Piles or haemorrhoids are basically veins that swell in our rectum or anus which can cause difficulty in passing stools. While it is not a dangerous condition, in some cases, especially, if left ignored, it can lead to serious health complications. Piles are generally not painful and rectal bleeding is usually the only indication of the condition. It mostly occurs in people who have infrequent, irregular bowel motions which could be due to their food habits or bowel habits. This is because eating the wrong kind of food or straining your bowels too often than not can lead to haemorrhoids. Hence, by eating the right kind of food and keeping our bowels healthy, you can prevent haemorrhoids from happening. In this article, we reveal some of the common foods which can help in keeping piles away.
5 Foods To Keep Piles Away
If you have piles, your doctor or nutritionist might recommend you to eat foods loaded with dietary fibre. This is because a high-fibre diet can make stools softer. This can help in easy evacuation of stools from the body thereby helping you to treat haemorrhoids. The same rule applies when it comes to the prevention of piles or haemorrhoids. Moreover, food with high fibre helps because it can help to keep your bowel movements regular, which is the key to prevent piles.
Some of the common fibre-foods that can help to prevent piles at home and improve bowel movement include:
1. Legumes & Pulses
Legumes are a very rich source of fibre which is not only easily available but also low in price. These are quite easy to digest due to high fibre content and hence, are one of the best foods for people who are at risk for piles or have problems in emptying stools or constipation. Moreover, beans and legumes are packed with other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol level, improving diabetes control and regulating gut health.
Legumes you can include in the diet are chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, peanuts and soybeans. You can include these in the form of curries along with rotis or parathas or enjoy them in the form of soup to fill your stomach and reap its nutrients. So given the numerous benefits of these foods, it goes without saying that you should add legumes to your diet without fail. However, ensure you do not eat these in excess as it can increase the risk of flatulence or bloating as these can cause gas. So eat in moderation.
2. Whole grains
It is a well-known fact that processed grains are devoid of most of the nutrients which are good for health. As a result, eating processed grains hardly do any good for the well being and improving the overall health. That is the reason why it is advised to include whole grains in the diet, more so, if you want to prevent piles and improve your gut health. Whole grains are not only packed with essential vitamins and minerals but also contain high amounts of fibre, which is good for improving digestion and regulating bowel movement.
Natural bran powder is a great source of fibre as it cleanses your digestive system and keeps your bowels moving. Similarly, you can include other commonly available whole grains which include barley, oats, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, brown rice, corn, and bulgur wheat, which are well-known for its high fibre content and health profile.
3. High fibre vegetables
Vegetables also contain good amounts of fibre in addition to various nutrients such as iron, potassium, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese and antioxidants. Include more fresh and seasonal vegetables which are rich in fibre in your diet to reap its health benefits. You can include these vegetables in the form of curries, salads or plain boiled vegetables with a pinch of salt or pepper as an evening snack can do the trick. The idea is to ensure you eat a lot of vegetables which contain all the essential nutrients for better health.
Some of the vegetables that can help you get started include broccoli, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, green peas, and spinach. Broccolis are a great source of protein as well as fibre, which is not only good for your bowels but also improve your muscle strength and growth. You can enjoy broccoli either in the form of salad along with other vegetables or simply add it to your parathas or soups to make the most of this amazing green vegetable.
Fruits form an integral part of a healthy and balanced diet. It is advised that a healthy diet must contain 2 – 3 servings of fruit per day. The best time to have fruits is mid-morning or in the evening as a snack as it not only fills you up and prevents unhealthy bingeing but also provides the necessary energy and nutrients. And of the most important nutrient is fibre, which plays a key role in improving your gut health and digestion and preventing piles.
A banana a day is a great way to relieve constipation and keep your bowels working. The best way to reap the benefits of bananas to prevent constipation and piles and improve your bowel movement is to eat it whole. However, if you do not like eating bananas, then you can include it in fruit salads along with other fruits or have a glass of banana milkshake to get the dose of fibre. Besides bananas, other fruits that can help include apples and pears due to their high fibre content.
5. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are widely popular as a healthy snack option. A handful of nuts/seeds not only act as a stomach-filling evening snack but also prevent you from unhealthy munching which is quite common these days. But what most of us are not aware of is the fact that nuts are loaded with fibre along with being a great source of soluble fat. Nuts are a great way to ensure you poop right along with helping you to eat healthily and stay healthy.
Nuts and seeds that can help you to prevent piles and aid in healthy bowel movement include almonds, walnuts and chia seeds. You can add a ½ teaspoon of chia seeds to a glass of fruit juice or vegetable salad or to parathas while making the dough to reap its health benefits. Munch a handful of almonds as you curb your cravings and fill your stomach with a healthy snack.
Remember, you can follow these diet tips and include these foods in your diet even if you are suffering from piles as these foods can help improve your symptoms and aid in the treatment of the condition. And as always said, prevention is better than cure so load up your intake of these healthy foods. Also, some of the foods you should possibly stay away from are processed foods, beverages like alcohol or caffeine and spicy foods as these can aggravate your bowels even more and may increase the risk of painful stools and bleeding.
However, it has been found that piles can occur even by straining too much on your bowels while pushing. So while these foods can help prevent or avoid the illness, it is not foolproof. Foods can help you prevent some of it but it is also important to drink lots of water, sleep and exercise to improve your bowel movement and gut health. While this is a curable condition, constant haemorrhoids can affect the quality of life of the person suffering from it. This is one of the illnesses that can possibly be avoided by ensuring a good and healthy lifestyle. If you focus on eating right and taking care of yourself, you have nothing to worry about. Eat healthily, stay healthy.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)