How Fiber Helps with Hemorrhoids and Your Health
If you suffer from hemorrhoids in Los Angeles, you may have already spoken to your colorectal specialist about the importance of dietary fiber. This nutrient is essential to your digestive system and as such can play a crucial role in hemorrhoid prevention and recovery.
Fiber can also positively influence your health in a number of ways, but unfortunately, many Americans do not get enough. You may find it easier to get the fiber your body needs if you learn more about the role it plays in your body, as well as where it comes from.
All About Dietary Fiber
Fiber is found in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, but unlike the other parts of these plant foods, fiber cannot be digested. It remains mostly whole as it passes through your stomach and intestines, adding bulk to alleviate constipation and other digestive problems. By promoting bowel regularity in this way, fiber can reduce the risk of straining and uncomfortable bowel movements that contribute to hemorrhoids.
Plant foods usually contain two kinds of fiber:
- Soluble fiber dissolves in water and plays a role in managing levels of glucose and cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include citrus fruits, apples, peas, beans, carrots and oats.
- Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and is therefore beneficial in staying regular. Good sources of insoluble fiber include bran, nuts, green beans, potatoes, whole-wheat flour and beans.
To maintain a good fiber intake, its best to consume many different sources of fiber, as the amount of these two fiber types varies between plant foods.
The Benefits of Eating More Fiber
If your diet is lacking in fiber, adding more of the foods above can have a very positive impact on your health. For those 50 and younger, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men eat 38 grams per day and women eat 25 grams. Above the age of 51, the IOM recommends 30 grams for men and 21 grams for women. Your colorectal specialist can provide a more specific daily recommendation for your individual needs.
Getting the right amount of fiber can provide your body with several benefits like:
- Better bowel health. In addition to helping you stay free of hemorrhoids, a diet high in fiber can reduce your risk of diverticulitis. Though more research is needed, it may also help to prevent colorectal cancer.
- Weight maintenance. Because of their density, fiber-rich foods can slow you down as you eat and promote feelings of fullness. This makes high-fiber foods valuable in avoiding overeating, which can help you keep a healthy body weight to further reduce hemorrhoid risk.
- Lower levels of cholesterol. Soluble fiber may lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Some research also indicates that fiber can reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
Fiber is an important part of any healthy diet. Be sure not to overlook this crucial nutrient, especially if you hope to prevent hemorrhoids in Los Angeles.