If you are an adult (or mother) you’ve likely experienced a hemorrhoid at some point or another and would like to do whatever you can to prevent hemorrhoids again, right? Anal itching, bleeding, and discomfort is a sure sign that your hemorrhoids are inflamed. Whether the hemorrhoids are enlarged externally or internally, the likely causes are a low-fluid diet and a low-fiber diet, pregnancy, chronic illnesses to the bowel like constipation and diarrhea. Finding an effective, long term hemorrhoid solution can be difficult. However, if you stick with healthier food items, you will be on your way to a healthier you:
- Legumes – they are classified as a seed, pod, or other part of a plant such as a pea or bean, used as food. Examples of legumes are peas, lentils, and beans. Eating legumes has proven helpful in hemorrhoid prevention because it provides your body with more protein (without the animal byproducts), vitamins, and fiber and can give you softer stool. By increasing the fiber in your diet the softer stool will ease pressure on the hemorrhoids during bowel movements. The daily recommendation for fiber intake for women 25 grams and 35 grams for men. One cups of lentils has approximately 15 grams of fiber. Aim to increase the fiber in your diet. Try substituting beans in casseroles, chilies, & soups.
- Water – To prevent hemorrhoids, fluid intake is a must. The standard amount of fluid intake for a person is 64 ounces. However, to be more accurate, take your weight and divide it in half. Drink that number in ounces of fluid each day. It may be difficult at first to drink that much in water so try herbal teas, lemon or lime infused water, or even soups that have a broth base. Keep in mind however to keep the fluids low in sugar intake and to avoid alcohol. Higher amounts of alcohol can have an adverse affect in hemorrhoid prevention.
- Fruits & Vegetables – Fruits & vegetables not only add vital fluids to your body, they are packed-full with fiber-rich nutrients that are great for your stool and can be great at hemorrhoid prevention. Fiber is essential in reducing strain during bowel movements. High fiber fruits and vegetables include: beans, dark leafy greens like kale & spinach, apples, berries & avocados.
- Whole Grains – What is great about whole grains in hemorrhoid prevention is that they provide more fiber than the refined grains because they are the most nutritious part of the grain. In addition to having more fiber, whole grains also provide more macro-nutrients and fiber. Versus refined grains where fiber is removed from the grain, whole grains can help you reach your daily recommendation of fiber. Oatmeal is a great whole grain, as well as any other whole grain item like rice and bread. Keep overall carbohydrate consumption in mind and don’t overdo it. But you’re wondering – will I have to go to Whole Foods for whole grains? Not unless you want. Just buy it online and have it delivered to your door.
A high-fiber, high-fluid diet will help prevent hemorrhoids for you. There are several ways that you can achieve a high-fiber diet: eat more peas, beans, and lentils by replacing the meat in your standard dishes with legumes, eat more fruits and vegetables like dark leafy greens, avocados, and berries, and eat more oatmeal and by switching your white breads, rices, and pastas to the whole grain versions.