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Diverticulitis Prevention: Can You Avoid This Illness?

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  • One of the best strategies to prevent diverticulitis is to consume a diet with high amounts of fiber
  • Try to eat at least one serving of fruits, vegetables or whole grains with every meal

One of the best strategies 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.1 Dietary fiber also fuels beneficial bacteria to produce compounds that help regulate your immune function.2

The 2 Types of Fiber You Should Get From Your Diet

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.3

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 can take organic psyllium. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and not only promotes healthy digestion, but also heart health,4 weight control,5 blood sugar support6 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 USDA recommended minimum of 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed.7

Other Ways to Inhibit Diverticulitis

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, more recent studies8,9 found no evidence linking these foods with diverticular disease, and therefore may be safe to eat. Here are other ways to help prevent diverticulitis, or diverticular disease in general:10

  • 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 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as they have been linked to diverticular bleeding.
  • 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.

MORE ABOUT DIVERTICULITIS

Diverticulitis: Introduction

What Is Diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis Causes

Diverticulitis Types

Is Diverticulitis Hereditary?

Diverticulitis Signs and Symptoms

Diverticulitis Treatment

Diverticulitis Prevention

Diverticulitis Diet

Diverticulitis FAQ

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