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Which foods impact haemorrhoids?

A key question we are regularly asked is…

Diet and Hydration are important factors when it comes to maintaining your health and wellness. Ensuring you have a balanced diet with plenty of fibre can fend off constipation and prevent the development of haemorrhoids.

If we don’t drink enough water or eat enough fibre, out stools can become hard, making them difficult to pass. This can result in the increase straining or less bowel movements than usual, creating build-up.

Straining too much will put pressure on blood vessels, which can lead to areas becoming swollen and enlarged. This can cause pain, discomfort, bleeding and be really itchy. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have piles.

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Swap white breads, pastas, and crackers for alternatives made with whole-grain flours, buckwheat or rye to boost your fibre intake. Cooked oats and barley are good in moderation too.

Plants with thin skins like apples, pears, plums, and potatoes are high in fibre, as well as compounds called flavonoids which can help control haemorrhoid bleeding.

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Beans and lentils are loaded with fibre. Most cooked beans such as kidney, navy, lima, or black beans will provide more than half of the recommended daily intake.

Nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts are not only high in fibre, but they have strong anti-inflammatory properties which could minimize issues with tissue swelling.

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Water keeps your digestive system flowing. Without water, the beneficial fibre you’re eating won’t work the way it should. The recommended daily intake is 2-3 litres of water per day.

Any foods that have the ability to scrape or irritate your haemorrhoids on the way out is a problem, so you should avoid certain nuts, seeds and popcorn when experiencing a flare up.

You may also want to avoid food that causes haemorrhoids to swell, such as foods with spices and hot sauces.

Here is a list of other specific foods that are known to irritate haemorrhoids:

  • Highly processed meats
  • Dairy and cheese if you are sensitive to these
  • Condiments such as pickles, relish, ketchup, soy sauce and mustard
  • Fresh onion and garlic
  • Gassy vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli’

Nutrition can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t yet know how calories, sodium, fibre and more interact with your body and your gut.

We recommend speaking to your doctor before making any diet, health and nutrition changes.

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