Plagued by Diver what?
Digestion Part 3
Diverticulitis, the crazy name everyone has a hard time pronouncing. Everywhere I turn, it seems someone I know is having a diverticulitis flare-up or a digestive issue. A distant relative just had surgery for this last week and two of my Facebook friends recently had trouble, and I just got off the phone and found out my cousins husband was hospitalized with it. What’s going on? It effects men and women of all ages. When an attack occurs, this is a miserable and painful place to be. I know, because I too have suffered from it and have to be careful with what I eat.
If you just had an attack, go back to the basics first. Pureed foods, liquid broth and super soft foods. Plain yogurt is excellent with a touch of honey, while working in a little pureed fruit.
Look For Your Trigger Food
Trying to figure out which food gives you trouble can be like putting on your private investigator hat. Each person is different, but raw vegetables are probably the number one trigger food. For me, it’s raw broccoli. For others, it’s nuts. Ouch!
Dr. Andrea Nakayama says, “A healthy digestive tract is a tightly woven mesh of tissue that does not allow the absorption of bacteria, harmful foods, or undigested food into the bloodstream.”
Did you know that low fiber diets are one of the leading causes for diverticulitis, IBS, constipation, colon cancer, and hemorrhoids? So what to do?
There are two kinds of fiber – soluble fibers dissolve in water, and insoluble fibers do not. Soluble fibers absorb toxins and unneeded cholesterol from the bloodstream. They help regulate our blood sugar. Insoluble fibers move along elimination. We need both!
Soluble fiber foods include lentils, beans, apples, and carrots and green vegetables.
And veggies are a great source of insoluble fiber. But don’t get confused about which type is which. For instance, when it comes to fruit, just focus on fruits that have fiber, like blueberries or strawberries for starters. Bananas don’t have fiber, but are a wonderful natural food when combined with a healthy granola or meal replacement shake.
The key to increasing your fiber is tolerance. If you are just starting, you probably need to build up your tolerance to new foods slowly. The seeds in fruits or nuts irritate some people, so you may want to grind up in a mini food processor. If raw vegetables cause you pain or irritation, try steaming or sautéing your veggies in virgin olive oil. You may even have to mash, grate or blend in your veggies with other foods. But get them in!
While you are increasing your fiber, it’s important to increase water too.
We Need Bacteria!
Healthy digestion can be strengthened with probiotics. Since I have digestive challenges, I take a probiotic every single day and I also eat probiotic foods. Pro means good (bacteria) , and ‘biotics’ means life. The key is getting the friendly bacteria in the gut to make less room for the bad bacteria to hang around in those irritated spots.
Probiotics come from two places. Number one is cultured food, and number two is probiotic supplements. One of my favorite go-to probiotic foods is plain Greek yogurt. Some examples of cultured foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, traditionally fermented pickles and veggies, miso, tempeh, kefir and kombucha,
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Contact me if I can help you with your digestive challenges: Contact Cathy