Having hemorrhoids is not a pleasant condition to develop, it can be painful, and it can have an effect on your day-to-day life. For example, your diet will likely need to change to avoid triggering hemorrhoids. But how do you know what foods are going to be good for you and what foods are going to trigger hemorrhoids?
Luckily for you, we know a thing or two about medical conditions like this. The internet is packed full of articles that tell you all about hemorrhoids and what foods are good or bad. But, with such a slew of information out there, it can be tough to know which source is actually going to be what you are looking for.
So, in this article, we are going to go over what foods you should avoid if you want to avoid triggering hemorrhoids. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in and get started!
Table of Contents
- What are Hemorrhoids?
- What Causes Hemorrhoids?
- What Foods Can Trigger Hemorrhoids?
- What Foods Are Good to Eat if You Have Hemorrhoids?
- Key Takeaways
What are Hemorrhoids?
For those of you that are unclear about what exactly hemorrhoids are, in this section we are briefly going to go over what it is. In short, hemorrhoids are enlarged and swollen veins, which may otherwise be known as varicose veins. These swollen veins can be found outside the anus or in the lower rectum.
Everybody has hemorrhoidal tissue in this area, which is made up almost entirely of blood vessels, muscle, and connective tissue. These areas do not always get enlarged or distended, but as you get older this can happen more frequently. Sadly, when this happens, hemorrhoids can develop.
There are two main types of hemorrhoids, internal and external. They are quite straightforward and simply indicate whether hemorrhoids have developed in the rectum or under the skin around the anus.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can develop as a result of certain health conditions, and they can develop as a result of a poor diet. Below, we have listed the main conditions and factors that can cause hemorrhoids to develop:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Straining too hard during bowel movements
- Sitting on the toilet for a long time
- A lack of fiber in the diet
- Being overweight or obese can put pressure on the hemorrhoidal tissue.
- Aging can cause the connective tissue in the rectum and anus becomes weaker.
- Pregnancy pressure by the fetus can cause enlarged veins in the anus to develop.
These are by no means the only reason that hemorrhoids might develop. But, they are more likely to develop if any of the above apply to you.
What Foods Can Trigger Hemorrhoids?
At this point, you likely know that eating the wrong foods can cause constipation, which can cause hemorrhoids down the line as a result. But if you already have hemorrhoids, what foods should you avoid so that they do not get triggered or worsen?
Well, there are a few foods that are best avoided if you have or have had hemorrhoids in the past. We have listed them below for you:
- White Rice
- White Bread
- Processed Foods
At the end of the day, your meals should be balanced and packed full of the nutrients it needs to thrive. By eating a healthy amount of fiber, your body will be able to pass healthy soft stools, which will not aggravate the bowel or rectum. This can reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids.
If you are trying to up your fiber, it is recommended that you do so gradually and drink plenty of water. About six to eight glasses per day should do the trick. On top of that, doing regular exercises should also help keep you regular and your stools soft. All of this is highly beneficial for your body, and it will help reduce the likelihood of triggering hemorrhoids.
What Foods Are Good to Eat if You Have Hemorrhoids?
Now that you know a bit more about what foods you should avoid to help reduce the risk of triggering hemorrhoids, it is time to take a look at what kinds of foods will benefit you. So, in this section, we are going to explore what foods are beneficial for hemorrhoids.
It is important to understand that there are two main types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber will help your body produce soft stools and rescue constipation as it soaks up the water that goes through your body. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is beneficial for keeping Your bowel movements regular and helping things to move through your digestive system more easily.
But what foods out there will actually be beneficial for your digestive system and help you avoid developing or triggering hemorrhoids? Check out the main food groups that you should be eating from below!
Fruit is a fantastic source of fiber. Bear in mind that the skin of many fruits is what contains the fiber, so if you are eating an apple for example, make sure to eat the peel as well. If there is no fresh fruit on hand, you could get some canned fruit or dried fruit. Both are good alternatives if you are finding it hard to find any fresh fruit.
But, which fruits are best known for having a high amount of fiber? We have listed some common but fibrous fruits below:
You can enjoy other fruits, most will have some kind of fiber in them, but these are some common options that your body will certainly find beneficial.
Vegetables should make up a significant portion of your diet. They are almost always high in beneficial nutrients, and fiber. Some of the best high-fiber veggies are as follows:
- Brussel Sprouts
Bear in mind that some of these veggies like cucumber and lettuce have a lot of water in them. This can also be highly beneficial for your body and keep your stools soft.
If you want to up your fiber intake, you absolutely need to eat more whole-grain foods. So, if you love white bread, you might find it better to go for multigrain or dark rye bread instead. Alternatively, if you like eating rice, it might be better to go for brown rice, barley, wild rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, and wholemeal pasta. All of these options will be far more beneficial for you than white bread or white rice.
By making some healthy switches to your diet and eating more whole wheat foods will help you consume more fiber and by extension, you will have softer stools and more regular bathroom breaks. Both of these are going to be very beneficial for you and help not trigger hemorrhoids.
Seeds, Nuts, Lentils, and Beans
These foods are great sources of soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which in essence makes them the holy grail of fibrous foods. Instead of using meat in your stews, you might find it will be better for you to swap it out for beans, lentils, or nuts. These foods are helpful for your digestive system and as such, your body will be able to pass softer and more regular foods.
If you take kidney beans in particular, it would be about every twenty-five grams of fiber for each one hundred grams of beans. Almonds on the other hand will have about three grams of fiber in just twenty almonds. As such, it should be quite easy to reach your daily fiber limit of thirty grams.
Eating a variety of seeds, nuts, lentils, and beans will really be beneficial for you and keep your bowel movements regular. If you have the option to switch out meat for some beans or lentils, it would be highly beneficial for you and likely help reduce the likelihood of triggering hemorrhoids.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning about what foods you should avoid if you have or are prone to hemorrhoids. If this is a condition that has been affecting you recently, it is essential that you eat properly to avoid your health declining.
That being said, you do not need to cut out meat, dairy, white bread, white rice, or processed foods entirely. Simply lowering your intake and focusing on eating healthier foods like fruit, veggies, whole grains, and nuts will be better for you. Make these food groups the main part of your diet. Eating smaller quantities of less healthy foods will seriously improve your health.
- Cleveland Clinic. Hemorrhoids. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15120-hemorrhoids
- Acheson, Austin G., and John H. Scholefield. “Management of Haemorrhoids.” BMJ: British Medical Journal, vol. 336, no. 7640, 2008, pp. 380–83. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20508985.