Foods to Avoid If You Have Diverticulosis
Diverticulosis is a disorder in which the covering of the colon comes out like small balls or bumps, which causes malaise and pain when eating certain kinds of food. Find out what kinds of foods to avoid if you have this problem.
What to Know About Diverticulosis
Like we said in the beginning, this is the presence of small sacks, hernias, or swollen parts in the intestine, precisely in the section that corresponds to the colon. It is a very common condition that has no symptoms except for waste material or food particles getting “trapped” in these bulges or diverticula, which makes them become full of bacteria.
That is when the pain will begin in the lower left part of the abdomen, the first sign. You also have to pay attention if you suffer from diarrhea followed by constipation, fever, nausea, vomiting, etc.
After you have an episode of Diverticulosis, there is a up to 45% risk that it will come back. Doctors suggest that these are the foods that you cannot eat or eat least the foods to avoid so that the problem does not get worse.
What Foods Are Prohibited for Diverticulosis?
- Grains: avoid eating products that come from grains like in the case of popcorn, corn rolls, corn flakes, or any food that is made with wild or whole rice. All of these contain a large amount of fiber that is difficult to digest and could “get caught up” in the diverticula, which will aggravate the problem. For their replacement, go for refined grains like pasta, rice, baked foods, or refined flour cookies.
- Fruit and vegetables: It is true that you cannot live without eating these foods, but at least during the time that the problem is happening, we suggest not eating them. Avoid eating dried fruits, like prunes, because they have a lot of fiber.
Stay away from berries because their seeds are difficult to digest. You should also avoid cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Don’t drink fruit juices with pulp and be sure that all of the vegetables you eat are well cooked before you eat them. As a result, you will soften the fiber and digest them easier. You should also avoid all raw fruit, except for peaches, avocado, melon, and banana. The rest should not have skin or a shell or any small seeds.
- Meat and protein: choose tender or sliced meat, fish (any kind), and eggs for your main sources of protein. These foods will not irritate your colon and are easy to digest. Don’t eat strong cheeses because they contain a large dose of casein, which is bad for Diverticulosis. Remove any dishes from your diet that contain seeds or nuts like peanut butter, for example. Reduce your portions of peas, beans, and legumes because it is well known that they are a large source of fiber.
- Peels, pasta, spices: these three foods are also prohibited because they cause more inflammation than what this illness does. This means that fruits, vegetables, and meats should not have any skin or shells. Very spicy spices are also bad for your body.
- Carbonated beverages: this includes coffee, tea, maté, chocolate, sodas, and caffeinated beverages. They are all irritants of your intestine. In the case of caffeine, which is in all of these, your colon muscles contract, which gives the ability to eliminate the water that feces contains and aids constipation. If it is very hard to stop drinking coffee, start with decaffeinated, but try to stop drinking it as soon as possible.
Tips, Advice, and Remedies for Diverticulosis
- Drink a lot of water (between six and eight glasses a day)
- Go to the bathroom even if you don’t have to go badly. Don’t suppress the urge because you can make the situation worse
- Exercise to benefit your leg, hip, and colon muscles, which will facilitate bowel movements
- Don’t use laxatives or enemas if you are constipated because they can irritate your intestines even more and create a dependency on them because there is no proper functioning in the bowel movement system
- Avoid eating foods that are very processed or greasy like spicy, sugary, or fried foods
- Avoid any foods that contain seeds. Chew well before swallowing because the fragments can get stuck between the diverticula causing pain and inflammation
- Eat porridge or vegetable purées or cooked fruit. You can make smoothies without pulp as well to stimulate recovery during your treatment.
The plants that are recommended to treat Diverticulosis are:
- Chamomile: reduces inflammation and brings relief. Drink chamomile tea at least once a day
- Mint: used to relieve stomach bloating, pain, nausea, and gas. Drink up to 3 glasses a day
- Oregano: reduces inflammation in the colon
- Thyme: this is a great source of fiber and painkilling, antipasmodic, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. You can use it as a condiment for soup, sauces, or salads.
- Turmeric: it is a natural anti-inflammatory that is used for any kind of inflammation and to reduce diverticula.
Images courtesy of Hey Paul Studios, Orin Zebest, Memi Beltrame and woodleywonderwork.