If you're having severe symptoms, you should definitely check with your doctor as this can be serious. However, if it's controlled, foods that can help diverticulitis, or diverticulosis, are high-fiber foods. Most of us only get about half of the fiber we need in a day. If you don't eat much fiber now, you should start slowly to incorporate more fiber into your diet. If you do it too quickly, it may bring on symptoms like gas and even constipation. As you eat more fiber, be sure to drink plenty of water, as well. Men, 50 and under, need 38 grams of fiber a day. Men over 50 need 30 grams a day. (Women 50 and under need 25 grams daily and women over 50 need 21 grams daily.) Fiber-rich foods include whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Fiber supplements can also help you get the necessary amount of fiber. We used to think people with diverticulitis needed to avoid hard-to-digest foods like nuts, corn, seeds, and popcorn. However, recent research shows this isn't necessary. This is good news because nuts are a great source of fiber and healthy fats.
Thank you for joining us for WebMD Ask the Nutritionist. Be sure to check in on Wednesday, August 8, at 1 p.m. ET, when we will discuss "Nutrition and Digestion." Sign up if you'd like an email reminder the day before the event.