Diverticulosis occurs when small pouches, known as diverticula, form along the lining of the intestine. During the digestion process, small pieces of food may become stuck in the diverticula, which results in inflammation known as diverticulitis. It occurs most often in the colon, specifically the sigmoid colon. According to MedlinePlus, a low fiber diet is a risk factor for diverticulosis.
Eat High Fiber
According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), fiber keeps stool soft and reduces pressure in the colon allowing bowel contents to move through easily. Fiber intake should be between 20 and 35 grams per day. If a diet is low in dietary fiber, slowly increase intake by a few grams daily. This will allow the body to adjust properly and reduce constipation.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. Raw produce with the peel or skin is an excellent way to boost the amount of fiber in the diet. Fruits highest in fiber include raspberries, pears and apples. High fiber vegetables include artichokes, peas, broccoli and turnips. Choose fruit as a snack or to replace desserts. Use vegetables in soups, to bulk up a sandwich or as part of a stir-fry dish.
Whole grains are a great way to increase fiber in the diet. Foods such as 100 percent whole wheat bread, steel-cut oatmeal, brown rice, bran, popcorn and whole wheat pasta are high in dietary fiber. Taste and flavor may vary between brands. It is important to try a variety of products to determine which whole grains are for you.
Seeds and Nuts
For years, physicians have recommended that patients with diverticulosis avoid nuts and foods containing seeds. However, according to the NDDIC, no scientific data supports this treatment. Seeds found in strawberries, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers and raspberries are thought to be safe. Symptoms vary from person to person, making it important for you to recognize the foods that aggravate your body.
Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are high in fiber. They are also high in protein, making them good substitutes for low fiber meat and poultry. Split peas, lentils, black beans and lima beans have more than 10 grams of fiber per cup. Side effects of high bean and legume consumption include gas and bloating.