How can diverticulosis be prevented?

Good bowel hygiene is most important to prevent diverticular disease or reduce the complications. This means:

  • Having regular bowel movements and avoiding constipation and straining;
  • Eating appropriate amounts of the right types of fiber;
  • Drinking plenty of water;
  • Exercising regularly.

The American Dietetic Association recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Every person, regardless of whether they have diverticula, should try to consume this much fiber every day. Fiber is the part of plant foods that cannot be digested. High-fiber foods include:

  • Whole grain breads, cereals, and crackers;
  • Berries and other fruit;
  • Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, carrots, asparagus, squash, and beans;
  • Brown rice;
  • Bran products;
  • Cooked dried peas and beans, among other foods.

A high-fiber diet helps prevent constipation and provides a number of other health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced blood cholesterol, improved blood sugar, and a reduced risk of developing certain intestinal disorders.

Other ways to prevent diverticular disease include drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, watching for changes in bowel movements (from constipation to diarrhea), and getting enough rest and sleep.

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