The pain, tenderness, bleeding, and intense itching that accompany haemorrhoids are often enough to drive you up the wall. Also known as piles, these distended or swollen veins in the anus and lower parts of your rectum can clot or bulge if left untreated, may potentially requires surgery. Fortunately, some foods can help alleviate symptoms — and even help prevent piles in the first place. Check out the foods that are good for piles as compiled by the author in the article below. Team RetyrSmart
Fight Haemorrhoids (Piles) with these foods
- Here are 15 helpful foods for haemorrhoids
When trying to avoid or prevent piles flare-ups, one major rule of thumb is to make sure you’re getting enough fibre. You can get two types of fibre from food — soluble and insoluble. While the soluble kind forms a gel in your digestive tract and can be digested by friendly bacteria, insoluble fibre helps bulk up your stool To promote a healthy gut, you need both.
Legumes are the edible seeds of plants in the Fabaceae family. They include beans, lentils, peas, soybeans, peanuts, and chickpeas. They’re loaded with both kinds of fiber but especially rich in the soluble type
- Whole grains
Like legumes, whole grains are nutritional powerhouses. That’s because they retain their germ, bran, and endosperm, which are loaded with beneficial components like fibre.Whole grains are especially rich in insoluble fiber. This helps move your digestion along, which can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with piles
Keep in mind that whole grains go beyond hearty whole-wheat flour and bread. While these are good options, this category also includes barley, corn, spelt, quinoa, brown rice, whole rye, and oats.
- Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula, bok choy, kale, radishes, turnips, and cabbage.While they’re predominantly known for their anticancer properties, they also deliver an impressive amount of insoluble fibre.
Artichokes are loaded with fiber, with a raw, medium-sized one (128 grams) packing about 7 grams of this nutrient. Like many fiber-rich foods, artichokes’ fiber helps feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Two human studies found that inulin — a type of soluble fiber in artichokes — increased the number of beneficial gut bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. This may help prevent the onset of piles or diminish its symptoms by keeping your gut healthy and regular
- Root vegetables
Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, turnips, beets, rutabagas, carrots, and potatoes are filling and packed with nutrition. They’re rich in gut-healthy fibre, containing about 3–5 grams per serving. When it comes to tubers, keep in mind that much of their fiber is harboured in the skin, so be sure to leave it on when you enjoy them.
What’s more, cooked and cooled white potatoes contain a kind of carbohydrate known as resistant starch, which passes through your digestive tract undigested. Like soluble fiber, it helps feed your friendly gut bacteria. As this reduces constipation, it may ease piles symptoms.
- Bell peppers
Another great vegetable to help with piles is bell pepper. While not as fibrous as some of the other vegetables included in this list, bell peppers are very hydrating with a water content of 93%. Along with fiber, this makes your stool easier to pass and prevents straining.
Similarly to bell peppers, celery delivers a lot of water, as well as fibre. This softens your stools and diminishes the need to strain.
- Cucumbers and melons
Cucumbers and melons belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.Like bell peppers and celery, they’re delicious ways to bring fiber and water into your digestive tract. When enjoying cucumber, make sure to leave the skin on, as that will ensure you get the most fibre.
Be sure to eat this fruit with the peel on, as that’s where a lot of the piles-defying fiber can be found. Pears make an excellent snack on their own or can be stewed or tossed into soups or salads.
Like pears, apples boast an impressive amount of fiber. This helps soften and bulk up your stool, easing straining and aiding the discomfort associated with piles.
While berries are considered fibrous, raspberries stand out as a fibre-packing powerhouse. Together, these nutrients will make it easier to go to the bathroom without straining.
Boasting both pectin and resistant starch, bananas are an ideal food to incorporate into your diet to calm piles symptoms. While its pectin creates a gel in your digestive tract, its resistant starch feeds your friendly gut bacteria — a great combination to help your haemorrhoids.
- Stewed prunes
Prunes are considered nature’s laxative. This is attributed not only to fibre but also sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that your intestines don’t digest well. It draws water into your digestive tract, softening stools and spurring the need to use the bathroom. Stewed prunes pack a bit more water. To make them, simply simmer dried prunes in filtered water for 10 minutes or until soft.
Keeping yourself hydrated will help make stools softer and easier to pass. How much water you should drink depends on your age, sex, and activity level. Be sure to opt for water the majority of the time. If you need a bit more flavour, infuse it with lemon slices or berries.
You may occasionally reach for other fluids that are low in sugar, such as unsweetened or mildly sweetened teas and clear low-sodium broths.
Foods to avoid
It’s a good idea to limit foods that are low in fibre. These can worsen constipation, which can trigger piles.
Low-fibre foods to avoid include:
- Dairy products. These include milk, cheese, and other varieties.
- White flour. This flour has had the bran and germ removed, making it less fibrous. Products made from this type of flour include white breads, pasta, and bagels.
- Red meat. Avoid this type of meat, as it takes longer to digest and may exacerbate constipation.
- Processed meats. These foods, such as bologna and other cold cuts, are low in fiber and high in sodium, increasing your risk of constipation.
- Fried foods. These can be hard on your digestive tract and difficult to digest.
- Salty foods. They may cause bloating and make your haemorrhoids more sensitive.
You should also avoid:
- Spicy foods. While not necessarily low in fibre, spicy food may increase pain and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids.
- Caffeinated beverages. These beverages, especially coffee, may harden your stools and make it more painful to use the restroom.
- Alcohol. Like caffeinated beverages, alcoholic drinks can dry up your stools and exacerbate the discomfort of piles.
The bottom line
Haemorrhoids, or piles, can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.While certain foods may worsen your symptoms, others can be highly beneficial.
Increasing your fibre intake may help diminish symptoms — as can staying hydrated with plenty of water.
However, if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen, see your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for you.