Diverticulosis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches (diverticuli) form inside the lower part of the intestine, usually in the colon. Constipation and straining during bowel movements can worsen the condition. A diet rich in fiber can help keep stools soft and prevent inflammation.
Diverticulitis occurs when the pouches in the colon become infected or inflamed. Dietary changes can help the colon heal. Once your condition starts improving, start adding low-fiber foods back into your diet. These include canned fruits, eggs, white breads, rice and pasta, low-fiber cereals, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish and cooked vegetables. Stay on this low-fiber diet until you are completely healed.
Increase your fiber intake once your condition has healed. A high-fiber diet softens and gives bulk to the stool, allowing it to pass quickly and easily. This decreases pressure in the digestive tract, which reduces the risk of inflamed diverticula.
High-fiber foods include brown rice, fruits, lentils, beans, whole-grain breads and cereals and vegetables. If you find it difficult to meet your fiber requirements through diet, consider supplements like Metamucil or Cirtucel. Drink plenty of water. Fiber absorbs water from the intestines, which helps give stool its bulk. Too much fiber and too little water can lead to constipation. A woman should consume at least 25g a day; a man 38g.