The intense pain, bleeding and itching that come with hemorrhoids are enough to make you crazy and troublesome. Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are distended or swollen veins in the anus or lower region of the rectum that can clot or swell if left untreated and may need surgery. Around 1 in 20 people suffer from hemorrhoids and symptoms vary from mild irritation to extreme pain that hinders their day-to-day activities.
Hemorrhoids are categorised by inflamed veins in the anus and rectum, which can lead to sensitivity, itching, pain and bleeding. It also makes the bowel movements more painful and hard that may produce mucus discharge.
Some of the causative factors of hemorrhoids include:
Pressure during bowel movements
Unhealthy diet habits
People who sit or stand for long hours are at higher risk.
Also Read: Hemorrhoids: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Diet and lifestyle modifications play a huge role in managing this condition. Certain foods can help to ease symptoms while others can cause a flare-up. The right diet can help avert hemorrhoids and offer respite from the symptoms.
Read through this article to get an insight onto the best diet that helps in managing piles.
Foods To Include:
One key rule to avert or avoid hemorrhoids flare-ups is to ensure that you are getting an adequate amount of fibre in the diet. There are two types of fibre -soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre forms a gel in the gastrointestinal tract and can be digested by gut-friendly bacteria, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and regularize bowel movements. Both are needed to maintain gut health.
Legumes include beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, peanuts and chickpeas are loaded with both types of fibre, particularly rich in the soluble type, which helps to add bulk to the stool, regularize bowel movements and ease symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates that retain germ, bran and endosperm and packed with fibre. Being intrinsically rich in soluble fibre they stimulate the digestion process and help to mitigate pain and discomfort associated with piles. Swap refined cereals in the diet with healthy alternatives like barley, corn, quinoa, oats, whole rye, wheat, and brown rice. Oats is a good option to add to your meal plan, as it contains beta-glucan, a specific kind of soluble fibre that benefits gut microbiome by acting like and prebiotic and feeds gut-friendly bacteria. While choosing oats go for steel-cut or rolled oats over the processed ones to add up the fibre content.
Also Read: Soluble Vs Insoluble Fibre: Know The Difference, Health Benefits And Sources
Fruits And Vegetables
Plant foods come with a plethora of nutrients that delivers you a magnitude of health benefiting properties. Try to have them with their skins like apples, pears, plums and potatoes, where the insoluble fibre and flavonoids are loaded that support to control hemorrhoids bleeding and inflammation.
Vividly coloured products like tomatoes, grapes, berries, kale, and other dark, green leafy vegetables are rich in flavonoids. Have them as salads or half cook them, so that it retains nutrients and colour.
A serving of fruits meet 10% daily allowance of fibre, while a cup of leafy green vegetables, broccoli, winter squash or green peas will provide you with 5 grams of fibre. Some fruits and veggies are packed with lots of water like cucumber, celery, bell peppers and watermelons -contains 90% water.
Ensure to add one fruit or vegetable to any meal like bananas or berries in your breakfast cereal, apples, cucumber on your salads, spinach in omelettes or grated zucchini in spaghetti sauce.
Keeping yourself hydrated will help make stools softer, bulkier and easier to pass. It is vital to drink plenty of fluids, as this will help to regularise bowel movements. Aim for at least 2-3 litres of water a day, to add a bit of flavour infuse water with lemon slices or berries. Constipation can be the result of dehydration, which worsens hemorrhoids. Additionally, drinking plenty of water also helps to digest fibre and avert constipation.
Foods To Avoid
Simple or refined carbohydrates are low in fibre and it’s good to limit the intake of these foods, as it can aggravate constipation and trigger piles.
Some of the Low-fiber foods to avoid include:
Milk and Milk products such as milk, cheese, and other varieties.
White flour has the bran and germ layer removed making it less fibrous. Some of the food products made from this type of flour include white bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, and bagels.
Red meat and organ meat takes a longer duration to digest and may worsen constipation.
Processed meats are also low in fibre and high in sodium, which increases the risk of constipation.
Deep-fried foods and snacks are hard on the intestinal tract and difficult to digest.
Salty foods can lead to bloating and make hemorrhoids more sensitive.
Spicy foods may increase pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
Caffeinated beverages like coffee, may harden stools and make it more painful to use the restroom.
Alcoholic drinks can dry up your stools and aggravate the discomfort of piles.
Dietary modification plays a significant role in managing hemorrhoids. Include high fibre foods in meal plan like whole grain like barley, quinoa, brown rice, rye, oats and legumes.
Add a rich array of fruits and vegetables like spinach, gourd varieties, cauliflower, cucumber, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables etc. Fruits such as apple, banana, melons, guava, pear, and berries.
Stay well hydrated.
Lead an active lifestyle and regularly engage in moderate intensity workouts for a minimum 30 minutes in a day may greatly help to maintain weight and lower the risk of hemorrhoids.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Sit in a warm bath or use an ice pack or hemorrhoids cream for faster relief.