High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a disease that causes distress to the digestive tract. Basically, it’s an infection of the diverticula, small pockets that build up in the intestinal lining.

Diverticula build-up when weak sections of the intestinal lining give on to pressure, causing these spots to bulge out.

The occurrence of diverticula is known as diverticulosis, and when the spots become infected, the condition is known as diverticulitis.

Diverticulosis is more common in old people; as per the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), 58% of adults over 60 years have diverticulosis.

On the other hand, diverticulitis isn’t as common; less than 5% of people with diverticulosis will develop diverticulitis. Some of the health complications of diverticulitis include:

    1. An infected pocket tissue

 

  1. Bloody bowel movements
  2. Fever
  3. Fistula
  4. Intense abdominal pain
  5. Nausea

Does a High Fiber Diet Reduce the Risk of Contracting Diverticulitis?

Even though physicians may sometimes prescribe shunning high fiber foods during flare-ups, the NIDDK prescribes having high fiber foods often to eliminate the risk of diverticulitis.

Since fiber can soften your body’s stool, ensuring easy and quick passage through the small intestines and colon.

This eliminates the pressure in your digestive system, which helps prevent the formation of diverticula inside your body.

Having a fiber-rich diet helps promote a robust digestive system for individuals without diverticular problems. According to research done in 2016, a stomach bacterium has a role to play in diverticular syndrome.

Although more research is required, future studies are likely to support this theory; regulating gut bacterium via a high fiber diet.

High Fibers Foods for Diverticulitis 

Beverages

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Beverages

Suitable hydration helps you stop constipation and helps digest the extra fiber you’re taking.

Take a lot of water and pay attention to whether other beverages apart from coffee, tea and wines trigger or worsen your symptoms.

Some people shun specific beverages when recuperating from flare-ups, while others find they need to do this always.

Fortified Dairy

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Fortified Dairy

If you can handle dairy, try fiber-fortified, low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt to your diet. Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant full-fat dairy can be hard to break down.

When you’re experiencing flare-ups, particularly if you have diarrhea, you may prefer to shun dairy until you recuperate. But, low-lactose dairy products like cottage cheese can be tolerable.

Fruits

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Fruits

Fresh fruits such as apples, berries, plums, etc. give you the most fiber when eaten with their skins on. Bananas are another fiber-rich fruit, but you shouldn’t eat them with their peels.

These fruits are also rich in potassium and can be handy if you’re recuperating from a stomach upset. But if you have diverticulitis symptoms, try low-fiber options like applesauce.

Nuts and Seeds

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Nuts and Seeds

Back then, individuals with diverticulosis were prescribed to shun these foods. It was considered they would get trapped in the diverticula and cause diverticulitis.

However, studies now indicated these foods don’t particularly cause inflammation of the pockets. This is a good thing because they are incredibly rich fiber foods.

Protein

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Protein

Lean ground eggs and meat are a great source of protein if you’re experiencing symptoms or feeling better.

You can also try having fat sources such as nuts and nut butter, almond, and peanut. However, these might not be good choices during flare-ups.

Spices

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Spices

Basil, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, turmeric, etc. contain anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, ginger is a common remedy for correcting stomach upsets.

However, spices can cause irritation to the wall of the gastrointestinal system. You might want to shun them if you experience a severe episode of diverticulitis. So start with small amounts and boost your intake according to your comfort level.

Vegetables

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Vegetables

When you’re free from symptoms and have a high-fiber diet, raw veggies, particularly cruciferous and root veggies, are dietary powerhouses. But when you’re symptomatic, you might want to shun them.

For instance, a baked sweet potato with the skins on may be a bit difficult to break down. So instead, peel and mash white potatoes.

Whole Grains

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis

High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis – Whole Grains

Whole grains are one of the finest sources of dietary fiber. Try taking whole-grain barley, bread, brown rice, crackers, oats, pasta, and rye because they are a nutritious, sumptuous, and flexible way to include fiber in your diet.

However, if you aren’t feeling well, stick to low-fiber foods such as refined wheat bread, crackers, and white rice until your symptoms get better.

Food to Avoid On a High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis 

Red Meat 

You may want to avoid unprocessed red meat, as a study has found it is the main dietary risk factor for developing diverticulitis.

Foods High in Fat and Sugar

A typical Western diet often has high amounts of fat and sugar and is low in fiber. Due to this, it may increase a person’s risk of contracting diverticulitis.

A study done in 2016 comprising more than 45,000 male participants recommends that shunning the following foods can help stop diverticulitis or lessen its signs:

  1. Red meat
  2. Refined grains
  3. Full fat dairy
  4. Fried food

Other Foods To Avoid Include:

  1. Certain fruits: Apples, pears, and plums.
  2. Dairy foods: Full-fat milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt.
  3. Fermented Foods: Kimchi or sauerkraut.
  4. Legumes: Green beans, kidney beans, red beans, and soybeans.
  5. Veggies: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, garlic, and onions.

Sample 7-Day Menu

Day 1

  • Breakfast: One Bowl of gelato and a glass of pulpy berry juice
  • Snack: Probiotic yogurt
  • Lunch: Baked tofu and pita bread
  • Dinner: Chicken Parmigiana with pasta

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Caramel custard with dried cookies
  • Snack: One fresh orange
  • Lunch: Chicken Parmigiana with pasta
  • Dinner: Salmon with bread and potato patties

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with mango slices
  • Snack: One clementine
  • Lunch: Sloppy chicken with blanched greens
  • Dinner: Shrimp with tomato and basil pasta

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Herbal tea and poached eggs
  • Snack: Probiotic yogurt
  • Lunch: Shrimp with tomato and basil pasta
  • Dinner: Sautéed mushrooms with basmati rice and shallots

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with mango slices
  • Snack: A handful of macadamia or walnuts
  • Lunch: Sautéed mushrooms with basmati rice and shallots
  • Dinner: Shrimp with pasta and spinach

Day 6

  • Breakfast: One glass of fortified milk and quinoa
  • Snack: Plain rice cakes
  • Lunch: Cheese stuffed mushrooms
  • Dinner: Baked chicken with basmati rice

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Caramel custard with dried cookies
  • Snack: Probiotic yogurt
  • Lunch: Baked chicken with basmati rice
  • Dinner: Salmon with bread and potato patties

Should You Avoid High Fiber Foods If You Have Diverticulitis?

The impact of fiber on diverticulitis can vary from person to person. Back then, physicians prescribed that individuals with diverticulitis stick to a clear liquid diet or a low fiber diet.

Currently, some physicians have deviated from this advice.

Dietary fiber can lessen the symptoms of diverticular illness and enhance bowel function, as per research from 2018.

Researchers indicated this because fiber can enhance colon wellbeing by contributing to better bowel movement and stool bulk.

While some researchers have connected a high fiber diet to a decreased risk of diverticulitis, this may not come in handy for persons suffering from diverticulitis-related flare-ups.

Fiber incorporates bulk into stools and can boost colon contractions which can be uncomfortable during flare-up episodes. Therefore, a physician might prescribe shunning fiber during severe flare-ups.

People are different, so it’s always good to consult a physician prior to making massive diet adjustments. In addition, when adding fiber, take a lot of water to prevent constipation.

Final Thought

Overall, if you have diverticulosis, but you’re not having an episode of the disease, a high-fiber diet can help stop future flare-ups.

If you have this condition, speak with your physician about your food needs and limits to find out how food can aggravate or heal your condition.

Printable High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis (PDF)

Day 1
Breakfast: One Bowl gelato and a glass of pulpy berry juice
Snack: Probiotic yogurt
Lunch: Baked tofu and pita bread
Dinner: Chicken parmigiana with pasta
Day 2
Breakfast: Caramel custard with dried cookies
Snack: One fresh orange
Lunch: Chicken parmigiana with pasta
Dinner: Salmon with bread and potato patties
Day 3
Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with mango slices
Snack: One clementine
Lunch: Sloppy chicken with blanched greens
Dinner: Shrimp with tomato and basil pasta
Day 4
Breakfast: Herbal tea and poached eggs
Snack: Probiotic yogurt
Lunch: Shrimp with tomato and basil pasta
Dinner: Sautéed mushrooms with basmati rice and shallots
Day 5
Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with mango slices
Snack: A handful of macadamia or walnuts
Lunch: Sautéed mushrooms with basmati rice and shallots
Dinner: Shrimp with pasta and spinach
Day 6
Breakfast: One glass fortified milk and quinoa
Snack: Plain rice cakes
Lunch: Cheese stuffed mushrooms
Dinner: Baked chicken with basmati rice
Day 7
Breakfast: Caramel custard with dried cookies
Snack: Probiotic yogurt
Lunch: Baked chicken with basmati rice

Printable High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis Food List (PDF)

High Fibers Foods for Diverticulitis Food to Avoid On a High Fiber Diet for Diverticulitis
Beverages: WaterRed Meat 
Fortified Dairy: Fiber-fortified, low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurtFoods High in Fat and Sugar: Refined grains, full fat dairy and fried foods
Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, plums, etcOther Foods To Avoid Include:
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, peanuts etc.Certain fruits: Apples, pears, and plums.
Protein: Lean ground eggs and meatDairy foods: Full-fat milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt.
Spices: Basil, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, turmeric, etc.Fermented Foods: Kimchi or sauerkraut.
Vegetables: Cruciferous and root veggiesLegumes: Green beans, kidney beans, red beans, and soybeans.
Whole Grains: Barley, bread, brown rice, crackers, oats, pasta, and ryeVeggies: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, garlic, and onions.

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