High fiber diet plan for diverticulitis is one of the core treatment options for diverticulitis, a common medical problem that most adults over 50 face. Diverticulitis occurs when intestinal tissue pokes out of weak spots in the wall of the colon. The condition was once thought to be rare, but recent research shows that diverticulitis is a more common disease than once believed.
Diverticulosis, often called pockets or pouches of the colon, is quite prevalent. Diverticulosis has a detailed explanation of this condition. A lifelong low fiber intake is almost certainly the root of the problem. As a result, the colon experiences tremendous pressures that, over a long period of time, inflate microscopic weak spots in the colon wall to form diverticuli. Diverticulitis develops when these pockets get infected; it is a painful and occasionally dangerous infection. Diverticulosis is not a problem for rural Africans who ingest 50 grams of fiber or more per day over their lifetimes. But when they consume a Western diet that is poor in fiber, they do. Small, thin, and/or hard pellet feces are a sign of low fiber intake and typically indicate excessive intestinal pressure. Once more, the tremendous pressure is what makes these pockets enlarge and develop into diverticuli.
These are the food suggestions for those who have diverticulosis. The stage of diverticulosis will, however, determine the specific advice. Is it a diverticulum in os? Is it sophisticated with constant alterations to the colon? Exist any symptoms? Or is it acute diverticulitis, in which the colon is healing from infection in the vicinity of these pockets?
What to Eat When You Have Diverticulitis
There is no pre-written strategy that is guaranteed to benefit you because how diverticulitis affects a person might, in some ways, be personal. Although there are some fundamentals that can serve as a guide, some of this may require trial and error.
- High-fiber foods
- Apples, bananas, pears
- Broccoli, carrots, other root vegetables
- Brown rice
- Nuts and seeds
- Oats, rye, barley, whole grains
- Psyllium husks or fiber supplements
- Anti-inflammatory foods such as avocado and olive oil
- Beans, legumes
- Brussels sprouts, cabbage
- Fermented foods
- Fried foods
- Full-fat dairy
- Garlic, onions
- Red meat
- Trans fats
Nuts, seeds, and popcorn: In the past, people with diverticulosis were advised to avoid these because it was thought they would get caught in the diverticula and lead to diverticulitis. However, research now indicates these foods don’t specifically cause inflammation of the pouches. That’s good, as they are very good sources of fiber.
Spices: Ginger, turmeric, and garlic have anti-inflammatory properties, and ginger is a popular remedy for soothing stomach upsets. However, spices can be irritating to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. You may want to avoid them after an acute episode of diverticulitis. Then start with small amounts and increase according to your comfort level.
Fruit: Fresh fruits like apples have the most fiber when eaten with the skin. Bananas are another good source of fruit fiber. They also have a lot of potassium and can be especially helpful if you’re recovering from a stomach upset. However, if you’re having symptoms of diverticulitis, look for lower-fiber options like applesauce.
Dairy: If you tolerate dairy, add low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt to your diet. Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant, full-fat dairy may be harder to digest. When you’re experiencing a flare, especially if you have diarrhea, you may prefer to avoid dairy until you’re feeling better. Lower-lactose dairy products such as cottage cheese may be tolerable.
Grains: Whole grains are one of the best sources of dietary fiber. Choosing whole-grain bread, crackers, pasta, and brown rice can be a nutritious, tasty, and versatile way to add fiber to your diet. However, when you aren’t feeling well, stick to low-fiber foods such as refined white bread, white rice, and crackers until your symptoms improve.
Protein: Lean ground meat and eggs are a great protein source whether you’re having symptoms or you’re feeling well. You can also experiment with higher-fat sources of protein like nuts and nut butters. However, they might not be the best choice during a flare of symptoms.
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.
Vegetables: When symptom-free and eating a high-fiber diet, raw vegetables (especially root and cruciferous veggies) are nutritional powerhouses. However, when symptomatic, you may want to avoid them. For example, a baked sweet potato with the skin may be too hard to digest. Instead, peel and mash a white potato.
Beverages: Proper hydration helps prevent constipation and helps process the extra fiber you’re eating. Drink plenty of water and pay attention to whether or not other beverages—coffee, tea, wine—cause or worsen your symptoms. Some people avoid certain drinks when recovering from a flare, while others find they need to do so always.
Evolving Your Diverticulitis Diet
Inform your healthcare practitioner if a food is making you feel unwell. They can assist you in determining the best method to lessen or stop eating it while still receiving enough nutrition.
Consult your doctor about periodically attempting to include new foods (or old favorites) in your diet. For managing your diverticulitis, having a plan you can follow is just as crucial as having a compliant and healthy diet. With time, it might be possible to increase the variety without having an effect on your symptoms.
You should consider your mood as well as the realities of your daily schedule while arranging meals. Instead of sitting down to three square meals a day, some people with digestive difficulties feel better if they eat smaller portions more frequently.
You might wish to experiment with eating various foods in various quantities or at various times of the day. Additionally, you could discover that some food combinations suit you better than others.
Don’t forget to account for fluid intake while you’re making plans for meals and snacks. Keep a water bottle nearby so you can regularly sip from it throughout the day.
Cooking many foods and removing the peels from produce makes them simpler to digest. For instance, cooked and peeled apples, potatoes, and carrots all work well. Poached eggs are an alternative to fried ones, and another protein choice is lean ground meat that has been cooked until it is tender.
While making changes to your diet may help manage diverticulitis, these changes can also affect other aspects of your health. If you have other medical conditions, such as diabetes, you may need to modify your diverticulitis diet.
For example, refined white bread is a staple of a low-fiber diet and can work well if you’re having a flare of inflammatory symptoms. However, if you have diabetes, you’ll need to be aware of the effect foods made with refined flour have on your blood sugar levels.
Certain changes in your life may also require you to reevaluate your diet. If you are pregnant or , during nursing, your nutritional requirements will fluctuate. You could need a different diet if you up your physical activity level or if you’re recovering from an illness, an injury, or surgery.
Consult your doctor before increasing your dietary fiber consumption or beginning a fiber supplement. Eating additional fiber may make your symptoms worse if you have other medical illnesses or gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Work with your healthcare team to ensure that your dietary choices are beneficial for both diseases if you are managing another chronic health condition with nutrition.
Even if you are generally healthy, changing your diet may cause you to experience gas, bloating, cramps, and other digestive issues. The pain will typically lessen as your body adjusts.
What Is a High-Fiber Diet?
The majority of Americans do not consume enough fiber to satisfy their recommended daily intake (RDA), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). On a high-fiber diet, fiber intake should be at or above the RDA, which is 22 to 28 grams of fiber for adult women and 28 to 34 grams for men.
Despite being a carbohydrate, fiber is difficult to digest. As a result, it can promote feelings of satiety after eating without raising blood sugar levels or consuming excessive amounts of extra calories. Foods that are fibrous frequently require more chewing, which can also promote satiety.
A balanced diet that includes more heart-healthy fiber has been linked to a number of advantages, including a decreased risk of cancer and chronic disease and improved digestive health. A diet rich in fiber might help people lose weight.
Food With High Fiber
Prunes, which are dried plums, are frequently used as an all-natural constipation treatment.
Per 1/4 cup (40 grams) serving, they have a high fiber content of almost 3 grams. This amounts to 12% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for fiber set by the American Heart Association.
Prunes contain cellulose, an insoluble fiber that raises the water content of the stool, giving it the potential to be more voluminous. Short-chain fatty acids are also produced during the colon’s fermentation of the soluble fiber in prunes, which can also lead to an increase in stool weight.
Prunes additionally contain sorbitol. Because this sugar alcohol is poorly absorbed by the body, water is drawn into the colon, which in some cases has a laxative effect.
Prunes additionally have phenolic chemicals, which promote good gut bacteria. It has been proposed that this helps explain why they have a laxative effect.
When compared to psyllium, a form of dietary fiber, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of prunes were found to significantly improve stool frequency and consistency in a previous research of 40 persons with chronic constipation.
Prunes can be eaten on their own or in salads, smoothies, baked products, cereals, oatmeal, and savory stews.
Prunes are high in fiber, sorbitol, and gut-healthy phenolic compounds, all of which can help treat constipation.
Apples contain a lot of fiber. In actuality, 4.8 grams of fiber, or 19% of the RDI, may be found in one medium apple with the skin on (approximately 200 kilos).
Apples contain soluble fiber, primarily in the form of a dietary fiber known as pectin, even though the majority of that fiber is insoluble.
Pectin is quickly digested by bacteria in the stomach to create short-chain fatty acids, which have the ability to draw water into the colon, soften the stool, and shorten gut transit time.
In one research of 80 constipated individuals, pectin was found to hasten the passage of stool through the intestines, reduce constipation symptoms, and boost the number of good bacteria in the stomach.
Despite receiving morphine, which promotes constipation, rats on a diet high in apple fiber had increased stool weight and frequency, according to an older animal research.
Apples are a simple method to increase your diet’s fiber level and prevent constipation. You may slice them up and add them to salads or baked items, or you can eat them whole on their own. Apples of a Granny Smith variety have a high fiber content.
Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can soften the stool and promote its movement through the digestive tract.
Another fruit high in fiber is the pears, which contain 5.5 grams in a medium-sized fruit (about 178 grams). In terms of fiber, that is 22% of the RDI.
Pears are notably high in fructose and sorbitol when compared to other fruits, in addition to the advantages of fiber.
A form of sugar that some people have trouble absorbing is fructose. This indicates that part of it eventually makes its way to the colon, where it draws in water via osmosis and prompts a bowel movement.
The sugar alcohol sorbitol can also be found in pears. Sorbitol, like fructose, is poorly absorbed by the body and, by delivering water into the intestines, works as a natural laxative.
Pears can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. You can eat them with cheese, raw or cooked, or you can add them to salads, savory dishes, and baked products.
Pears are rich in fiber and contain natural laxatives, such as fructose and sorbitol.
Roughly 2.3 grams, or 9% of the RDI, are found in one kiwi, which weighs about 75 grams.
In one trial, a kiwi-derived supplement was eaten for 28 days by 19 healthy people. When compared to a control group, researchers discovered that doing so significantly increased the number of bowel movements each day.
In another study, 11 healthy people who had two kiwis every day for two weeks saw more bowel movements and looser stools.
Additionally, a 2010 study administered two kiwis daily for four weeks to 54 individuals with irritable bowel syndrome. Participants noted more frequent bowel motions and quicker colonic transit times following the trial.
You can consume raw kiwis. Simply remove the green flesh and seeds by peeling or halving the fruit. They go well with fruit salads and can be included to increase the fiber content of smoothies.
Kiwis are a good source of fiber and contain actinidin, an enzyme that may improve gut motility and reduce constipation.
Figs are a fantastic method to increase your fiber intake and encourage regular bowel movements.
50 grams of a medium raw fig has 1.5 grams of fiber. Additionally, just half a cup (80 grams) of dried figs has 7.9 grams of fiber, or almost 32% of the recommended daily intake.
In a previous study, fig paste was used to treat constipation in dogs for three weeks. It was discovered that fig paste shortened intestinal transit time and increased stool weight.
In a different study, it was discovered that consuming 10.6 ounces (300 grams) of fig paste per day for 16 weeks reduced stomach discomfort and sped up colonic transit.
Figs go well with both sweet and savory foods and make a delightful snack on their own. They go well with cheese and gamey meats, as well as on pizza, in baked products, and in salads. They can be eaten fresh, cooked, or dried.
Figs can help increase your intake of fiber and contain ficin, an enzyme that may promote regularity.
6. Citrus fruits
Oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins are just a few examples of citrus fruits that make a tasty snack and are high in fiber.
One orange, for instance, which weighs roughly 154 grams, has 3.7 grams of fiber, or 15% of the RDI. One grapefruit, which weighs about 308 grams, has over 5 grams of fiber, which satisfies 20% of your daily requirements.
For complete information, visit High Fiber Diet. The objective is to boost the daily fiber intake to 20, 30, or even 40 grams. You don’t want to do this all at once, especially if you’re consuming too much soluble fiber, which, in large doses, encourages bacteria to produce flatus and innocuous colon gas.
This fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, does not dissolve in water but paradoxically hangs onto water in the large bowel. This creates a large, soft and bulky stool. It promotes regularity and seems to be associated with a reduced chance of getting colon polyps and colon cancer, as we believe cancer inciting agents are swept through the bowel in a more rapid manner. In addition, it may promote weight loss and it can enhance diabetic control. Foods that are high in insoluble fiber are:
- whole wheat bread and baked goods
- wheat bran
- whole grain breads
- vegetables and fruits, especially the skins
- Brazil nuts
- brown rice
Fiber Content of Foods, provides detailed information on the insoluble fiber content of many foods.
Water does really dissolve this plant fiber. It offers food for the numerous bacteria that live in the colon and benefits the body in many ways by doing so. By fostering the colon bacteria’s growth, soluble fibers help encourage regularity. Foods high in soluble fibers include:
- oats in any form – cereal, muffins, etc.
- apples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, concord grapes
- prunes, pears, cranberries
- sesame seeds
- psyllium found in dietary supplements and cereals
Fiber Content of Foods, provides information on the soluble fiber content of many foods.
Nuts, Seeds and Popcorn
Doctors have long advised patients with diverticulosis to stay away from these things. It was obvious that these may enter intestinal pockets, jingle around, and harm the colon wall. It resembled the rattling of dried seeds inside a gourd that you can hear when you shake it. Never have I concurred with this. Never once have I observed a patient rattle after consuming these items. By the time they reach the colon, all of these substances have also been digested or have become completely wet and soft. Most importantly, they are a great source of fiber, which is what the colon needs. As a result, I have always advised patients with diverticulosis to eat nuts, seeds, and popcorn. Now, a 2,007-patient research in which a sizable number of diverticulosis patients who consumed these items were matched against those who did not supports my recommendation. You guessed right. Those who consumed popcorn, nuts, and seeds experienced less diverticulosis issues than those who did not.
Prebiotics are the relatively newly discovered types of plant fiber that have been shown to promote beneficial changes in the colon. These are present in certain plant foods as well as in our prebiotic products. In diverticulosis, all the soluble fiber foods and supplements can be a healthy addition. However, if too much is taken, then excessive colon gas can occur. If it is trapped behind a narrowed diverticular colon, there may be cramps and bloating. The advice is to take these healthy fibers in small, but increasing amounts and see if symptoms develop.