Say No to Hemorrhoids by Saying Yes to a Plant-Based Diet

Say No to Hemorrhoids by Saying Yes to a Plant-Based Diet

Hemorrhoids Overview

Hemorrhoids are a part of normal human anatomy, and consist of cushions of vascular tissue. However, when this tissue becomes irritated and painful, treatment is necessary.

Since irritation of the tissue contributes to hemorrhoid discomfort, there are some specific dietary choices people can make to prevent or minimize the irritation before advanced treatment by a doctor is necessary.

Why a Plant-Based (Vegan) Diet Can Help Prevent Hemorrhoid Irritation

The most effective way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep your stools soft, so they pass easily and do not cause irritation. You can achieve the right consistency by making smart diet choices and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. A primary cause of hemorrhoids is a lack of fiber in a person’s diet, which often results in hard stools and constipation. Constipation can then lead to straining during a bowel movement, which is a risk factor for hemorrhoids. High-fiber foods help prevent hemorrhoids because they soften stool as well as increase its bulk.

Plant-based foots are naturally high in fiber, and people have reported that one of the main perks of going on a plant-based diet is an end to constipation, or at least far more regular digestion.  However, it’s important to note that as your digestive system adjusts to taking in more fiber, you might initially experience some increased irregularity and bloating.

If you find yourself constipated, try getting more fiber through your diet from green vegetables and 100 percent whole grains. Aim to get 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Great food sources of fiber include:

  • Legumes, such as split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans, and baked beans.
  • Whole grains, such as barley, bran flakes, oatmeal, and brown rice.
  • Leafy greens, such as spinach, ros lettuce, romain lettuce, beet greens.
  • Vegetables, such as artichoke, green peas, celery, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, savoy cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
  • Fruits, such as raspberries, pears, apples, oranges and bananas.

Increased Fiber Requires Increased Water

As you increase the amount of fiber in your diet, be sure to drink more water. If you increase fiber consumption without also increasing your water intake, it can actually make constipation worse. So if you’re trying out a plant-based diet, be sure to increase your water consumption along with all that new, beneficial fiber.

Staying well hydrated is also beneficial to one’s overall health, and is key to having healthy bowel movements. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water and other non-alcoholic liquids every day will help keep your digestive system running smoothly and your stools soft.

Fiber Content: Animal Products vs. Plant Based

Animal products and vegetable oils contain no fiber, while processed and refined foods have very little fiber. 88% or more of the calories Americans consume on a daily basis come from low-fiber foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, refined grains, oils, butter, shortening, candy, sodas, and potato chips. It therefore not surprising that 97% of Americans eat a fiber-deficient diet.

In other words, less than 3% of Americans consume the minimum amount of dietary fiber. Most Americans consuming the standard American diet eat a troubling 8 to 15 grams of fiber per day, whereas a diet based on whole plant foods can easily provide 60-80+ grams per day.

 

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