Hemorrhoids: What to Eat & What Not to Eat

by Ella

Hemorrhoids, though a common affliction, can cause discomfort and pain, impacting one’s quality of life. While medical interventions and lifestyle changes play crucial roles in managing hemorrhoids, dietary choices also significantly influence their severity and frequency. Understanding which foods to include and which to avoid can alleviate hemorrhoids symptoms and promote long-term relief. In this article, we delve into the dietary aspects of hemorrhoid management, offering insights into optimal nutrition for comfort and prevention.


Before delving into dietary recommendations, it’s essential to understand hemorrhoids and their causes. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum or anus, often caused by increased pressure in these areas. Factors contributing to this pressure include constipation, straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, obesity, and prolonged sitting or standing.


Symptoms of hemorrhoids can vary but commonly include:


Rectal bleeding during bowel movements


Itching or irritation in the anal region


Pain or discomfort, especially during bowel movements

Swelling around the anus

Prolapse of internal hemorrhoids, leading to protrusion through the anal opening

While medical treatments such as over-the-counter creams, suppositories, and surgical procedures are available for hemorrhoid management, dietary modifications play a pivotal role in alleviating symptoms and preventing their recurrence.

Fiber-Rich Foods:

A diet rich in fiber is often recommended as a first-line dietary intervention for hemorrhoid management. Fiber adds bulk to stool, making it easier to pass and reducing strain during bowel movements. Moreover, fiber helps regulate bowel movements, preventing both constipation and diarrhea, which can exacerbate hemorrhoid symptoms.

Here are some fiber-rich foods to incorporate into your diet:

Whole grains: Opt for whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, oats, and barley. These grains are rich in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool.

Fruits: Choose fruits such as apples, pears, berries, oranges, and prunes. These fruits are high in soluble fiber, which helps soften stool and promote regular bowel movements.

Vegetables: Load up on leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. These vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and essential nutrients.

Legumes: Incorporate beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas into your meals. Legumes are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting bowel regularity.

It’s essential to gradually increase your fiber intake to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bloating and gas. Aim for at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day for optimal digestive health.


In addition to fiber, adequate hydration is crucial for maintaining soft, easily passable stools. Insufficient fluid intake can contribute to constipation, worsening hemorrhoid symptoms. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider incorporating hydrating foods such as soups, broths, fruits, and vegetables into your meals.

Here are some tips to stay hydrated:

Drink water regularly: Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and increase your intake in hot weather or during physical activity.

Limit caffeine and alcohol: Beverages containing caffeine and alcohol can have a diuretic effect, leading to increased fluid loss. Consume these beverages in moderation and balance them with water intake.

Eat hydrating foods: Incorporate water-rich foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, and celery into your diet to boost hydration levels.

By staying adequately hydrated, you can soften stool and ease bowel movements, reducing strain on hemorrhoids and promoting overall digestive health.

Healthy Fats:

While some dietary fats can contribute to gastrointestinal discomfort, incorporating healthy fats into your diet can support digestive health and alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms. Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, help lubricate the intestines and promote smoother bowel movements.

Here are some sources of healthy fats to include in your diet:

Avocados: Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocados support digestive health and provide essential nutrients such as potassium and fiber.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, fiber, and essential minerals.

Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil as a primary cooking oil or salad dressing to add flavor and healthy fats to your meals.

Fatty fish: Incorporate fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout into your diet for omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support cardiovascular health.

Avoiding Trans Fats and Saturated Fats:

While healthy fats offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to limit or avoid trans fats and saturated fats, which can contribute to inflammation and digestive issues. Trans fats, often found in processed and fried foods, increase the risk of heart disease and exacerbate gastrointestinal discomfort. Similarly, saturated fats, present in fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and certain oils, can worsen hemorrhoid symptoms and should be consumed in moderation.

Here are some tips for reducing trans fats and saturated fats in your diet:

Read food labels: Avoid products containing partially hydrogenated oils, as they often contain trans fats. Opt for foods labeled “trans fat-free” whenever possible.

Choose lean protein sources: Select lean cuts of meat, poultry without skin, and plant-based protein sources such as tofu and legumes to reduce saturated fat intake.

Cook with healthier oils: Use oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, and canola oil for cooking and baking instead of butter, lard, or hydrogenated oils.

By prioritizing healthy fats and minimizing trans fats and saturated fats in your diet, you can support digestive health and reduce inflammation, ultimately easing hemorrhoid symptoms.

Probiotic-Rich Foods:

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote digestive health by maintaining a balanced gut microbiome. Including probiotic-rich foods in your diet can help regulate bowel movements, alleviate constipation, and reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Here are some probiotic-rich foods to incorporate into your diet:

Yogurt: Choose plain, unsweetened yogurt with live and active cultures to reap the benefits of probiotics. Avoid yogurt with added sugars or artificial sweeteners, as these can exacerbate digestive issues.

Kefir: Kefir is a fermented dairy product similar to yogurt but with a thinner consistency. It contains a diverse range of probiotic strains and can be enjoyed as a beverage or added to smoothies.

Fermented vegetables: Sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are fermented vegetables rich in probiotics. Enjoy them as side dishes or toppings to enhance the probiotic content of your meals.

Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage rich in probiotics and antioxidants. Choose unsweetened varieties to minimize sugar intake and maximize health benefits.

Incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your diet can promote gut health, improve digestion, and alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms. However, if you prefer, probiotic supplements are also available and may be beneficial for individuals with chronic digestive issues.

Foods to Limit or Avoid:

In addition to incorporating hemorrhoid-friendly foods into your diet, it’s essential to limit or avoid certain foods and beverages that can exacerbate symptoms and irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Here are some foods to limit or avoid when managing hemorrhoids:

Spicy foods: Spicy foods can irritate the digestive tract and exacerbate hemorrhoid symptoms such as itching and burning. Limit your intake of spicy foods such as chili peppers, hot sauces, and spicy curries.

Processed foods: Processed foods high in refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives can disrupt digestive health and worsen hemorrhoid symptoms. Opt for whole, minimally processed foods whenever possible.

Dairy products: Some individuals may experience digestive discomfort or constipation after consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream. If dairy exacerbates your hemorrhoid symptoms, consider reducing your intake or choosing lactose-free alternatives.

Alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body and worsen constipation, leading to increased strain during bowel movements. Limit your consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, especially if you’re prone to hemorrhoid flare-ups.

By being mindful of your dietary choices and avoiding trigger foods, you can minimize discomfort and promote digestive health, reducing the likelihood of hemorrhoid recurrence.

See Also: 16 Best & 8 Worst Foods for Hemorrhoids


Incorporating dietary modifications into your daily routine can play a significant role in managing hemorrhoids and alleviating associated symptoms. By focusing on fiber-rich foods, staying hydrated, consuming healthy fats, incorporating probiotic-rich foods, and avoiding trigger foods, you can support digestive health, reduce inflammation, and promote long-term relief.

It’s essential to listen to your body and pay attention to how different foods and beverages affect your symptoms. While dietary changes alone may not completely eliminate hemorrhoids, they can complement medical treatments and lifestyle modifications, enhancing overall management and improving quality of life.

Consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized dietary recommendations tailored to your individual needs and medical history. With a holistic approach that includes dietary strategies, you can effectively manage hemorrhoids and enjoy greater comfort and well-being.

Remember, consistency is key, so aim to make sustainable dietary changes that support your digestive health and overall well-being in the long term. By prioritizing nutritious, hemorrhoid-friendly foods and avoiding dietary triggers, you can take proactive steps toward optimal digestive health and symptom relief.



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