Managing Diverticulosis with Dietary Fiber: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Manage Diverticulosis with Dietary Fiber?


Want to manage diverticulosis and look for solutions? A fiber-rich diet can alleviate symptoms and improve overall digestive health. Discover below high-fiber foods, their benefits, types, meal plans, tips, and much more in this guide to manage Diverticulosis with Dietary Fiber! Note that you should consult your doctor or dietician to check if this approach is feasible for you. 

Introduction – What is Diverticulosis?

Diverticulosis is a common condition affecting the large intestine and colon. Small pockets or sacs (diverticula) are formed in the colon. Diverticula affect the whole colon, but their favorite area is the sigmoid colon. The part of the colon that connects to the rectum is called the sigmoid colon. (1) 

Symptoms of Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis dietary fiber

Diverticulosis dietary fiber – Symptoms of Diverticulosis

Diverticulosis is secretive as most people don’t experience any symptoms, and the condition remains undiscovered unless you go for a routine colonoscopy or a diagnosis (2). However, some symptoms may include GI disorders (2):

  • Bloating & flatulence
  • Alternating bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Lower abdominal Pain (mainly on the left lower abdomen due to involvement of the sigmoid colon) (18)

The Role of Dietary Fiber in Diverticulosis

What is Dietary Fiber?

Plant-based foods, i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, contain a high content of dietary fiber, a carbohydrate type. Fiber is difficult to digest and absorb by the body, like other carbohydrates. However, it adds bulk to the stools and promotes regular bowel movements (3).  

How Does Dietary Fiber Help in the Treatment of Diverticulosis?

Dietary fiber promotes smooth & healthy bowel function and prevents constipation, relieving diverticulosis. Insufficient fiber in the diet makes the stools smaller and harder, leading to constipation. This condition strains bowel movements; developing pressure on the colon wall leads to the formation of diverticula (4).

When you take foods rich in fiber, the high-fiber diet’s bulk-forming property helps prevent constipation. The softer and larger stools are easier to pass and do not put strain during bowel movements. The risk of developing diverticular is reduced because there is less pressure on the colonic walls (4). 

Dietary fiber provides a feed with gut-beneficial bacteria. These bacteria improve the health of the gut. The gut microbiome is important in treating diverticulosis, as they help to reduce inflammation and prevent complications, i.e., diverticulitis (5).

Dietary fiber also reduces the risk of heart diseases and diabetes associated with diverticulosis by regulating blood sugar and lowering cholesterol levels (6).

How Much Dietary Fiber Should a Person with Diverticulosis Consume?

The recommended daily dietary fiber intake per person with diverticulosis is 25 grams to  35 grams. Increase the intake slowly and plenty of water to avoid other digestive symptoms (7). Fiber-rich foods that should be included in the diet meal plan are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes (8).

Types of Dietary Fiber

Two main types of dietary fibers are soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber help differently in treating individuals with diverticulosis (9).

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the gut. It helps in slowing down the process of digestion and maintains blood sugar levels. Foods such as oats, beans, fruits, and vegetables are rich in providing soluble fiber (9).

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water; instead, it adds bulk to stools and increases the speed of the digestive system. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are high in insoluble fiber (9).

Benefits of Each Type of Fiber for Diverticulosis

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, soluble fiber is important in treating diverticulitis.

It helps to prevent complications like (10):

  • Diverticulitis 
  • Reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 

Soluble fiber also contributes to the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, improving overall gut health (11).

Insoluble fiber helps in (9)

  • Constipation 
  • Healthy bowel movements
  • Risk of developing diverticula 
  • Gut-related conditions

If both fibers are consumed as a part of a balanced diet, then both fiber types help treat diverticulosis. 

Foods Rich in Dietary Fiber

Many foods are available that are rich in dietary fiber and help to treat and prevent diverticulosis. Fiber-rich foods are:

Fruits and Vegetables

These are the best sources of dietary fiber. These include (12):

  • Apples 
  • Pears
  • Berries 
  • Oranges 
  • Broccoli 
  • Carrots 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Leafy greens like spinach 
  • Kale 

Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to the diet plan provides balanced soluble and insoluble fibers.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are a good source of fiber. Examples include (13):

  • Whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Oats 
  • Quinoa
  • Barley

You can include these meals as grains or take whole grains available as bread, cereals, and pasta.

Legumes and Beans

Legumes and beans are plant-based fibers that contain high protein content. These are (14):

  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Soybeans

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients. A list of them includes (15): 

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

These can be added to meals and snacks as toppings or used as recipe ingredients.

Sample Meal Plans for Diverticulosis

For balanced fiber intake, meal planning is necessary to manage diverticulosis. Here are some sample meal plans (16):

Sample Plan 1

Breakfast: Oatmeal and nuts with berries. Whole grain bread toast and avocado, including a boiled egg

Snack: Slices of apple along with almond butter

Lunch: Grilled or smoked chicken with spinach salad, cherries, tomatoes, cucumber, and quinoa, crackers as whole grains

Snack: Carrots with hummus

Dinner: Half-baked salmon or tuna with sweet potatoes plus broccoli and a side of whole-grain bread

Sample Plan 2

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with fresh fruits, spread peanut butter over toast  with a sliced banana

Snack: Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

Lunch: Soup of lentils, whole grain crackers, salad of leafy greens, carrots

Snack: Orange slices and pistachios

Dinner: Chicken with zucchini, bell peppers, and onions served with brown rice.

Tips for Increasing Fiber Intake

Want to increase fiber intake? Here are some tips we’ve jotted down for you (17):

  • To avoid digestive discomfort and bloating, gradually increase fiber intake.
  • Consume at least 25-30 grams of fiber daily.
  • Use toast of whole-grain bread and pasta; avoid refined grains.
  • Try to add fruits and vegetables.
  • Consume legumes and beans such as lentil soup or chickpeas.
  • Add nuts and seeds as snacks.

Foods to Avoid

You should avoid taking (18):

  • Refined grains, such as white bread and pasta
  • Processed foods, such as chips and cookies
  • Fried foods
  • Processed red meat
  • Dairy products with added sugars, such as sweetened yogurt and ice cream


Diets rich in dietary fiber manage and treat diverticulosis. It reduces the formation of diverticula and the risk of complications, i.e. bowel obstruction. Try incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet by planning meals. High-fiber foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. 

It is important to increase fiber intake gradually to avoid stomach discomfort. Stay hydrated to prevent digestive problems. By following these dietary recommendations, individuals with diverticulosis can improve their overall digestive health and quality of life. Remember, your gut deserves the best, so feed it the right way!

See Also

Diverticulosis vs Diverticulitis

What is Diverticulitis?

12 Foods to Avoid with Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

Liquid Diet for Diverticulitis – Diets Meal Plan

What Soups Can I Eat with Diverticulitis? 22 Soups

Low Residue Diet Plan

Complex Carbohydrates Grocery List

Printable SIBO Diet Plan


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4. Diverticular Disease and Diet [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 15]. Available from: 

5. Cronin P, Joyce SA, O’Toole PW, O’Connor EM. Dietary Fibre Modulates the Gut Microbiota. Nutrients [Internet]. 2021 May 13;13(5):1655. Available from: 

6. Soliman GA. Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients [Internet]. 2019;11(5):1155. Available from: 

7. Aune D, Sen A, Norat T, Riboli E. Dietary fibre intake and the risk of diverticular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. European Journal of Nutrition. 2019 Apr 29; 

8. Cleveland Clinic. What Foods Should You Eat — and Avoid — on a Diverticulitis Diet? [Internet]. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. 2020. Available from: 

9. Types of Fiber and Their Health Benefits [Internet]. WebMD. Available from: 

10. Elisei W, Tursi A. Recent advances in the treatment of colonic diverticular disease and prevention of acute diverticulitis. Ann Gastroenterol [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2023 May 15];29(1):1–9. Available from: 

11. Guan ZW, Yu EZ, Feng Q. Soluble Dietary Fiber, One of the Most Important Nutrients for the Gut Microbiota. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) [Internet]. 2021 Nov 11;26(22):6802. Available from: 

12. Harvard School of Public Health. Vegetables and Fruits [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2018. Available from: 

13. Mayo Clinic. The whole truth about whole grains [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. 2022. Available from: 

14. Boston 677 HA, Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. Legumes and Pulses [Internet]. The Nutrition Source. 2019. Available from: 

15. Nuts and Seeds: Tiny and Mighty Ingredients – [Internet]. Available from: 

16. UCSF Health. Diverticular Disease and Diet [Internet]. UCSF Health; 2019. Available from: 

17. Guidelines for Increasing Dietary Fiber [Internet]. PearlPoint Nutrition Services®. [cited 2023 May 16]. Available from: 

18. Diverticular Disease Symptoms and Complications

See Also

Diverticulosis vs Diverticulitis

Foods to Avoid with Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

Liquid Diet for Diverticulitis

What Soups Can I Eat with Diverticulitis?