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Best Food Diets For People With Anal Fissures

By Dr. Shiv Kishor +2 more

If you notice a small tear in the thin and delicate tissue that lines the anus, it is probably an anal fissure. An anal fissure may occur when you pass hard stools during a bowel movement and put a lot of strain. They can cause pain and bleed with daily bowel movements. 

Fissures are common among people of all ages but can affect people of any age, especially between 20 to 40 years. Most anal fissures get better with simple treatments, such as increased fibre intake or sitz baths. Some people with anal fissures may need medication or surgery. If you are experiencing symptoms of anal fissure, consult with a doctor immediately and get it diagnosed properly. This will help you understand the severity of your condition. This article will shed light on the types of food you should eat to deal with fissures more effectively.

Food Diets For Anal Fissures

10 Best food items to effectively target fissure

Fissures are a rather painful condition that causes discomfort when you are sitting or even standing. Several food items can help lessen the symptoms of fissure effectively:

  1. Lentils: Lentils and legumes like beans and chickpeas are loaded with dietary fibre. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, adult males and females should consume at least 38 grams and 25 grams of fibre per day, respectively. Eating the right amount of fibre helps stools from being too hard and causing constipation. It also keeps stools from being too liquidy and causing diarrhoea. A soft, easily passed stool will be less hard on the fissure and keep it from getting even more irritated. 
  2. Watermelon: Dehydration or not having enough water in your body, can contribute to constipation. Watermelon is very healthy and one of the most hydrating foods you can eat. A cup (150 gram) of watermelon contains over a half-cup (120 ml) of water, in addition to some fibre and several important nutrients, including vitamin A, magnesium and vitamin C.
  3. Probiotic-rich foods: Curd is promoted in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment that works by targeting the digestive tract and promoting normal and pain-free bowel movements. You may also consume buttermilk.
  4. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fruits like lemons and oranges are loaded with vitamin C. Citrus fruits are an important source of antioxidants. They aid in lowering the chances of flare-ups and inflammation that comes with anal fissure. Include a variety of fruits and seasonal vegetables in your daily diet.
  5. Whole grains: Whole grains are similar to legumes, as they retain their germ, bran and endosperm, all of which are loaded with fibre content. Whole grains are rich in insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre cannot be digested by the body. They simply add volume to the stool and help us excrete with ease with less pain and discomfort that comes with fissures. Brown rice, quinoa, oats and barley are some examples of whole grains.
  6. Brown rice: Owing to its unpolished outer layer, brown rice is rich in dietary fibre and has a positive effect on lowering the chances of constipation. It can effectively target constipation by improving bowel movements and decreasing fissure occurrences in future. 
  7. Bell pepper: Similar to celery in terms of water and fibre content, bell pepper is a great addition to your diet when you have symptoms of anal fissure. It softens stool and lessens the need to strain while excreting. Raw bell peppers can be sliced or julienned and added to salads. It can also be eaten by dipping in guacamole or hummus dips.
  8. Coconuts: Coconuts are high in fibre, which helps bulk up your stool and supports bowel regularity, keeping your digestive system healthy. 
  9. Bananas: Loaded with pectin and resistant starch, a single banana provides an average of 3 grams of fibre. The combination of pectin and resistant starch helps in clearing stool easily and thus is a great addition to your diet when suffering from anal fissures.
  10. BroccoliAccording to research, the darker the vegetable or fruit, the more fibre it has. Vegetables like broccoli and carrots for example are loaded with fibre content. Some people prefer broccoli florets, but you can eat the leaves and stems, too. The stalk contains the most fibre, while broccoli leaves are highest in cell-protecting antioxidants, vitamins E and K and calcium.

I recommend one should consume 20 to 35 grams of fibre each day in order to keep constipation at bay. You may progressively increase your fibre intake by consuming grain bran, brown rice, muesli, whole-grain pasta, cereals and bread, legumes and peas, citrus fruits.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Did You Know 

  • Anal fissures can have a significant adverse effect on patients’ quality of life. source:NCBI
  • Anal fissures can heal by themselves within a few weeks with self-help measures. source: NHS
  • Anal fissures affect approximately 1 in 20 people in the United States. source: PubMed
  • The prevalence of anal fissures is higher in women compared to men. source: PubMed
  • Primary anal fissures have no clear underlying cause. source:NCBI

Also Read: Opting For Healthy Noodles: A Comprehensive Guide

Foods to avoid in fissure:

All food items that trigger problems like indigestion, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea must be avoided. A particular food may suit one person but not the other. Understand your triggers and exclude the food that may cause digestive problems. Here are some foods to avoid-

  1. Foods with chilly powder: Spicy foods are known to aggravate the stomach and thus make stool passing a painful job. Stay away from all kinds of food items that have been made with a lot of chillies or other spicy mixtures.
  2. Fast food: Fast foods have almost no fibre content and are harder to digest. Tone down your fast food consumption and reduce your intake of recipes made of all-purpose flour (maida) until your symptoms have lessened.
  3. Dairy products: Milk, cheese and other heavy cream products should be avoided while you are suffering from symptoms of anal fissure.
  4. Red meat: Red meat is the hardest to digest and can delay stool passing, thus is not advisable to consume for people with symptoms or tendencies of anal fissure. 
  5. Fried foods: Difficulty in digesting and are extremely hard to excrete. Additionally, most of them have zero to negligible fibre or nutrition content.
  6. Salty foods: The main reason why salty food should be avoided is that they cause bloating, making excretion a tedious task.
  7. Alcohol: Alcohol tends to make you dehydrated. Consuming alcohol for a patient may prove to harden stool passing. It dries up your stool and is not a good option for people with fissures.
  8. Caffeinated beverages: Coffee and strong milk tea can cause stool passing to be a tedious task while hardening the stool as well.
  9. Packaged foods: Pre-packed foods like chips and fries are not healthy in general, but due to lack of fibre they should be strictly avoided by people who are showing symptoms or have fissures.
  10. Frozen foods: Frozen food items may sometimes lose their nutritional content during the freezing process. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be consumed and frozen ones should be avoided.

Diuretics such as caffeine, may aid the body in eliminating extra salt and water. Dehydration brought on by caffeine’s diuretic impact, however, might result in anal fissures. So, caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea may help a person get their recommended daily intake of water. They often contribute less than that, though, and might not even have an impact on a person’s level of hydration.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: What is a Sitz Bath: Understanding the Benefits and Uses

Fissure-Friendly recipes to try: 

Khichdi, vegetable dalia, vegetable oats preparations, upama, idli, dhokla and other steamed and grilled preparations of healthy vegetables with low oil and fewer spices are good for the digestive system if you are suffering from anal fissure. Following are some different recipes to try

1. Roasted beans and carrots salad

  • Heat oven to 220 degrees. 
  • Put the carrots into a large roasting tin, toss with the lemon thyme (if using) and half the oil and then season well. 
  • Roast for about 30 mins until golden, turning halfway through cooking.
  • Cook the green beans in boiling water for 2 mins. 
  • Drain, cool under cold running water, then drain again. 
  • Mix the green beans, remaining oil and onion then season to taste. 
  • Toss with the hot carrots, then tear in the mint just before serving.
  • Serve immediately.

2. Veg quinoa upma

  • Add  ½ cup quinoa to a strainer and rinse very well in running water.
  • Heat 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Keep the heat to low or medium-low. When the oil is hot, add  ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add cumin, urad dal and moong daal.
  • Fry until the urad dal and moong dal turn golden.
  • Add chopped ginger, finely chopped onions and 7 to 8 curry leaves and sautee.
  • Add carrots, french beans and other vegetables of choice and stir fry.
  • Add the quinoa and sautee again.
  • Now add water and let it simmer.
  • Add salt per taste and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer on low heat until the quinoa seeds are cooked.
  • Give a quick stir and serve the vegetable quinoa upma hot or warm.

3. Vegetable and lentil soup

  • Mix red lentils, sliced celery, sliced leek, garlic cloves, tomato puree, thyme, ground coriander and sliced carrots into a large pan. 
  • Pour over 1 ½ litres of boiling water, then stir well.
  • Cover and leave to simmer for 30 mins until the vegetables and lentils are tender. 
  • Ladle into bowls and eat straight away.

4. Smoky beans on toast

  • Heat the oil in a small pan, add the onion and pepper and fry gently until soft, about 10-15 mins. 
  • Crush half the garlic and add this to the pan, along with the tomatoes, beans, sugar and some seasoning.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 mins or until slightly reduced and thickened.
  • Toast bread, rub with the remaining garlic and drizzle with a little oil. Spoon the beans over the toast, drizzle with a little more oil and scatter over the parsley.
  • Serve hot.

Thus, proper care and good food cooked at home may lower the risk factors like constipation making your recovery from anal fissure easier. When talking about the best food choices, no one’s advice suits all. It is best to follow your doctor’s advice and include the food items that suit you based on your overall health needs. Depending on the severity of your condition, along with doctor prescribed medications and a good diet, you should be able to recover well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is apple good for fissures?

Apples are rich in soluble fibre. Apple adds bulk to your stool and helps in passing softer stools, thus it is a good food item to include in your diet unless advised otherwise by your doctor.

Does exercise help with fissures?

Regular exercise increases blood flow throughout your body, which may aid in lessening anal fissures. Exercise also promotes regular bowel movements which may help as well. Avoid exercises that may strain the anal region.

Is egg good for fissure?

Eggs improve the movement of the intestines and help in making the stool soft. Eating an egg daily can be a good option if eggs suit you. You can consume eggs in moderation when suffering from anal fissure.

What causes anal fissure?

Anal fissures are most commonly caused by damage to the lining of the anus or anal canal while passing hard stools or due to trauma or irritation. Most cases occur in people who have constipation or persistent diarrhoea.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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