Diverticulitis refers to inflammation of abnormal pouches called diverticula that develop in the intestinal wall. According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, the most common symptom of diverticulitis is abdominal pain. This and additional symptoms, such as cramping, nausea, vomiting, chills and changes in bowel habits, may be reduced or prevented through adherence to a nutritious, high-fiber diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can strengthen the body's immune system and prevent infections and disease. Fruits and vegetables also provide dietary fiber and hydration, both of which support digestive regularity. Examples of fiber and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that may prove helpful for people with diverticulitis include apples, pears, raspberries, prunes, winter squash, potatoes (with skin), sweet potatoes (with skin), cauliflower, peas and turnip greens.
Whole grains are grains that have not been stripped of significant nutrients during food processing. Unlike processed grains, such as enriched bread, pasta, cereals and sweets, whole grains provide rich amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Replacing processed carbohydrates with whole grains, such as 100 percent whole-grain bread in place of white bread and steel-cut oats in place of corn flakes may help improve the wellness in people with diverticulitis. Additional whole-grain foods include pasta, brown rice, wild rice, hot cereals and soups made with barley.
Legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and split peas, fit well within a diverticulitis-friendly diet. Legumes are fiber rich, low in fat and provide complex carbohydrates as well as protein. When consumed with a whole grain, such as brown rice, legumes create a "complete protein," meaning all essential amino acids are provided. Nutritious legume-based foods include black bean soup, hummus (paste made from ground chickpeas), dal (Indian-style cooked lentils), split pea soup and veggie burgers made from mashed beans.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats the body must reap through food or supplements. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, regular intake of foods containing omega-3 fats, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, ground flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil, may reduce bodily inflammation. Since saturated fats and trans fats, such as those found in fatty red meat and whole milk, may increase inflammation, replacing them with omega-3 fats and other unsaturated fat sources, such as extra-virgin olive oil, is recommended for people with diverticulitis.