Diverticulitis is inflammation of the diverticula - small sacs that develop in the colon due to pressure, often as a result of constipation. The problem increases with age - it's rare before the age of 40, and increasingly common after the age of 60. While some people may have few or no symptoms, others develop abdominal pain and can become ill enough to require surgery.
One of the causes of diverticulitis is poor diet, and it can also be aggravated by stress, so you should try to avoid stressful situations where possible. If you are diagnosed with diverticulitis, there are a number of foods you should avoid in order to ease your symptoms.
Nuts and seeds
These can be difficult to digest, and should be avoided by diverticulitis patients. If you really love nuts and seeds, you could try them one at a time to see if anything specific triggers an attack. Some experts say seeds and nuts have no effect on the condition, but opinion is divided.
sweetcorn, popcorn and any other products with corn included could worsen the symptoms of diverticulitis, so it's best to avoid these products. This list should include bread and tortillas made with corn.
Fried foods can trigger attacks, especially deep fried foods. Any healthy diet should restrict fried foods, but it's particularly important for people with diverticulitis.
Chillis and spices are definitely off the menu for those who suffer from diverticulitis. This means most Mexican and Indian food is off limits. However, not all Mexican and Indian food is really spicy, so you could experiment to see what you can tolerate. Creamy, mild dishes such as chicken korma could give you a curry fix without triggering an attack.
Raw vegetables may be good for vitamin content, but they're bad news for diverticulitis sufferers. Raw vegetables are more difficult to digest, so steam vegetables lightly to retain as many nutrients as possible without aggravating your condition.
Processed foods have no place in a healthy diet, but when it comes to diverticulitis, processed foods can cause particular problems.
The best way to find out which foods trigger attacks of diverticulitis is to keep a food diary for at least a month. Write down everything you eat and drink each day, and how you feel the following day. That way, you can eliminate trigger foods from your diet. It's possible to live a healthy life with diverticulitis if you can identify the foods which are likely to trigger an attack.