I diverticula they are small sacs that form in the wall of the digestive tract, usually in the colon. When these sacs become inflamed or infected, we talk about diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, and intestinal discomfort. A proper diet can help reduce symptoms and promote speedy recovery. In this article, we will explore a variety of foods which can be beneficial for people with inflamed diverticula.
Fiber-rich foods for diverticulitis
Dietary fiber is essential to a healthy diet, particularly for people with inflamed diverticula. Fiber helps keep stool soft and makes it easier to pass through the colon. Some high-fiber foods that can be included in the diet are:
- Fruit: Apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries.
- Vegetables: Carrots, broccoli, spinach, zucchini.
- Legumes: Chickpeas, black beans, lentils, peas.
- Whole grains: Oats, quinoa, brown rice, wholemeal bread.
There is no scientific evidence demonstrating a correlation between the intake of fruit and vegetables with seeds and an increased risk of diverticulitis. A diet low in fruit and fiber, on the other hand, increases the risk of complications. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables must be associated with a limited consumption of hot spices, milk, alcohol, sausages, tea and coffee.
It is also important to maintain good hydration and drink at least 2 liters of water a day. In fact, water increases the volume of feces and the advice is to integrate it also with minestrone and vegetable soups.
Foods rich in probiotics in case of alteration of the bacterial flora
When diverticulitis is associated with an alteration of the bacterial flora which favors the persistence of the inflammatory process, patients may be advised to treat them with probiotics. Some probiotic-rich foods include:
- Yogurt: Make sure the yogurt contains live and active cultures.
- Kefir: A fermented drink made from milk or coconut water.
- Kimchi: A Korean dish made from fermented cabbage.
Poor eating habits are a major risk factor for diverticulitis
The main risk factors for diverticulitis, in addition to aging and genetic factors, are poor eating habits and excess weight, which depend on our lifestyle choices.
In addition to the advice mentioned above on increasing the fiber intake and maintaining good hydration, it is advisable to lose excess kilos, even through light but constant physical activity. Furthermore, as protein sources, fish and white meat would seem to be more suitable. In particular, fish should be eaten 2-3 times a week and blue fish should be preferred.
Although the diet for inflamed diverticula can vary from person to person, there are some basic principles that can help. Make sure you consume foods rich in fiber and drink at least 2L of water a day, it promotes good intestinal health and promotes healing. If you have diverticulitis, you should always consult your doctor for a diet that is appropriate for your needs.