processed and junk food items in the diet has toppled the health of the digestive system of the millennials. They are more prone to disorders associated with digestion, bowel movements, carcinomas of the gastrointestinal tract, etc. One of such painful conditions is hemorrhoids or more commonly called piles. With improving the lifestyle, diet, proper medication, you can improve the condition of hemorrhoids and get rid of it. Today I am sharing some of the best and worst foods for hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are manifested as lumps or swollen veins and found near the anal opening and the lower part of the rectum. These are painful and bleed in most of the cases.
Importance of proper diet in hemorrhoids
The hemorrhoids can be highly painful and uncomfortable. However, following a proper diet can help to alleviate the suffering. Traditionally, certain food items are routinely added to diet plans for the healthy functioning of the digestive system (1).
The foods that help in the condition are rich in fibers and have hydrating effects. The soluble fibers get dissolved in water. They help in making your stool soft and easy to pass. On the other hand, insoluble fibers do not get dissolved in water and sit on your there (2). Such types of fibers help the stool to move out of the system and maintain gut health (3).
An excess of fiber can cause bloating and uneasiness. So, it is important to gradually add fibers to your diet and stay well hydrated. At least 8 to 10 glasses of water are essential for proper bowel movements. You can try home remedies for hemorrhoids to get some relief (4).
Best foods for hemorrhoids
To some extent, hemorrhoids can be prevented by controlling the diet we follow. The importance of certain food items in managing hemorrhoids has been studied and documented. Others, the traditional recipes that our older generations have developed to maintain the overall health of the digestive system.
Outlined below are some of the food items that are considered beneficial in piles.
1. Whole grains
Whole grains are loaded with nutrients since they retain germ, bran, and endosperm. Therefore, whole grains are a great option to help in the management of piles. Barley, corn, brown rice, quinoa, rye, oatmeal, etc. are some of the most preferred whole grains.
They are rich in insoluble fibers. Whole grains also contain beta-glucan, which is a soluble fiber that acts as a prebiotic (5).
These fiber-rich grains aids in smooth digestive functioning and controls the pain and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. The prebiotic content helps in the growth and proliferation of the gut microbes.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are a group that includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, radishes, turnips, etc.
These vegetables are rich in insoluble fibers. Cruciferous veggies also contain glucosinolate (6).
The rich fiber content in these vegetables makes them the right choice for those suffering from hemorrhoids. Also, the growth of the gut microbiome is diversified, which helps in maintaining a resilient gastrointestinal system and improves the immune responses (7)
Legumes are edible seed plants and include beans, lentils, peas, and soybeans.
Legumes are rich in soluble and insoluble fibers. They are also the best sources of plant proteins.
The presence of both types of fibers is essential for managing piles. The soluble fibers help to maintain healthy gut flora, whereas the insoluble fibers will help to bulk up stools. Hence, it eases bowel movements (8).
4. Root vegetables
Root vegetables are underground veggies and are rich in nutrients. Sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, potatoes, etc. are some examples of root vegetables.
Root veggies are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, fiber, etc. They are loaded with several antioxidants like chlorogenic acid, anthocyanins, and beta carotene.
The effects of constipation can be minimized by eating root vegetables as they are rich in fibers and control constipation. White potatoes also contain resistant starch that helps to avoid illness (9).
The nutritional benefits of artichokes have been discovered lately. The nutrition and fiber levels are high because of which it is one of the best foods recommended for hemorrhoids.
Artichokes are rich sources of potassium, Vitamin C, folates, magnesium, and dietary fibers. The calorie content is also less in comparison to other food items. The soluble fiber inulin in artichokes helps in nourishing the gut microbes like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli (10).
The onset of piles can be controlled and reduced. The antioxidant content will help to heal inflammation.
6. Cucumbers and Melons
Melons and cucumbers are highly useful in treating many digestive problems.
They are rich in antioxidants, high water content, high concentration of vitamins, and minerals. Cucumbers and melons are also loaded with fibers (11).
It helps in the proper bowel movements by absorbing water and fiber into the digestive tract. It also helps in maintaining adequate hydration of the body.
7. Bell peppers
Understanding the importance of bell peppers, it is being added to most of the food items. They come in different colors like reds, yellows, and oranges.
Bell peppers are loaded with nutrients like Vitamin A, antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin D, calcium, and fibers.
The hydrating and fiber-rich property helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system. They help in easing the bowel movements and in managing pain.
Celery is another vegetable that is well-known for its many health benefits.
Celery contains high levels of nutrients like vitamins A, K, and C. It also contains minerals like potassium and folates.
The fiber content in celery helps to soften the stools and reduces the strain on the anal sphincters during defecation. Celery also affects the blood sugar levels and helps to maintain a proper glycaemic index.
Squash includes many varieties like yellow squash, zucchini, acorn squash, butternut squash, and pumpkin. It is a favorite food item during summers.
Squash is rich in proteins, fibers, vitamin C, K and A, vitamin B variants, manganese, and other minerals.
The fibers help to loosen the stools and aids in healthy bowel movements. Vitamin c promotes healing inflammation and other hemorrhoid symptoms.
A sweet and healthy fruit, apple is one of the most favorite fruits that is cultivated worldwide.
Apples are rich in vitamin A and D, calcium, and cobalamin. It is also rich in edible fibers and antioxidants.
It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away and for a reason. It helps manage piles by improving the bowel movements by reducing the chances of constipation. Apples also help in maintaining a healthy heart and in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
Bananas are available easily in most parts of the world. The starch, fiber, and vitamin content of bananas are high. You might find doctors recommending bananas if you suffer from constipation or hard stool.
Bananas are rich in pectin and resistant starch, dietary fibers, vitamin C, and minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, folate, etc.
Antioxidants help in managing inflammation and irritation. They also help in improving the functioning of the digestive tract—fibers aid in softening the stools and aids bowel movement. The resistant starch helps to enhance the growth of friendly gut microbes.
12. Stewed prunes
Dried plums or prunes are known for enhancing health and are a good source of nutrients.
Prunes are rich in dietary fibers, sorbitol, vitamin A, different variants of vitamin B, proteins, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, etc.
Prunes are highly beneficial as laxatives and help in smooth bowel functioning. The fibers also aid in managing piles by softening stools.
Raspberries are a favorite ingredient in salads. These are rich in nutrients, low in sugar, and has anti-aging properties.
Raspberries contain high water content along with proteins, fibers, antioxidants, minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and proteins.
Antioxidants help in managing inflammation and remove the accumulated toxins from the system. Fibers are essential for maintaining proper digestive functions and ease bowel movements.
One of the leading causes of hemorrhoids is prolonged constipation. This will affect bowel movement and will lead to difficulty in defecation. Proper hydration is highly essential in keeping the stools soft, which further aids in preventing the effects of piles. It is recommended to drink plenty of water daily for the smooth functioning of the digestive system.
Apart from food light exercise also helps in getting rid of hemorrhoids. You can try yoga for piles to get some relief.
Foods to avoid with hemorrhoids
A proper diet plan is vital in managing flare-ups in hemorrhoids. You need to avoid certain food items that can worsen hemorrhoids.
1. Spicy foods
Food items containing spices might promote the flare-up of hemorrhoid symptoms. Consuming such food items can enhance the pain and discomfort in the anal region.
Alcohols have a dehydrating effect on the body. Hence, it promotes the chances of constipation and further discomfort in the digestive system. Constipation will lead to pain during bowel movements and exaggerate the pain and discomfort in piles.
3. Processed meat items
Food items like bologna and cold cuts contain a high concentration of sodium, which can increase the risk of constipation. The fiber content is also low, which further enhances the chances of suffering from hemorrhoids.
4. Caffeinated beverages
These are some of the biggest culprits causing constipation. They harden the stools and make it difficult to use the restroom. Such conditions generally tend to increase the risk of piles.
5. Fried foods
These food items are difficult to digest and put pressure on the digestive tract. It can further cause constipation and exacerbate the effects of piles.
6. Food items made of white flour
When bran and germ from flour are removed, the fiber content is completely reduced. Products like bread, pasta, and bagels made from white powder can cause constipation and increase the risk of hemorrhoids.
7. Iron supplements
Iron supplements are known to cause constipation, which is a risk factor for hemorrhoids.
High fiber foods are good for hemorrhoids
Constipation is the main reason for reduced bowel movements and associated difficulties in piles. Many clinical trials conclude that dietary fibers, primarily soluble fibers, helps in softening the stools.
This makes it easier to pass stools and helps in managing the effects of piles. Hence, both nutritionists and health experts recommend consuming high levels of fibers to prevent and treat hemorrhoids.