Hemorrhoids are painful swollen veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. They are caused by pregnancy, obesity, sitting too long or severe digestive problems. The symptoms include painful fecal movement, itching anus, presence of blood in stool, and tender bumps near the anus.
Hemorrhoids are experienced by about 50% of adults but they can also be experienced by children. The most effective and natural treatment for this painful and uncomfortable condition is hemorrhoid diet that this article will talk about.
What is hemorrhoid diet?
Although hemorrhoids typically resolve on their own, change in lifestyle is recommended in order to treat it and prevent it from coming back. The important lifestyle change is consumption of more fiber and enough glasses of water.
Hemorrhoid diet is the recommended diet that you need when you suffer from hemorrhoids. This includes the food that you should eat and the amount of liquid that you should take everyday.
Here are some foods that should be added or increased in your daily diet:
Fruits and vegetables
Apart from the nutritional value that is provided by fruits and vegetables, these food groups strengthen the immune system and provide more fluids in the body that prevent constipation. They also decrease pain during bowel movement. The following are the fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber:
- Dark leafy vegetables
Whole grains contain all the nutritious parts of the grain. This means that whole grains have more fiber, more micronutrients, and protein than the refined grains such as white flour.
Whole grains include amaranth, pearled barley, oatmeal, brown rice, wide rice, popcorn, and whole grain bread. Consuming at least 1 cup of pearled barley or ¼ cup of amaranth helps you get the recommended daily fiber intake.
Natural and unsaturated fatty acids
These healthy kinds of fatty acids help lubricate the passage for bowel movements reducing friction that may irritate the hemorrhoids veins. Furthermore, these unsaturated fatty acids promote cardiovascular health and provide the body with enough antioxidants. Natural, unsaturated fatty acids are found in sesame seeds, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, tuna, avocado, salmon, and fish.
Herbal remedies improve abdominal health and intestinal transit time. Herbal remedies include drinks infused with fennel seeds, licorice root, senna leaf or dandelion. These herbs calm down hemorrhoids outbreak, improve contractions of stomach muscles, and prevent constipation.
Chamomile and Melissa tea are good for relaxing the muscles. Drinking 1-3 cups of herbal remedies such as tea everyday is recommended. Individuals who are suspected to be allergic to herbs and pregnant women should consult a doctor before consuming them.
Drinking enough liquids
One of the common causes of hemorrhoids is dehydration. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to prevent constipation is drinking a lot of liquids such as water, fruit juices, and teas.
However, one should avoid drinking sugary or commercial juices. For people with small frames, the recommended daily liquid intake is 1.5 liters. For bigger build, 3 liters a day is recommended.
Foods not included in the hemorrhoid diet
The following foods make hemorrhoids worse:
Although spicy foods are healthy, consume just enough or a little because it can worsen hemorrhoids and discomfort. Avoid ginger, hot peppers, and pepper.
Although dairy products are rich in calcium that promotes bone health, dairy products can cause constipation to many people. Hard cheese and cow’s milk are examples of dairy products that are hard to digest. These products slow down the digestion process which causes constipation.
Eating too much meat causes constipation because meat is low in dietary fiber. Healthy alternatives to meat are grilled pork neck with olive oil and lean chicken meat because they contain healthy fats and protein that you need.
White bread, cakes, biscuits, puff pastry, candies, pies, dough nuts, and other processed foods promote constipation. Constipation leads to hemorrhoids and strained bowel movement.
Although hemorrhoids are tolerable and can heal on their own, you need to improve your lifestyle and diet. Hemorrhoid diet includes everything that you need to consume or add to your daily diet in order to avoid constipation that leads to swelling of the anal area and hemorrhoids.
Remember that fiber, unsaturated fats, and enough liquids promote healthy digestion while processed foods, meat, dairy products, and spicy foods cause indigestion and constipation. It is always wise to be aware about everything that we eat so that we can know how to improve our lifestyle and health.