The Diverticulitis Diet is the diet recommended by doctors to people recovering from an attack of diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a common digestive disorder, which is characterized by the inflammation of pouches called diverticula on the outside of the colon.
The main problem caused by this disorder is the hazard of having one of the inflamed diverticulum burst open and spread bacteria to the lining of the abdominal cavity and also the possibility of bowels obstruction. People recovering from such a disorder have to eat a certain type of diet, which has caught the eye of those who are always interested in new dieting ideas.
The basic idea behind the Diverticulitis Diet is to prevent the formation of new pouches by helping the food moving normally through the colon. To this end, doctors recommend a diet rich in fiber. High-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, soften waste and help it pass more quickly through your colon.
The Institute of Medicine (UK) recommends 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day for people younger than age 50, and 21 to 30 grams a day for people older than age 50. As you can see, that’s quite a lot of fiber per day.
The second focus of the diet is to drink plenty of water every day in order to enable the fiber to work its magic. Fiber works by absorbing water and increasing the soft, bulky waste in the colon. But if the body doesn’t get enough liquid to replace what is absorbed, fiber can be constipating.
Until recently, many doctors suggested avoiding foods with small seeds such as tomatoes or strawberries because they believed that particles could lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation. However, it is now generally accepted that only foods that may irritate or get caught in the diverticula cause problems.
Foods such as nuts, popcorn hulls, and sunflower, pumpkin, caraway, and sesame seeds should be avoided. The seeds in tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, and raspberries, as well as poppy seeds, are generally considered harmless. Basically, this is a diet suited to people who have suffered from diverticulitis or are suffering from constipation.