Factors such as pregnancy, constipation and cirrhosis often increase the risk for swelling of anorectal veins. This condition is termed as hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids that develop due to constipation can be avoided by taking fiber rich diet. Diet for hemorrhoids should include fiber rich foods, iron containing foods and certain herbs that help in relieving hemorrhoid symptoms.
Importance of higher fiber diet in relieving hemorrhoid symptoms
- Corrects bowel irregularity.
- Increases the bulk of stools.
- Softens the stools by retaining water.
- Relieves constipation.
- Avoids straining at stools and relieves inflammation.
Intake of about 25-35 grams of fiber daily reduces the risk of hemorrhoids.
Fiber rich foods to support hemorrhoid treatment
- Turnip greens.
- Mustard greens.
- Navy beans.
- Egg plant.
- Collard greens.
- Whole grains.
- Flax seeds.
- Raw fruits and vegetables.
Among fruits, juices of dark berries are highly useful. Cherries, blue berries and black berries are rich in proanthocyanidines and anthocyanines that help in relieving the pain and inflammation of the swollen hemorrhoid veins. One glass of juice containing equal portions of dark berry juice and apple juice gives works amazingly for hemorrhoids.
Black currant juice is also very valuable in treating hemorrhoids. They contain vitamin C that helps in clearing the hemorrhoid tissue. Prostaglandins contained in currants help in regulating the pain.
Flax seeds are not only a rich source of fiber but also contain omega-3 oils that help in reducing pain and inflammation of hemorrhoid area. One to two tablespoons of flax seed powder taken daily softens the stools and also promotes bowel movement.
If you are planning to include whole grains in the diet for hemorrhoids then purchase unprocessed grains. The products you purchase should provide about 4-14 grams of fiber per cup of food after cooking. Upon having fiber rich foods you may experience gas for a couple of weeks. Don’t worry, your tummy will get used to it gradually.
Why to include iron containing foods in diet for hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoid patients complain of bleeding during bowel movements. In few patients it will be very severe leading to anemia. To prevent anemia, it is essential to maintain good reserves of iron in the body to support hemoglobin synthesis.
Iron containing foods that are helpful for hemorrhoid patients
- Dried apricots.
- Chicken liver, Tuna fish.
- Sunflower seeds.
- Lima beans.
- Butter beans.
It is highly recommended to take cantaloupe daily as it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The anti-coagulating properties of cantaloupe reduce the risk of forming blood clots in the hemorrhoid tissue.
In many cases our diet cannot provide the required quality of fiber. In such case one case take a dose of Psyllium seed husks (ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium) end of every day before sleeping. Small quantities of Psyllium seed husks (5-10 gms) can be taken on a daily basis when required, without any side effects.
Herbs recommended including in diet for hemorrhoids
Garlic, onion and ginger are best herbs to be included in hemorrhoids diet plan. These herbs promote breakdown of excess fibrin deposited in the damaged hemorrhoid tissue. By breaking down excess fibrin they reduce inflammation of the hemorrhoid area.
Other foods helpful in dealing with hemorrhoids
- Alfalfa, blackstrap molasses and green leafy vegetables that help in regulating bleeding hemorrhoids.
- Drinking about eight to ten glasses of water i.e. more than what you need.
- Probiotic foods such as yoghurt, tempeh and fermented vegetables. Useful bacteria contained in probiotics promote the health of intestines and prevent constipation.
- Flavonoid containing foods such as green tea, cornus root and licorice. Flavonoids help in controlling inflammation and also prevent damage of blood vessels. Thus, they help in controlling bleeding of hemorrhoids.
Foods to be avoided in diet for hemorrhoids:
- Highly refined foods such as cakes, white bread and white rice.
- Dehydrating foods such as alcohol that cause formation of dry stools.
- Low fiber foods such as cheese, sweets and meat.
- Acid producing foods such as dairy products, sugars, animal proteins, caffeine containing beverages and carbonated drinks.
- Fatty foods and high sugar containing foods.
It should be remembered that these foods are not replacement to drugs especially for those suffering with third and fourth degree hemorrhoids. This diet for hemorrhoids offers temporary relief from pain, itching, bleeding, inflammation and support the treatment process for a faster cure.