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The Diverticulitis Diet: An Overview

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The Diverticulitis Diet

In certain cases, dietary changes may alleviate diverticulitis symptoms. It’s possible that avoiding certain meals could help reduce symptoms while consuming others could make them worse.

In the United States, diverticulitis is a prevalent gastrointestinal diagnosis, and a low-fiber diet may be to blame. Antibiotics and surgery are examples of medical therapy.

During an acute episode of diverticulitis, doctors may advise patients to consume only clear liquids. Research has shown that dietary adjustments, such as increasing fiber and probiotic intake and decreasing the use of refined carbs and red meat, can help some persons with diverticulitis symptoms.

There are certain foods to add or avoid while suffering from diverticulitis. Let’s discuss in detail.

Diverticular disease: what role does nutrition play?

For a long time, experts advised sticking to a “low residue” diet. Avoiding foods that are difficult to digest, such as nuts, seeds, popcorn, and the peels of fruits and vegetables were recommended for those with diverticulitis since they were considered to aggravate the condition by becoming lodged in the diverticular pouches and causing inflammation and infection.

Although there is insufficient evidence to back up this recommendation and dietary restriction can cause nutritional deficits, it is no longer suggested. While doctors recommend a diet high in fiber, recent research has also highlighted the benefits of consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, such as flaxseeds. This can help you keep regular bowel motions and healthy stool consistency.

Adding more fiber to your diet is one way to help promote healthy intestinal lining and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria already present in your digestive tract. You can avoid uncomfortable gas and bloating by eating high-fiber food with each meal, and it’s best to increase your fiber intake gradually over a few weeks.

What to Eat to Avoid Diverticulitis Flare-up

When the pressure in your digestive system becomes too great, you may experience an episode of diarrhea or constipation (constipation). Foods with fiber keep your digestive system regular. These may include:

  • Carbohydrates from whole grains: Choose easier-to-digest foods like instant oatmeal, spaghetti, noodles, whole wheat bread, muffins, or wraps in place of rice and cereals.
  • Skinny meat: It’s common knowledge that eggs and tender cuts of meat (such as chopped chicken, baked fish, and ground beef) are simple to break down in the digestive system.
  • If the skin of cooked fruits and vegetables bothers your stomach, you may want to peel it off.
  • Starchy foods, such as potatoes: A high-starch diet is beneficial to your colon.
  • Water, tea, and juice: It’s best if the juice is consumed without the pulp, as it can aggravate intestinal problems (like apple, grape, or cranberry instead of orange).

Which foods should You avoid?

A person’s digestive tract may experience pain and discomfort if they eat certain foods that irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines. Each instance of diverticulitis has its own unique set of trigger foods, and it’s crucial to avoid eating anything that brings on a flare-up. According to the research, it is good to avoid eating foods that are difficult to digest (pouches).

  • Foods that are challenging to chew: Foods that are challenging to break down are more likely to become stuck in the pockets of your intestines.
  • Medium-sized seeds or nuts: These include sunflower seeds or hazelnuts. While the former may be difficult to digest, the latter normally aren’t (though they still may cause you problems).
  • In particular, popcorn and corn on the cob are problematic because they are typically consumed in large quantities with inadequate chewing, leading to a variety of dental and digestive problems.
  • Red meat: Some studies have linked eating red meat to an increased risk of diverticulitis flares.
  • High-FODMAP foods: According to some experts, a diverticulitis patient’s risk of experiencing acute attacks can be reduced by adhering to a low-FODMAP diet.

Preventing Diverticulitis: Some Easy Measures

Avoiding red meat, fatty meals, and drinking enough liquids are just a few of the dietary and lifestyle choices that can help keep your digestive system healthy and help you from developing diverticula. The use of NSAIDs such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), and ibuprofen (Advil) has been associated with an increase in diverticulitis. Risk factors for the illness include not only smoking but also being overweight.

Water is essential for people on high-fiber diets. You may increase your risk of constipation if you don’t drink enough water. Finally, diverticular illness can develop from delayed bowel movements because of the strain they put on the colon’s muscle tissue. Some guidelines for avoiding diverticulitis:

  • Doing regular exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid using NSAIDs.
  • It’s important to stay hydrated, so drink up.
  • Achieve and sustain a healthy weight
  • Listen to your stomach while it’s rumbling
  • Moderate consumption of red meat


Making dietary changes is a great place to start when trying to regain control of your life after being diagnosed with diverticular disease. It has been shown that modifying one’s diet can help alleviate the symptoms of diverticulitis and prevent flare-ups. A Gastroenterologist doctor may consider adding vitamins or drugs, such as antibiotics, to your treatment plan if you have additional health concerns or are not absorbing nutrients adequately.


1. How can I avoid getting diverticulitis? What foods should I stay away from?

There are no recognized food triggers for diverticulitis. Furthermore, there is no evidence that a particular diet can stop attacks from happening. Those who had diverticula (small pouches in the colon lining) were once advised to stay away from foods like nuts, seeds, and popcorn.

2. What kinds of meals cause you trouble when you have diverticulitis?

Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and artichokes are high in fiber yet can be difficult to digest because of their high fiber content. They could make you feel gassy and bloated if you eat too much of them. It’s possible that those with diverticulitis have trouble digesting lactose.

3. What kind of fiber is beneficial for diverticulitis sufferers?

Kidney beans, black beans, and navy beans are excellent high-fiber food options. Apples, pears, and prunes straight from the tree. Potatoes, spinach, squash, and peas are all vegetables. Brown rice, quinoa, and heated oatmeal or amaranth are all great examples of whole grains.

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