Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can develop anywhere in your digestive system, but are most commonly found in the large intestine. When you have diverticula, the condition is known as diverticulosis. This condition can lead to diverticulitis, which is the inflammation of the diverticula. Symptoms of diverticulitis can include severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and changes in your bowel habits. A low-fiber diet is a risk factor for both conditions and a diet rich in fiber can help prevent and manage symptoms of diverticular disease.
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Fruits and Vegetables
Dietary fiber includes all types of plant for that your body can't absorb or digest. Nearly all fruits and vegetables are good sources. A half-cup of raspberries, blackberries, green peas, cooked spinach or collard, broccoli or carrots provides at least 3 grams of dietary fiber, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other good sources are cabbage, apples, pears, oranges and squash. Additionally, most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and as such, can aid in weight management; obesity increases your risk for diverticulosis and diverticulitis.
Individuals who eat more whole grains tend to have a lower risk for diverticulosis and diverticulitis, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. High-fiber whole grains include oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and pasta, bran cereals and barley. However, while you are suffering from an episode of diverticulitis, you may need to limit your fiber intake for a few days. Refined grains, such as white bread, white rice and refined pasta, are low-fiber alternatives that may be better choices during this period of time.
Legumes include beans, peas and lentils and can promote digestive health because they are rich sources of fiber. Each 1/2 cup serving of cooked beans, such as navy, pinto, kidney and lima beans, split peas and lentils provides about 5.6 to 9.6 grams dietary fiber, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You are at higher risk for developing diverticulosis and diverticulitis if your diet is high in meat, according to the Langone Medical Center. Beans, peas and lentils are good alternative, plant-based sources of protein.
Nuts and Peanuts
A 1 ounce serving of almonds provides 3.5 grams dietary fiber, and other nuts, such as Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios and macadamias have about 2 grams per ounce, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Peanuts are technically legumes, but the nutrition they provide is more similar to tree nuts than. Since they are high in calories, eat nuts and peanuts only in moderation to avoid unintentional weight gain and a higher risk for episodes of diverticulitis.
- Langone Medical Center; Diverticulitis; Debra Wood; September 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Dietary Fiber; Jane Higdon; December 2005
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Whole Grains; Jane Higdon; December 2005
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010; January 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Nuts; Jane Higdon; December 2005