If you have a mild case of diverticulitis, your physician will likely prescribe a specific diet as part of your treatment plan. While it may not completely treat the illness, it can give your digestive system a chance to “rest,” so that it can recover from the infection.
Most physicians will recommend that you consume a high-fiber diet. Fiber softens your stools, allowing them to pass through your intestines and colon more quickly and easily. Some of the best fiber-rich foods include:1, 2
• Vegetables (artichokes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas and broccoli) and vegetable juices
• Fruits, including raspberries, blackberries, pears, apples and avocados
• Legumes, such as navy beans, kidney beans, black beans, lima beans and split peas
• Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and bulgur
But in severe diverticulitis cases, switching to a high-fiber diet too soon may not be effective, and may only worsen the symptoms. Instead, your physician will likely recommend a clear liquid diet first.3
Liquids You Can Take for Diverticulitis
Start by eating homemade bone broth, made from lamb, beef, chicken or fish, and with some cooked vegetables and meat. This will help heal leaky gut syndrome, boost your immune system and heal the digestive tract.4
Bone broth provides you with easily digestible nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulfur. The gelatinous collagen in bone broth also has amazing curative properties. It is a hydrophilic colloid that attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, hence supporting proper digestion.
Aside from pure and clear water, ginger tea is another soothing drink that you should add to your diet. Sip on warm ginger tea two to three times daily, as it will help reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. This healing food works wonders on your immune and digestive systems.
Other Recommended Foods for Diverticulitis
Once your diverticulitis symptoms have lessened, you can move on to consuming easily digestible foods, ideally grated, steamed and pureed fruits and vegetables. Avoid those that have tough skins and small seeds that may accumulate in the diverticula sacs. Some of the best choices are carrots, beets, grapes, apples, lettuce and watercress. You can juice them, but leave out the fibrous areas until your body has adjusted to them.
When you feel better, you can start to add fiber-rich foods, including raw fruits and vegetables and unrefined grains, such as fermented grains, black rice, quinoa, and sprouted lentils, to your diet.
Remember that digestion starts in the mouth, so make it a habit to chew each bite of your food thoroughly, or until it is nearly liquefied. The more you break down the food before it goes to your stomach, the more readily absorbed the nutrients become.5
Food plays a great role in how you manage diverticulitis, so remember to discuss your diet needs and restrictions with your physician. Write down your questions, and make sure that you clarify which foods are safe and which ones are not. You can also ask for a referral to a nutrition specialist who can help you come up with a well-balanced meal plan to alleviate your condition.6