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Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Hemorrhoids
What should I eat if I have hemorrhoids?
Your doctor may recommend that you eat more foods that are high in fiber. Eating foods that are high in fiber can make stools softer and easier to pass and can help treat and prevent hemorrhoids. Drinking water and other liquids, such as fruit juices and clear soups, can help the fiber in your diet work better. Ask your doctor about how much you should drink each day based on your health and activity level and where you live.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 External link recommends a dietary fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed. For example, for a 2,000-calorie diet, the fiber recommendation is 28 grams per day.
The amount of fiber in a food is listed on the food’s nutrition facts label. Some fiber-rich foods are listed in the table below.
|Food and Portion Size||Amount of Fiber|
|1/2 cup high-fiber bran, ready-to-eat cereal||14.0 grams|
|1 cup of shredded wheat, ready-to-eat cereal||6.2 grams|
|1 medium pear, with skin||5.5 grams|
|1 medium apple, with skin||4.8 grams|
|1 cup of raspberries||8.0 grams|
|1/4 cup of prunes||3.1 grams|
|1 cup of green peas, cooked||8.8 grams|
|1 cup of collard greens, cooked||4.8 grams|
|1 cup of sweet potato, cooked||6.3 grams|
|1 medium potato, baked, with skin||3.9 grams|
|1 cup of winter squash, cooked||5.7 grams|
|1/2 cup navy beans, cooked||9.6 grams|
|1/2 cup pinto beans, cooked||7.7 grams|
|1/2 cup kidney beans, cooked||5.7 grams|
A doctor or dietitian can help you learn how to add more high-fiber foods NIH external link to your diet.
What should I avoid eating if I have hemorrhoids?
If your hemorrhoids are caused by chronic constipation, try not to eat too many foods with little or no fiber, such as
- fast food
- ice cream
- prepared foods, such as some frozen and snack foods
- processed foods, such as hot dogs and some microwavable dinners
Diet for Piles and Hemorrhoids
Sandhya Gugnani is a practising Nutritionist and started her career in 1997 trained at Dietetics Deptt at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. Started her carrier with m
What is Hemorrhoids?
In Hemorrhoids veins inside the bottom get swollen and inflamed. 75% of people suffering with it is mainly in the age group of 45-65 years or if one is pregnant. Hemorrhoids may also lead to rectal bleeding. It is swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum and anus. Swollen Hemorrhoids are also called piles.
What causes Hemorrhoids?
Pressure during bowel movements
Diarrhoea or constipation
Extra weight, obesity
Low fibre diet, high consumption of processed spicy foods
Also, people who sit or stand for long hours are at greater risk too
Prevention and diet for Hemorrhoids:
A simple lifestyle change can give relief from mild Hemorrhoids symptoms.
- Dietary changes by adding more fibre in the diet through whole grain like barley, quinoa, brown rice, rye, oats and legumes etc.
- Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, zucchini, pumpkin, bell peppers, cucumber etc. Fruits like melon, pear, apple raspberries, banana and prunes. Also adding one root vegetable a day like sweet potato, carrot, beetroot, turnips etc.
- Drinking adequate water will also prevent constipation.
- Lead a physically active life, and involved in regular physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day
- Don’t wait when one get an urge to use the washroom or strain during bowel movement
- Maintain a healthy weight
- For faster relief, sit in a warm bath or use an ice pack or hemorrhoids cream.
Foods to avoid:
It is a good idea to reduce the intake of low fibre foods which can result in constipation and at the same time can aggravate Hemorrhoids.
- Limit intake of dairy products including milk, cheese and other variety.
- Refined flour like white bread, pasta, noodles etc.
- Red and processed meats which are low in fibre and high in sodium.
- Fried, Salty and Spicy foods which will make hemorrhoids more sensitive and make it more painful.
- Caffeinated beverages and Alcohol can harden your stool and may increase pain and discomfort.
6 Easy Ways to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hampered by hemorrhoids? These simple strategies can help prevent hemorrhoid pain from getting in the way of your life.
They may not be fun to talk about, but hemorrhoids are actually a fairly common part of life.
“Hemorrhoids are normal features of anatomy,” says Steven Kussin, MD, a gastroenterologist in New York and author of Doctor, Your Patient Will See You Now: Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care. “We all have them.”
They become a problem when hemorrhoids start to become itchy, cause pain, or bleed. Fortunately there are a number of simple strategies to prevent hemorrhoids from interfering with your daily life.
1. Fill Up on Fiber
Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in people who have infrequent bowel movements. One of the easiest, most natural ways to become more regular is by filling up on fiber either through your diet or supplements. “Adding fiber to the diet is the universal recommendation of both family doctors and gastroenterologists,” says Dr. Kussin. “It may increase gas, but this is a small price to pay for the benefits.” Aim to get 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Great food sources of fiber include:
- Legumes, such as split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans, and baked beans
- Whole grains, such as barley, bran flakes, oatmeal, and brown rice
- Vegetables, such as artichoke, green peas, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
- Fruits, such as raspberries, pears, apples, and bananas
2. Drink Enough Water
This hemorrhoid prevention strategy is simple and cheap, yet so few of us actually do it. Along with eating a healthy diet full of fiber, adequate hydration from water is the key to having healthy bowel movements. “Drinking enough water helps prevent constipation and therefore decreases straining,” says Richard Desi, MD, a gastroenterologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day doesn’t just keep your digestive system running smoothly, it benefits your entire body.
3. Get Plenty of Exercise
According to Dr. Desi, exercise and hemorrhoids have a love-hate relationship. “Exercise helps keep the colon more regular,” he says. “However, engaging in activities that increase abdominal pressure and/or straining (such as weightlifting) can lead to the formation of hemorrhoids.” Staying active reduces your time spent sitting and putting pressure on the veins in your lower rectum. If you have a history of problematic hemorrhoids, you might want to steer clear of lifting heavy weights or other strenuous activities and opt for more moderate exercise routines such as yoga, swimming, or walking to prevent hemorrhoids from flaring.
4. Be Careful When It Comes to Laxatives
When you’re constipated, some fiber supplements, particularly psyllium capsules, have a track record of helping get you more regular, which can prevent painful hemorrhoids. As far as laxatives go, they can help as long as you choose the correct ones. “The safest laxatives are those that work with your body rather than those that stimulate or simulate normal physiological activities,” Kussin says. “Some laxatives work by stimulating intestinal contraction to move the contents along. This might increase hemorrhoid pressures and cause symptoms.” To prevent hemorrhoids or to treat hemorrhoids that are active, Kussin suggests osmotic laxatives that simply increase the amount of water in the gut and reduce constipation.
5. Don’t Fight the Urge
When you have to go, go. This is one of the simplest ways to prevent hemorrhoids. “Ignoring Mother Nature has its risks, and hemorrhoids are one of them,” Kussin says. “If you obey your body when it screams at you, the chance of problems is less. You listen to everyone else when they scream at you; why not listen to your own body, too? When you wait until you decide you have the time to move your bowels, success will be far more elusive and straining far more likely.”
6. Avoid Straining
Straining and putting more pressure on the veins in your rectum is one of the most common causes of painful or bleeding hemmorhoids. In some cases, this can happen as a result of pushing too hard when trying to have a bowel movement. Other situations can cause straining too, such as lifting heavy objects, a chronic cough, or even pregnancy. If you have issues with hemorrhoids, Kussin advises being aware of the strain you’re putting on your bowels and avoiding it as much as you can.
Diet for Hemorrhoidal Sufferers: Tips for Preventing Hemorrhoids
1 in 20 people suffer from hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles. Symptoms range from mild irritation to extreme pain that disrupts your lifestyle.
Yet, certain techniques can prevent or provide relief for those affected by hemorrhoids. Your diet and lifestyle choices play a big role in managing this condition. Certain foods can help to reduce symptoms while others can cause a flare-up.
Read on to learn more about finding the best diet for those that suffer from hemorrhoids.
The Main Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids result from inflamed veins in the anus and rectum. This can cause sensitivity, itching, hemorrhoid pain, and bleeding. They also make bowel movements more painful and difficult and may produce mucus discharge.
Certain activities or situations can cause a flare-up to occur. This includes bathroom habits like straining while trying to pass a stool. Doing this may cause rectal veins to swell.
Waiting too long to go to the bathroom can harden your stools and make them more uncomfortable. Be sure to use a comfortable sitting position when going to the bathroom. Don’t stay on the toilet for long periods as this creates extra pressure.
Heavy lifting or an inactive lifestyle may also contribute to hemorrhoids. Sitting for long periods of time puts a strain on your rectal veins. Weight gain is another cause of this condition.
Some people develop hemorrhoids after an illness that causes repetitive constipation or diarrhea. You can even get hemorrhoids from coughing too much or too intensely.
Hemorrhoids often occur in pregnancy for many women as well. This is caused by an increase in weight and pressure on the organs.
An unhealthy diet leads to constipation and other digestive problems. Hemorrhoids can develop from this and symptoms can worsen.
The Best Diet for Hemorrhoidal Sufferers
The right diet can help prevent hemorrhoids and find relief from their symptoms. Here are 5 helpful tips to follow a proper diet for hemorrhoids sufferers.
1. Stay Hydrated All Day Long
One important tip is to drink plenty of water. This keeps you well hydrated and helps with bowel movements. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Constipation can come from dehydration, which only complicates hemorrhoids further. Drinking plenty of water also helps you digest fiber to avoid constipation.
It helps to consume foods with high water content as well. Watermelon, celery, and cucumbers are all great choices.
2. Fill up on Plenty of Fiber
A hemorrhoids high fiber diet helps to regulate your bowel movements. It increases the amount of water in your stools and also makes your stools more normal and easier to pass. Fiber can reduce symptoms of hemorrhoids and make it less likely that bleeding will occur.
Fiber is also important for keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This means you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods that can cause digestive issues.
Along with protein, it’s a key nutrient for those who follow a regular workout routine. Physical activity is another helpful way to avoid hemorrhoids.
Be sure to include both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. Soluble fiber makes it easier to dissolve food in water. Insoluble fiber helps bowels to move along through the intestines.
Some of the best food for hemorrhoids includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Broccoli, apples, black beans, pears, peas, lentils, and bananas are high in fiber. Brussel sprouts, raspberries, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and prunes are other good choices.
Fruit skins are a great source of insoluble fiber so be sure to leave them on. Taking a fiber supplement can also be helpful for hemorrhoids.
3. Focus on Foods High in Flavonoids
Flavonoids are plant-based chemicals that offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These phytonutrients repair tissue damage and support the lymphatic drainage system.
They also help with weight management and can lower your risk of obesity. Carrying around extra weight has a connection with developing hemorrhoids.
Research shows that flavonoids can be effective in treating hemorrhoids. You can find flavonoids in tea, red wine, and citrus juice. Spinach, kale, and onions also have a high content of these nutrients.
4. Limit Foods That Can Cause Constipation
Foods that cause hemorrhoids are often low in fiber. This leads to constipation which worsens the condition.
Avoid processed foods and refined carbs, like white bread and pasta. Having a gluten or wheat sensitivity should also call for a special diet like this.
Dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and milk can also increase constipation. Avoiding red or processed meat can be helpful as well.
5. Maintain a Healthy Gut
Your gut health has a lot to do with how your digestive system functions. Good and bad bacteria live inside your gut and it’s important to maintain a balance between the two.
Probiotics can help enhance your gut health and promote healthy bacteria. You’ll find these in foods like kombucha, kimchi, and miso. A plant-based diet is also good for detoxifying your body.
Foods to avoid with hemorrhoids include fried food or those high in saturated fat. Spicy food can also upset your stomach and cause irritation when going to the bathroom. Avoiding spicy foods will also help reduce acid reflux.
Caffeine and alcohol are other culprits that can disrupt your gut function. Too much sodium can dehydrate you and increase bloating.
Foods to Fight Piles or Hemorrhoids
What are piles?
Piles or hemorrhoids is a medical condition in the veins seen in the anal region are swollen and inflamed. Piles can be of various sizes and could be formed internally or externally. Internal piles are found 2 to 4 centimeters above the anal opening, and external piles are found at the edge of the anus.
How does diet help in managing and preventing piles?
Piles develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum due to:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long times on the toilet
- Having chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Having a low fiber diet
Hence, consuming foods rich in fiber can help reduce the symptoms of piles and also help prevent them. The benefits of fiber intake are:
- Increases water retention in the colon
- Increase in stool bulk
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Food For Piles: What are the types of food that can be consumed for piles?
There are two types of fiber – Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber
- Soluble fiber –This is in the form of gel when dissolved in water. This allows the stool to be soft, easy to pass and well-formed.
- Insoluble fiber – This fiber does not dissolve in water but helps in adding bulk to the stool .A person can consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. But it has to be made sure at least one-third of them are soluble. A excessive intake of fiber, however, causes gas and bloating. Drinking more fluids can also help in easy passage of stools. It is important to have at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
What foods help in preventing or managing piles?
Foods that are rich in fiber such as :
Wheat bran and shredded wheat
Taking 1/3 to ¼ cups of fiber and ready-to-eat bran cereal containing 9.1 to 14.3g of fiber can help prevent piles. Also, eating 1 to ¼ cups of shredded and ready-to-eat bran cereal that contains 5 to 9 grams of fiber is very useful for preventing piles, as they contain insoluble fiber. This makes the stool bulkier and easy to pass.
Apples are a rich source of fiber when eaten with the skin, which contains 4.4 g of fiber. Apples contain insoluble fibers in their skin. These fibers do not break down and help in bulking up the stool, causing a laxative effect. Therefore, apple is considered to be one of the recommended foods for managing piles.
β-glucan is the fiber content that can be found in barley. This fiber breaks down and forms a viscous gel in the colon that helps in softening the stool. Good colon health can be maintained by consuming barley.
A cup of cooked lentils contains 15.6 grams of fiber. Similarly, pulses such as chickpeas, lima beans, split peas are the best sources of fiber. Green lentils help increase the stool’s weight, thus reducing the time it stays in the colon.
The skin-to-flesh ratio is high in raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. One serving of berries (100 grams) contains 6.5 grams of fiber. The water content in berries is high. Hence, the stools are softened. This helps the digestive system function smoothly. The fructose content in berries gives a natural laxative effect.
3.8 grams of fiber is found in one medium-sized baked sweet potato with skin and 3.6 grams of fiber is found in one medium-sized baked potato with skin. Potatoes generally contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. A strong laxative effect is also more often found in sweet potatoes than in other vegetables.
Tomatoes are rich in fiber and water, and help ease constipation, making it easy to pass stool. Naringenin, a natural antioxidant has a laxative effect on few forms of constipation. Therefore, tomato is another recommended food option for managing piles.
One serving of kiwi has 3 grams of fiber and a sufficient amount of water. It acts as a laxative, increases stool bulk and eases the passage of stool. This helps to reduce the colon transit time. Enzyme zyactinase in kiwi fruits improves digestion.
Prunes are a kind of dry plums. One cup of stewed prunes contains 3.8 grams of fiber. The feeling of fullness can be maintained for a long time while consuming dried prunes. Thus, the person need not eat often. It helps to reduce constipation and obesity that are high-risk factors for piles.
Pears are extremely rich in fiber. There are 6 grams of fiber in pear with skin. Pears contain fructose that acts as a natural laxative.
Corn is being used as a source of fiber from ancient times. 4.2 grams of fiber is present in one cup of cooked sweet corn.
4 grams of fiber present in one cup of cooked oatmeal is capable of improving health. It also helps in softening the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Whole wheat bread, pasta, and cereals
Whole wheat products are rich in insoluble fiber, and increases the fecal volume and colon transit time. Whole wheat products contain both soluble or insoluble fibers.
Broccoli can improve digestion because it contains sulforaphane. Symptoms of constipation can be prevented by eating 20 grams of raw broccoli sprouts every day for weeks. It reduces strain and fastens bowel movements.
The inner skin of lemons, oranges and grapefruits contain fibre. These citrus fruits also have naringenin, a compound with a laxative effect. They have a high-water content that softens stools and eases constipation.
Peas, pulses and dried beans are extremely rich in fiber. While a cup of half-cooked beans contains 9.6 grams of fiber, half-cup of kidney beans contains 5.7 grams of fiber.