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Nutrition Library: Eating for Disease Management

What foods are helpful for diverticultis?

Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet may reduce symptoms of diverticulosis and prevent complications such as diverticulitis. Fiber keeps stool soft and lowers pressure inside the colon so that bowel contents can move through easily. The American Dietetic Association recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day.

The doctor may also recommend drinking a fiber product such as Citrucel or Metamucil once a day. These products are mixed with water and provide about 4 to 6 grams of fiber for an 8-ounce glass.

Until recently, many doctors suggested avoiding foods with small seeds such as tomatoes or strawberries because they believed that particles could lodge in the diverticula and cause inflammation. However, this is now a controversial point and no evidence supports this recommendation.

Amount of Fiber in Some Foods

raspberries 1 cup 6 grams of fiber
apple 1 cup 3 grams
tangerine 1 cup 2 grams
peach 1 cup 1 gram


acorn squash 3/4 cup

4 grams

brussels sprouts 1/2 cup 3 grams
cabbage 1/2 cup 2 grams
carrot 1 cup 2 grams
potato, peeled 1 cup 2 grams
tomato 1 cup 2 grams
asparagus 1/2 cup 1 gram
broccoli 1/2 cup 1 gram
cauliflower 1/2 cup 1 gram
romaine lettuce 1 cup 1 gram
spinach 1/2 cup 1 gram
zucchini 1 cup 1 gram


Starchy Vegetables    
black-eyed peas 1/2 cup 4 grams
lima beans 1/2 cup 4 grams
kidney beans 1/2 cup 3 grams


brown rice 1 cup 3 grams
oatmeal 2/3 cup 3 grams
whole-wheat cereal 1 cup 3 grams
whole-wheat bread 1 slice 2 grams
white rice 1 cup 1 gram


Reprinted with permission from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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