Diets are very individualised factors of life and will vary from person to person. A decision about diet should be made by the individual depending on what works for them in regards to amounts and types of food they will consume.In general, the following tips may prove handy in order to optimise diet and achieve adequate fluid and fibre intake:
1) Increase the fibre of your content gradually, especially if you are prone to constipation. This will avoid further gastrointestinal upset and will allow your body to gradually adjust to any changes. A sudden change in fibre can result in flatulence and abdominal pain- so take it slowly.
2) Consume plenty of plant foods as opposed to meat or dairy. These include:
a) Wholegrain breads and cereals: Breads and cereals are the main source of fibre in the diet. Choose from this food group regularly throughout the day.
During the processes of refining foods, much of the fibre in a food product will become depleted. When selecting breads and cereals opt for the wholegrain versions, as these are less refined and thus contain higher amount of fibre. Try to select cereals that contain barley, wheat or oats.
If wholegrain breads are not to your liking it is possible to purchase high fibre white breads and cereals.
b) Fruit and vegetables: These food groups also provide fibre in the diet, particularly those in which the skin of the fruit or vegetable is consumed.
3) Drink plenty of fluids each day. Aim for two litres (eight standard drinking glasses) to ensure sufficient fluid in the body for bulky, soft stools. Be aware that he term fluid does not just apply to water. Many items constitute a fluid. These include:
- Sports drinks
- Soft drink
- Ice cream
Previously, many doctors recommended the avoidance of nuts, popcorn, pumpkin, caraway seeds and sunflower seeds as they believed they may become stuck in the diverticula and cause infection and inflammation.
These recommendations have since been discontinued as there is no scientific evidence that these foods may have this effect.
Foods high in fibre to include in the diet:
1 Pears 2 Apples 3 Bananas
4 Dried fruit 5 Peas 6 Potato with the skin
7 Broccoli 8 Cabbage 9 Spinach
10 Asparagus 11 Squash 12 Carrots
13 Baked Beans 14 Lentils 15 Chick peas
16 Kidney Beans 17 Lima Beans 18 Dried Beans
18 Wholegrain or wholemeal bread (Or alternatively high fibre white bread)
20 Whole-wheat pasta 21 Soy milk
22 Breakfast cereals containing barley, wheat or oats
23 Psyllium 24 Brown Rice
Whilst it may be tempting to include a fibre supplement in the diet, try to avoid this where possible as this may exacerbate or cause diarrhoea in the event that an individual is not drinking sufficient fluids. Aim to obtain all fibre requirements by eating a healthy diet.