Hemorrhoids, or piles, are swollen veins around the anus or in the lower rectum, where waste collects before passing as stools.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: external hemorrhoids, which form under the skin near the anus, and internal hemorrhoids, which form in the anus and lower rectal mucosa.
According to some scientists, 1 in 20 people suffer from hemorrhoids. Improper nutrition is one of the main reasons for the formation of hemorrhoids.
In this article, we will list some high-fiber foods that are good for hemorrhoids, as well as what foods you should avoid. In addition, you will also find some tips for the treatment and prevention of hemorrhoids.
How diet helps with hemorrhoids
A well-balanced diet, with foods rich in fiber and low in fat, can reduce or prevent hemorrhoid symptoms.
This is because fiber contributes to:
- reducing the time stools spend in the colon (colon transit time)
- increasing water retention in the colon, resulting in softer stools that pass more easily
- reducing pH levels in the colon, which also reduces the time it takes for food to pass through
According to the Dietary Guidelines, most people should aim to get 14 grams (g) of fiber for every 1,000 calories they consume.
Which foods to eat
It is important to include foods in our diet that can help relieve symptoms and support tissue healing. Some of the foods that are recommended for hemorrhoids include:
1. Wheat bran and shredded wheat
Wheat bran and shredded wheat contain insoluble fiber that bulks up the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Pears are incredibly high in fiber and other compounds that can benefit people with hemorrhoids. Pears contain fructose, which can act as a natural laxative.
Corn helps to soften the stool, which makes it easier to pass and reduces the risk of straining.
Tomatoes contain fiber and water, which can both relieve constipation and facilitate bowel movements. Tomatoes contain naringenin, a natural antioxidant that has a laxative effect in some forms of constipation.
5. Citrus fruits
The inner skin that covers the fleshy part of citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits, contains a lot of fiber. Like tomatoes, citrus fruits also contain naringenin, a compound that has a laxative effect.
They contain a lot of water, which helps relieve constipation and soften stools.
Which foods to avoid
Processed foods and those rich in fat, sugar or refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of hemorrhoids, so it is good to avoid certain foods and products, such as:
- fried and salty foods
- chips and other packaged snacks
- full fat dairy products
- red meat
- carbonated drinks
Avoiding these foods and drinks can help keep your blood vessels healthy and reduce your risk of hemorrhoids.
It is important to maintain a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber to maintain healthy bowel function.