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What foods can help with diverticulitis?

I have just been diagnosed with diverticulitis and am experiencing very bad stomach pains, alternating between constipation and diarrhoea. I am finding it difficult to find foods that will help with this condition, everything seems to aggravate my stomach at the moment. Any ideas please?


Our expert says...



I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis and do understand that diverticulitis can produce a number of distressing symptoms.  Hopefully your doctor, or the practice nurse, has already given you some dietary advice, which you should follow.  With this condition, it is often trial and error to find out which are tolerable foods for different individuals.


For most people, cooked food is often easier to digest than raw food and I would reduce foods in your diet that can be difficult to digest, such as meat (particularly red meat) and wheat.  Chew your food really well and take your time, eating in a relaxed manner.  This can really help.


When you are not experiencing any symptoms, try to eat high fibre foods if you can, such as brown rice and plenty of vegetables.  If you are not used to eating a high fibre diet, introduce these foods slowly and gradually build up the amount to allow your digestive system to become accustomed to larger quantities of roughage.  


During an attack, I would suggest that you stick to bland, soft foods and even consider liquidising them into a ‘soup’.  And make sure you keep your fluid levels up too, preferably with water.  Tea and coffee can often aggravate symptoms.  


I hope this is helpful and that you feel better soon.

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