The best strategy to prevent diverticulitis is to consume a diet with high amounts of fiber. Adequate amounts of fiber in your stool can help prevent constipation, allowing waste to move easily and preventing you from putting pressure on the colon during bowel movements.
Dietary fiber also fuels beneficial bacteria to produce compounds that help regulate your immune function.There are two kinds of fiber in foods, namely soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material that makes stools softer and larger, so they can be passed easily through the intestine.
Meanwhile, insoluble fiber absorbs water and adds bulk to stool, which helps move waste through the digestive system. You can get both soluble and insoluble fiber from plant-based foods. To ensure that you’re getting equal amounts of both, you should add a wide variety of fiber-rich foods in your meals.
For example you cantake organic psyllium. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and not only promotes healthy digestion, but also heart health, weight control, blood sugar support, and more.
Just three servings of psyllium per day can give you as much as 18 grams of dietary fiber, bringing you closer to the recommended minimum of 50 grams per 1,000 calories consumed.
Physicians have previously recommended diverticulitis patients to avoid eating nuts, seeds, and popcorn, as they believe these can get lodged in the pouches and cause or worsen the infection.
However, modern research1 found that there’s no evidence linking these foods with diverticular disease, and therefore may be safe to eat.2 Other ways to help prevent diverticulitis – or diverticular disease in general – include:3
• Avoid overconsumption of red meat.
• Avoid foods loaded with unhealthy fats, as they may lead to intestinal blockage and worsen diverticulitis symptoms.
• Get enough regular exercise.
• Drink plenty of liquids, ideally pure clear water. This is especially important if you are consuming a high-fiber diet. Without enough fluids, the fiber will only add bulk to the stool and will not soften it, which may lead to constipation.
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Quit smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of complications from diverticulitis.
• Do not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as they have been linked to diverticular bleeding.
• Reduce your caffeine intake. Some people think that drinking coffee can help their stools to pass, but this is actually a wrong approach. Caffeine is a diuretic that can lead you to lose water in your body, causing stools to harden. Excessive caffeine may also cause your colon muscles to contract, preventing stool from passing through smoothly.4
• Do not delay your bowel movements. This can harden stools and increase the strain on your colon muscles, which can then lead to diverticular disease.