Q:

What foods do you avoid if you have diverticulitis?

A:

Quick Answer

While it was previously believed that foods like corn, nuts and seeds caused colon inflammation, research has not confirmed this, therefore no specific foods need to be avoided by individuals with diverticulitis, according to Mayo Clinic. High-fiber foods containing nuts and seeds are actually recommended to treat the condition, adds WebMD.

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Full Answer

No specific diet has been shown to prevent diverticulitis attacks, but high-fiber foods, such as grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, soften stool, allowing it to pass through the intestines more easily and quickly, explains Mayo Clinic. This helps to prevent attacks by reducing the pressure inside the digestive system that leads to the development of the diverticula, or bulging sacs in the intestinal lining, that become inflamed and infected.

In order to add bulk to stools, one should eat fibrous foods, such as squash, beans, lentils, potatoes with the skin, whole grain products and fruits, such as berries, pears and apples. Sufficient water intake prevents constipation and softens stools, notes Healthline. Individuals should aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day and may use a doctor-recommended fiber supplement, such as psyllium, to achieve this, states WebMD. During a severe flare, a liquid diet of juices and broths is often prescribed until symptoms ease, after which low-fiber foods are reintroduced followed slowly by high-fiber foods.

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