What Foods Trigger Diverticulitis – Diverticulitis is a condition of the digestive system that affects millions of people in the United States. It is characterized by the formation of small, bulging pouches in the lining of the large intestine. While diet and lifestyle changes can help manage diverticulitis, it is important to know what foods can trigger an episode of diverticulitis. We will explore what foods to avoid and how to recognize the signs of an impending episode of diverticulitis. By understanding what foods trigger the condition, you can take steps to minimize your risk and prevent flare-ups. Knowing which foods to avoid is key to managing the condition, as well as other diet and lifestyle changes that can help reduce symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.
What Foods Trigger Diverticulitis
Diverticulitis is a condition in which small, bulging pouches called diverticula form in the lining of the intestine, usually in the colon. When these pouches become inflamed or infected, it is known as diverticulitis. Some people with diverticulitis may find that certain foods trigger or worsen their symptoms. Here are some foods that may trigger diverticulitis:
One of the most common triggers of diverticulitis is seeds. Eating seeds can cause inflammation in the digestive tract, which can lead to the painful symptoms of diverticulitis. This is especially true with hard-shelled seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, as they are difficult to digest and can get stuck in the diverticula pockets in the intestine. It is best to avoid eating seeds altogether if you have diverticulitis, or to at least limit your intake.
Nuts are a dense source of fiber, which is generally beneficial for your digestive health. However, due to their small size, nuts can also get trapped in diverticula, the small pockets in your colon that are the root cause of diverticulitis. To reduce your risk of triggering diverticulitis, you should avoid eating nuts with their shells. Eating shelled nuts minimizes the risk that the nuts will get trapped in the pockets. If you must eat nuts with their shells, you can reduce your risk by consuming them in moderation.
Popcorn is a food that is often not recommended for people with diverticulitis. Popcorn contains a type of fiber known as insoluble fiber, which can be hard to digest and can cause inflammation in the intestines, leading to flare-ups. It’s best to avoid popcorn if you have diverticulitis as it can increase your risk of a flare-up. If you must eat popcorn, make sure it’s popped in a low-fat oil and without any added salt or butter.
4. Certain vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and certain vegetables in particular are good for those trying to avoid a diverticulitis flare-up. Eating plenty of fibrous vegetables can help reduce the risk of diverticulitis, as they can help add bulk to your stool and strengthen the walls of the intestines. Examples of fibrous vegetables that are safe to eat include broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, and asparagus. Eating a variety of these vegetables is recommended.
5. Dried fruit
Dried fruits, such as raisins, dates, prunes, and apricots, are a type of food that can trigger diverticulitis. These fruits contain a high amount of fiber, which can be difficult for the digestive system to break down. Additionally, some dried fruits contain added sugar, which can contribute to inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract. It is best to avoid or reduce your intake of dried fruits in order to reduce the risk of diverticulitis flares.
6. Spicy food
Spicy foods can be a trigger for diverticulitis because they can irritate the lining of the intestine, causing inflammation and discomfort. Eating spicy food can also cause the body to produce more digestive juices, which can further irritate the intestinal lining. While spicy foods won’t cause diverticulitis in everyone, those with existing conditions are more likely to experience flare-ups. If you have diverticulitis, it’s best to avoid spicy foods, or to limit them to very small amounts.
7. Fried foods
Fried foods can also trigger diverticulitis. Fried food is high in fat, which can cause inflammation in the body. This can cause an imbalance in the gut, leading to flares of diverticulitis symptoms. Fried foods also contain trans fats, which are known to increase inflammation. Fried foods can also be hard to digest, and can cause blockages in the intestines. To reduce the risk of diverticulitis flares, it is best to limit or avoid fried foods altogether.
8. High fiber foods
Eating high fiber foods is a great way to prevent diverticulitis. Fiber helps to prevent constipation, which can make diverticular disease worse. High fiber foods are foods that are rich in fiber, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Aim to get at least 25-35 grams of fiber per day, with the majority coming from whole foods. In addition to promoting regularity, high fiber foods can also help reduce inflammation, a key factor in diverticulitis. Eating a diet that includes high fiber foods is a great way to protect your digestive health.
In conclusion, knowing which foods trigger diverticulitis can help you manage and reduce your risk of flare-ups. It is important to avoid high-fiber foods like nuts, seeds and corn, while incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, such as probiotic-rich foods and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods that may trigger diverticulitis can help keep your digestive system healthy.