For some unknown reason small pouches might grow in the digestive tract. These protuberances, known as diverticula, might develop anywhere in the digestive tract – in the intestines, stomach or esophagus. Diverticulitis is a painful condition that develops when the diverticula become swollen or infected.
Diverticulitis causes severe abdominal pain. It also causes nausea, constipation or diarrhea, bloating and fever. By modifying your diet, you could prevent diverticulitis. By regulating your diet during diverticulitis flare-ups, the symptoms of diverticulitis could be reduced. The diverticulitis prevention diet is different from the diet recommended during the diverticulitis attacks.
Diet during diverticulitis attack
A low residue diet is recommended during diverticulitis flare-ups. To reduce the symptoms of diverticulitis, the bowel formation should be reduced. To reduce bowel volume, you should limit intake of dietary fibers. In diverticulitis diet, your dietary fiber intake should not be more than 10 grams of fiber per day.
Although, a low residue diet is primarily a low fiber diet, not all low fiber foods are recommended in this diet. Low fiber foods such as coffee or milk products could increase residue formation. Low residue diet comprises of refined carbohydrate products such as white breads, white rice, cereals, pasta and crackers.
During diverticulitis flare-ups, you should avoid whole grains and whole grain products such as brown rice and brown bread. You should avoid whole fruits and vegetables. Diverticulitis patients could have fruit and vegetable juices without pulps and seeds.
Marmalade, desserts and sauces with fruit pieces, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, and coconut should be avoided. Diverticulitis patients should stay away from vegetables of the cruciferous family such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard and kale. Beets, carrots, eggplant, lettuce, mushroom, zucchini, squash, cucumber, celery and potatoes without skin could be included in the diet.
Among fruits, apricots, grapes, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe and half a banana could be part of the diverticulitis diet. You can have fish, egg and tender meats. You should have not more than two cups of milk and dairy products during the diverticulitis flare-up periods.
Diverticulitis prevention diet
After the symptoms of diverticulitis have subsided, to prevent flare-ups in the future, you should replace the low residue diet with fiber rich diet. Bring back the whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your regular diet. Drink plenty of water.