Certain foods — when consumed as a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle — can help treat and prevent hemorrhoids, also called piles. One example is almonds.
Eating almonds as a part of a healthy diet may help ease hemorrhoid symptoms and lower the risk of recurrence.
The main reason almonds appear to be beneficial against piles is that they contain a substantial amount of fibre.
According to MedlinePlus; eating foods that are high in dietary fibre help treat hemorrhoids.
Furthermore, almonds contain flavonoids. There are studies suggesting that flavonoids may be effective in treating hemorrhoids.
Nonetheless, people with hemorrhoids should chew almonds very thoroughly! Because undigested almond pieces in the stool may physically scrape inflamed hemorrhoids and make the situation worse.
To learn more about almonds’ effects on piles, please keep on reading.
Hemorrhoids: Quick Facts
Before explaining in detail how almonds may help with piles, let’s go through some facts about this common ailment.
- Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed blood vessels (veins) in and around the anus or in the lower part of the rectum. They are also known as piles.
- The symptoms of hemorrhoids include pain, itching, and rectal bleeding.
- Though the exact cause is unknown, piles are thought to develop due to increased pressure in the blood vessels in and around the anus.
- Straining during bowel movements, sitting for long periods of time on the toilet, chronic diarrhea/constipation, being pregnant, eating a low-fibre diet, and regularly lifting heavy weights can increase the pressure in the lower rectum and lead to hemorrhoids, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Hemorrhoids can either be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids occur within the anus or rectum whereas external hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus.
- Health authorities reveal that hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women, and about half of all people will have hemorrhoids by age 50.
- With lifestyle modification hemorrhoids often go away on their own.
How Can Almonds Help With Hemorrhoids?
Almonds may help with hemorrhoid symptoms by providing a substantial amount of dietary fibre. The other reason that makes almonds potentially beneficial for hemorrhoids is their flavonoid content.
This section explains in what way these dietary substances (namely; fibre and flavonoids) can improve hemorrhoids symptoms. This will in turn tell you why almonds might positively impact hemorrhoids.
Fibre-Rich Almonds are Potentially Beneficial Against Piles!
Straining to poop puts pressure on the veins in the anal canal, causing hemorrhoids.
Since people tend to strain when they are constipated, constipation is thought to be one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids.
According to the National Health Service, a diet that is low in fibre is one of the most common causes of constipation.
So those who are worried about constipation and hemorrhoids should eat enough dietary fibre.
The National Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases confirms that eating foods high in dietary fibre help treats and prevent hemorrhoids by making stools softer and easier to pass.
Among the tree nuts, almonds are the highest in fibre. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, almonds provide around 3.5 gr of fibre per 28 grams.
There are two types of fibre; soluble and insoluble. Almonds are particularly rich in insoluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre draws water into the stool and adds bulk to it, thus helping to prevent constipation.
Besides being beneficial for relieving and preventing constipation, fibre can also provide a feeling of fullness. Doing so makes you less likely to snack on unhealthy foods that can increase the risk of constipation.
Furthermore, according to a randomized control trial; dietary fibre may reduce the risk of hemorrhoid-related bleeding.
For these reasons, fibre intake is often considered a first-line defence against piles, or hemorrhoids. And, almonds are one of the highest foods in fibre that you can eat as a snack.
Flavonoids in Almonds May Help with Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Medical evidence says flavonoids may help ease hemorrhoid symptoms thanks to their anti-inflammatory activities.
For instance; research carried out in 2015 found that flavonoids may strengthen the blood vessels, thus may reduce the risk of piles.
Another study from 2018 reported that a mixture of flavonoids that include diosmin, rutin, and quercetin may help manage hemorrhoid-related bleeding.
A recent study published in Nature concluded that flavonoids can help manage the bleeding and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
These findings suggest that foods naturally rich in flavonoids may help ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids, such as bleeding and itching.
Berries, onions, and citrus fruits are particularly rich in flavonoids. Research reveals that almonds contain an appreciable content of flavonoids with 18mg per 100 mg.
This brings us to the conclusion that flavonoid-containing almonds may help improve hemorrhoid symptoms, especially if eaten as a part of a healthy diet.
What Type of Diet Can Help with Piles?
The National Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests eating a diet rich in fibre and drinking enough water per day can help treat and prevent hemorrhoids, as this type of diet could reduce the risk of constipation.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 daily dietary intake should be 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed.
Note: if your daily fibre intake is low, then increase your intake gradually to prevent digestive issues.
Foods that are relatively rich in fibre include:
- Whole grains
- apples, with skin
- pear, with skin
- dates and dried fruits
- Chia Seeds
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Making lifestyle changes to reduce pressure on the blood vessels in and around the anus is important to keep hemorrhoids from coming back or prevent them from occurring in the first place.
According to the Mayo Clinic, those who are worried about hemorrhoids should:
- eat high-fibre foods
- drink plenty of fluids
- avoid straining and holding your breath when making a bowel movement, as these can increase the pressure in the veins in the lower rectum.
- not delay the urge to go to the toilet
- stay physically active by doing moderate exercises (avoid lifting heavy weights)
- avoid long periods of sitting, especially on the toilet
- Fibre-rich and flavonoid-containing almonds may help treat and prevent hemorrhoids, also known as piles.
- However, since they are a solid food they should be chewed thoroughly. Otherwise, undigested pieces in the stool can make the situation worse by scraping inflamed hemorrhoids.
- Hemorrhoid symptoms should go away within a couple of weeks with home treatments. If the symptoms persist consider seeing your doctor about the situation.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.