Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Diverticulitis Diet

Sometimes, especially as they get older, people can develop little bulging pouches in the lining of the large intestine. These are called diverticula, and the condition is known as diverticulosis.

When the pouches become inflamed or infected, it leads to a sometimes very painful condition called diverticulitis. In addition to having abdominal pain, people with diverticulitis may experience nausea, vomiting, bloating, fever, constipation, or diarrhea.

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Living with GERD and Food Intolerances: Trudy McCulloch's Story

I didn't know I had food intolerances until I was in my 30s. I'd had trouble with my digestion since birth. As a baby I had a lot of gas and would often get diarrhea. My mother thought it was because I was a preemie. Those stomach problems eased by the time I was 6 months old, and I was relatively healthy as a kid. But then what appeared to be seasonal allergies kicked in. In fact, by the time I hit puberty, my symptoms were so bad that my eyes would often seal shut with crust, and I had terrible...

Read the Living with GERD and Food Intolerances: Trudy McCulloch's Story article > >

Many experts believe that a low-fiber diet can lead to diverticulosis and diverticulitis. This may be why people in Asia and Africa, where the diet tends to be higher in fiber, have a very low incidence of the condition.

Diverticulosis usually causes no or few symptoms; leaving many people unaware that they even have diverticula present.

Diverticulitis may need to be treated with antibiotics or, in severe cases, surgery.

Diet for Diverticulitis

If you're experiencing severe symptoms from diverticulitis, your doctor may recommend a liquid diverticulitis diet as part of your treatment, which can include:

  • Water
  • Fruit juices
  • Broth
  • Ice pops

Gradually you can ease back into a regular diet. Your doctor may advise you to start with low-fiber foods (white bread, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products) before introducing high-fiber foods.

Fiber softens and adds bulk to stools, helping them pass more easily through the colon. It also reduces pressure in the digestive tract.

Many studies show that eating fiber-rich foods can help control diverticular symptoms. Try to eat at least 25-35 grams of fiber a day.

Here are a few fiber-rich foods to include in meals:

  • Whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals
  • Beans (kidney beans and black beans, for example)
  • Fresh fruits (apples, pears, prunes)
  • Vegetables (squash, potatoes, peas, spinach)

If you're having difficulty structuring a diet on your own, consult your doctor or a dietitian. They can set up a meal plan that works for you.

Your doctor may also recommend a fiber supplement, such as psyllium (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) one to three times a day. Drinking enough water and other fluids throughout the day will also help prevent constipation.

Foods to Avoid With Diverticulitis

In the past, doctors had recommended that people with diverticular disease (diverticulosis or diverticulitis) avoid hard-to-digest foods such as nuts, corn, popcorn, and seeds, for fear that these foods would get stuck in the diverticula and lead to inflammation. However, recent research has noted that there is no real scientific evidence to back up this recommendation.

In fact, nuts and seeds are components of many high-fiber foods, which are recommended for people with diverticular disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on January 24, 2015

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
top foods for probiotics
couple eating at cafe
sick child
Woman blowing bubble gum

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with crohns in pain
Woman with stomach pain
diet for diverticulitis
what causes diarrhea