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Can nuts and seeds also get stuck in the diverticula and cause inflammation and infection?

Although this is theoretically possible, it has never been demonstrated. Total avoidance of nuts and seeds may cause people to miss out on fiber, vitamins, and minerals in these foods. In fact, long-term decreased fiber may be associated with more episodes of diverticulitis. The evidence supports eating nuts and seeds as part of a high-fiber diet to prevent diverticulitis. However, if you are the rare person who had a diverticulitis attack after eating nuts or seeds, it is understandable that you might suspect that these are related. In that situation, you would be justified in avoiding certain foods that you associate with gastrointestinal symptoms.

If you are concerned about difficulty digesting nuts and seeds, but want to get the nutritional benefits, consider nut butters, ground-up seeds, and other tricks to “pre-digest” these hard foods. If you are concerned that you are having to avoid too many foods, and your diet is becoming overly restrictive, please speak to your healthcare provider or a dietitian to help you find a suitable diet for you.

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Treatment of Diverticulitis

During an attack of diverticulitis, a low-fiber (lowresidue) diet is sometimes recommended until symptoms improve. One example is the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, toast). On the other hand, there is a lot of data that shows that a high-fiber diet is associated with fewer episodes of diverticulitis and therefore preventing diverticulitis in the first place.Diverticula: Nuts and Seeds

Fiber has secondary benefits as well. It is a prebiotic, a food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which may be associated with fewer colon polyps as well.

Learn more about how to talk with your healthcare provider and what to ask

Adapted from, “Nuts, Seeds, and Diverticula” – By: Joy Lui, MD, Northwestern University- Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. Adapted from article by W. Grant Thompson, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., F.A.C.G., Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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