Diverticulitis is a very common digestive affliction, found in middle aged people. Diverticulitis diet plan will be the subject of discussion in this article.
Whenever there is a stomach ache due to an inflammation in the diverticula of the intestinal wall, it is most probably case of diverticulitis. Diverticula are bulges protruding through the intestinal wall, whenever some areas of the large intestine get weak under pressure and swelling caused in these bulges leads to diverticulitis. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, fever, and irregular bowel movements. In some severe cases, this leads to bleeding from rectum also. Many factors like aging, lack of exercise, less fiber content in food, and obesity can lead to this large intestine affliction. A diverticulitis diet plan is not a cure for this disease, but is a preventive measure that can be adopted to forestall any colon related diseases.
Diet Plan for Diverticulitis
A person suffering from this condition is advised to go on a diet containing good fiber content and lot of fluid intake to digest the fiber. The diet comprises:
- Clear fluid intake that can include broth, fruit juices sans pulp, ice chips, and plenty of plain water (recommended when the symptoms start to show)
- Low fiber containing foods like skimmed milk, low fat yogurt, eggs, tender chicken, fish, white rice, well cooked vegetables devoid of seeds and skin, and canned fruits (recommended during a diverticulitis affliction)
- High fiber containing foods, like legumes, wheat, rye, brown rice, oats, whole grained breads, and fruits (apple, banana, figs, dates, banana, apricot, grapefruit, nectarine, orange, cherries, peaches, pears, blackberries, and blueberries) and vegetables (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, sprouts, beet, green beans, green pepper, onions, peas, skinned potatoes, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes) (recommended after the attack as a prevention measure)
Generally, low fiber food is advised when a person is suffering from diverticulitis, as the colon is weak due to the inflammation in the intestinal membranes. High fiber foods are recommended after the colon starts functioning normal, once the swelling of diverticula subsides. Fiber foods are good for health, as they contain vitamin A, C, E, and selenium (element that fights carcinogenic agents in our body). The fiber content of this diet assists in cleaning the body by generating more stools and reducing the pressure on the colon. Hence, the formation of diverticula is stopped by this diet. It is mandatory to drink at least 3 pints of water everyday, to digest insoluble fiber. At times, medics often recommend fiber supplements like Metamucil to digest food. As stated earlier, diverticulitis cannot be cured by diets but can be stalled by enhancing the colon function with high-fiber diet for a person with diverticulitis.
|Consume high fiber cereals like wheat and oats with skimmed milk. Any fresh fruit juice is also a good substitute for milk.
|Mid Morning Snack
|Eat fruits like apples and apricots. 2-3 oatcakes are also good snacks to be consumed as mid morning snacks.
|A lunch consisting of large mixed salad having vegetables like potatoes, onions and beans and a sandwich made of a wholemeal bread with chicken/tuna/smoked salmon is recommended. Low fat yogurt also can be consumed along. Drink lots of water.
|Eat 2-3 wheat grain biscuits/raw carrot/cucumber and a cup of tea or coffee without cream.
|A dish of chicken breast/lean meat/white fish with wheat pasta/brown rice/mashed sweet potatoes is a suitable dinner. This can be supplemented further with a large vegetable salad. Again, drink lots of water.
The above diverticulitis diet plan is most incomplete without two important points:
- Do not neglect bowel urges: When there is an urgent need to relieve yourself, you must immediately avail bathroom, because stalling bowel urges can cause generating harder stools and thereby, increasing the pressure within your colon and leading to bowel problems.
- Exercise is a must: Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes, as this promotes the normal bowel function of your colon.
Foods to Avoid
Foods to avoid when one is suffering from diverticulitis are foods with low fiber content and high levels of spices: These foods should be avoided by the person suffering from diverticulitis
- Processed foods
- Corns and popcorn hulls
- Refined products like white flour and white rice
- Chili peppers
- Sesame seeds
- Fats and creamy sauces
- Junk food like pizzas, burgers, and spicy foods
To start with a healthy diet, grab an apple or consume ½ cup of spinach everyday which contains 3 grams of fiber. Starting with healthy habits is a much easier task than hogging on an unhealthy diet and then ending up paying a bomb for colon diseases! Even after following this diet plan, if you still have abdominal pains followed by severe constipation and fever, then seek immediate medical attention!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.