I have diverticulosis and have cut out lettuce, apples, peanuts and cabbage. What else would you suggest?

I have a condition called diverticulosis. It seems every Spring I get into trouble with it. I’ve already cut out lettuce, apples, peanuts, and cabbage. What else would you suggest?

Well, first of all, you are cutting out the very foods you should be eating. You need a high fiber diet, not a low fiber diet.

Diverticulosis is a disease where pockets form in the large intestine. When food gets caught in these pockets, they become irritated and inflamed (diverticulitis). These abnormal pockets usually form because of a diet that is too low in fiber.

Since your gastrointestinal tract is not used to a high fiber diet, I would suggest that you start slowly. You should be eating fresh vegetables, fresh fruits (especially edible peelings), whole grain cereals and bran every day. These foods provide indigestible material (fiber) which helps clean out your intestinal tract.

Bran is probably the most important part of this high fiber diet. It swells up and absorbs water and passes through your body undigested. Along the way, it helps food move faster by stimulating the peristalsis (movement) of the intestines. Bran can be sprinkled on your regular bowl of hot or cold cereal. Bran can also be baked in bread or muffins. There are several good bran muffin recipes available.

If you should avoid any foods, make them strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, whole cranberries or foods with small seeds (particulate). The small seeds could lodge in a diverticuli (intestine pocket) and cause you discomfort.

Also, I would suggest you call your doctor and ask him/her for a referral for a high fiber diet, which you should follow when you are not having symptoms. I would suggest you follow a low fiber diet if your intestinal pockets (diverticulosis) are inflamed (diverticulitis) and causing you pain. See your doctor for active symptoms or pain.