Foods that aggravate diverticulitis

Updated April 17, 2017

Eating all the wrong foods can cause diverticulitis to flare up. Diverticulitis occurs when intestinal pouches, which can form in people older than 40, become infected. To avoid the bleeding, inflammation, small tears and blockages of the colon that go along with the disease, it is important to stay away from the foods that aggravate diverticulitis.

Keep a Journal

According to the Diverticulitis Diet Info website, foods that trigger symptoms vary from person to person, so keeping a food journal can help identify the aggravating factors.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, especially the ones with husks, can irritate the colon lining. These can cause the development of diverticula, the pouches, or weak spots, within the colon lining.


Popcorn, especially, can aggravate diverticulitis. Corn products, even corn flour, can irritate the colon lining. If flare-ups are synonymous with eating these products, avoid them if at all possible.

Spicy Foods

Hot peppers and other spicy foods have been known to irritate the colon lining of diverticulitis sufferers, according to the Diverticulitis Diet Info website.

Eat More Fiber

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that avoidance of specific foods has not been scientifically proven to help people with diverticulitis. Diet should be tailored to the person, avoiding the individual's personal trigger foods and increasing fibre intake.

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About the Author

Heather Webb Oney graduated from Morehead State University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. While at MSU, she wrote for the "Trail Blazer" and the media relations office. Since 2010, she has been the editor of the "Salyersville Independent."