Healing Kitchen

A diet rich in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, is recommended for hemorrhoid sufferers. A recent study found that skipping breakfast is significantly associated with hemorrhoids, so eating breakfast is a wise choice and a great opportunity to bulk up on dietary fiber. Fiber is helpful because it relieves constipation, which is linked to hemorrhoids. Dietary fiber attracts water, creating soft, bulky stools that stimulate bowel contractions and ease elimination. Insoluble fiber, in particular, is beneficial because it is broken down slowly, if at all, by intestinal bacteria and promotes good bowel function. Wheat bran reduces the risk of hemorrhoids because it is rich in insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is broken down (fermented) by intestinal bacteria and has little effect on regularity. Most people associate psyllium with soluble fiber, but in fact, if you eat the husks, you are consuming insoluble fiber. Ground flaxseeds and oats also provide relief, by promoting regularity and improving bowel function. Fiber-rich prunes can improve bowel function because they contain a gentle laxative substance called dihydroxylphenyl isatin. Drinking plenty of water, 6-8 glasses per day, is essential when consuming a high fiber diet because fiber tends to bind water.

Eating the same amount of fiber each day helps the digestive system adjust to a high fiber diet. Gradually increasing the amount of fiber foods into the diet reduces bloating and flatulence; lightly steaming vegetables breaks down some of the gas-producing components.

In addition to dietary fiber, foods high in vitamin C, zinc, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, including quercetin, may be beneficial for managing hemorrhoids. Eating buckwheat and apples may improve hemorrhoids because recent studies show that they contain rutin, a type of flavonoid that has traditionally been consumed for the management of hemorrhoids. Garlic, dill seed, and sweet clover have also been traditionally used to treat hemorrhoids. Research suggests that citrus fruits contain the flavonoids hesperidin and diosmin, which have shown promise in improving hemorrhoids.

We believe that it's possible to manage and/or improve certain conditions through what you eat. When we create "Mega-Recipes" for an ailment, we strive to include the maximum number of the nutrients that are shown to have benefit for that ailment. We also expect the Mega-Recipe to contain at least 25% of recommended intakes for those nutrients. See the list of recipes that have met our criteria for this ailment.

What You Should Eat & Why

Anthocyanins may be beneficial to hemorrhoid sufferers because they may strengthen veins by reducing permeability.
Leading Food Sources of anthocyanins: Cherries, Blueberries, Cabbage, red, Radishes, Grapes, Raspberries, Pomegranates, Cranberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries

complex carbohydrates
Studies show that hemorrhoids are very uncommon in areas of the world where a high-complex carbohydrate, high fiber, unrefined diet is consumed. A high complex carbohydrate diet is rich in dietary fiber and flavonoids.
Leading Food Sources of complex carbohydrates: Broccoli, Potatoes, Squash, winter, Blackberries, Pasta, wheat, Rice, brown

fiber, insoluble
A diet rich in insoluble fiber helps hemorrhoid sufferers because it promotes regular bowel movements, and bulks up and softens the stool, making it easier to pass. Some mild cases of hemorrhoids are primarily treated by drinking plenty of fluids and increasing the insoluble fiber content of the diet.
Leading Food Sources of fiber, insoluble: Figs, Rice, brown, Beans, dried, Raisins & Currants, Wheat, Prunes, Peas, fresh

Flavonoids may help strengthen veins and reduce the severity and duration of hemorrhoid symptoms.
Leading Food Sources of flavonoids: Broccoli, Grapefruit, white, Pomegranates, Limes, Chocolate, Soybeans, Oranges, Lemons, Apples, Tomatoes, Onions, Carrots, Blueberries

Quercetin may be beneficial for hemorrhoid sufferers because, as a flavonoid, it may bolster the structure of small veins and capillaries, by decreasing their permeability and fragility.
Leading Food Sources of quercetin: Cabbage, green, Grapefruit, white, Apples, Cranberries, Kale, Pears, Grapes, Spinach, Onions, Garlic

vitamin C
Foods rich in vitamin C are beneficial for hemorrhoid sufferers because vitamin C may help tone and shrink veins. Vitamin C also promotes the healing process.
Leading Food Sources of vitamin C: Cabbage, red, Oranges, Strawberries, Potatoes, Tangerines & other mandarins, Peppers, bell, red, Kiwi fruit

Zinc is beneficial for hemorrhoids because it may speed the healing process and play a role in wound healing.
Leading Food Sources of zinc: Barley, Chicken, Crab, Oysters, Lamb, Beef, Wheat, Turkey

Date Published: 05/03/2005
> Printer-friendly Version