Chronic constipation often results in hemorrhoids which refer to swollen blood vessels in and around the rectum and anus. Preventing constipation is therefore, an important step in keeping hemorrhoids at bay. A big part of prevention is eating a hemorrhoids high fiber diet that will soften and add bulk to stool so that passing it is not strenuous and doesn’t cause hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are uncomfortable, itchy, painful, and may even bleed. If you have hemorrhoids, this article will guide you on what to eat, what not to, and how to treat them in simple steps.
What Should I Eat If I Have Hemorrhoids?
You can treat and prevent hemorrhoids simply by what you eat. Here are some foods that should not miss from your diet:
As aforementioned, eating lots of fiber will make bowel movements easier by softening and adding bulk to stool.
You should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. Keeping your digestive tract hydrated ensures that stool absorbs water as it goes down so that it becomes soft and easy to pass.
Foods with flavanoids like spinach, red wine, citrus juice, kale, and onions help with treating hemorrhoids. This is because flavonoids are chemicals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Having healthy gut bacteria helps with promoting smooth digestion and bowel movements. Eating foods with probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha, will help increase the number of healthy bacteria in the gut.
What Should I Avoid Eating If I Have Hemorrhoids?
Some foods can make hemorrhoids symptoms worse and make you even more uncomfortable. These foods cause flare-ups, have low fiber in them, or increase the chances of constipation. They include:
- Fried foods, for example, fries are hard to digest so they cause constipation
- Salty and spicy foods make hemorrhoids more sensitive
- Processed foods like pizzas have low fiber
- Dairy products like cheese and milk have low fiber
- Processed red meats have little fiber and high sodium so they take longer to be digested and cause constipation
- Alcoholic drinks cause you to lose a lot of water through urine so stool becomes hard
- Caffeinated beverages like coffee make your stool harder by draining moisture
- Foods made with refined flour like pasts and white bread have very little fiber because they lack bran and germ
Hemorrhoids High Fiber Diet
A high fiber diet is paramount in helping along with digestion and bowel movements. It’s even more important for patients of hemorrhoids because it helps in treating them and prevents the condition from recurring or getting worse. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should eat 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories that you consume.
Foods that you should eat to get plenty of fiber include:
Whole grains have endosperm, bran, and germ which are rich in insoluble fiber. This means that they will add bulk to your stool and keep it moving quickly down the gut before it hardens. You can find whole grains in oats, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, corn, barley, and quinoa.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and arugula contain high levels of insoluble fiber. They are very helpful in keeping stool moving.
Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, and turnips have soluble fiber that keeps your healthy gut bacteria nourished.
Some vegetables like cucumbers, celery, and bell peppers have fiber and high water content so they help in softening stool for easier bowel movements.
Legumes have both insoluble and soluble fiber so they not only add bulk to stool but they soften it as well. Examples of legumes are beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, soybeans, and chickpeas.
Fruits contain both water and fiber so you can’t afford to exclude them from your diet. These fruits include pears, apples, watermelons, bananas, prunes, squash, and berries.
What are the Benefits of a Fiber-Rich Diet?
Besides making bowel movements easier, a high-fiber diet has other benefits. They include:
Helps you lose weight
Eating fiber-rich foods gets you full faster and prevents you from eating too much. It also reduces the calories that you eat by binding sugar and fat molecules so that they’re not absorbed as they pass down your gut. Fiber also helps you maintain a healthy weight over time.
Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
The soluble fiber found in legumes and some cereals lowers the cholesterol levels in the body by reducing the bad lipoprotein cholesterol. Therefore, it gets rid of cholesterol before it can clog up arteries and causes cardiovascular diseases.
Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood so it balances sugar levels. This goes a long way in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Reduces Risk of Cancer
Vegetables and fruits have antioxidants and phytochemicals that give them anti-cancer properties. Eating them will, hence, reduce your chances of developing cancer.
Soluble fibers absorb toxins from the body such as unhealthy fats and pesticides and they’re eliminated through excretion. Once eliminated, they’ll not cause you harm.
Simple Self-Care Tips for Treating Hemorrhoids
Below are some methods you can use to treat and reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids:
- Soak- Dipping your anus in a bathtub or sitz bath with warm water helps in reducing irritation, pain, and swelling by improving blood circulation.
- Exercise- Staying active makes stool move down the digestive tract much faster and reduces the chances of hardening.
- Respond quickly to the urge- Delaying going to move your bowels makes stool harden. Answer the call of nature immediately to avoid this.
- Eat plenty of fiber
- Drink lots of water
- Use H-Hemorrhoids Formula
As delicious and tempting junk food with low-fiber is, you have to discipline yourself to consume very little of it or none at all. Incorporating a high-fiber diet is the best decision you could make if you want to get rid of hemorrhoids and live a longer and healthier life.