Diverticular Nutrition

This condition is caused by herniating of a segment of the Large Intestine (Colon). Why this occurs remains unclear, but what all information sources agree on is that fiber, or lack of fiber is a large contributing factor.

Here we see the most common part of the Colon affected, notice the herniating segments.

Fiber is important for several reasons.

Soluble fiber – breaks down and becomes food for the lining of both small and large intestines, to keep the mucous membranes strong and healthy. Soluble fiber absorbs in water. Some examples include;

  • Apples (Do NOT remove the skin!)
  • Barley
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots (Do NOT remove the skin!)
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pears (Do NOT remove the skin!)
  • Legumes
  • Sweet Potato (Do NOT remove the skin!)

Insoluble fiber – Is unbelievably important as it does not break down in water and adds bulk to the Colon.

This is important because as the diameter of the colon gets smaller, the pressure internally increases making herniation of the Colon much more likely (Diverticulosis).  This is well studied and known as ‘The Law of Laplace’, named after the great French mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace.

Some examples include;

  • Apples
  • Corn
  • All cabbage family (broc, collie, kale, Brussels, ect)
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Legumes
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Wheat bran
  • Whole grains

*Note this is far from a complete list, just somewhere to get you started. Notice also that many foods contain both types of fiber.

Humans have bones to support the body, plants have fiber. Notice also that you only find fiber from plant foods, which highlights the importance of making this the bulk of your diet.

There are also a number of other nutritional factors to help improve the health and function of the intestines. Some in particular I find specifically useful clinically and should be consumed regularly, these include Vitamin A, Glutamine, and Slippery Elm.

Vitamin A – Improves the mucosal lining of the intestines, and is anti-viral. It has many other uses clinically. Natural food sources of this include;

  • Apricots
  • Barley Grass
  • Butter
  • Carrots
  • Fish and Fish Liver Oils (Flathead, Flounder, Salmon and Cod)
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Kohlrabi
  • Liver
  • Mint
  • Egg yolks
  • All red, orange and yellow colored vegetables

Glutamine – Is an amino acid (a building block of protein) and improves the mucosal lining of the intestines, much like Vitamin A. Natural food sources of glutamine include;

  • Beans and legumes
  • Cottage cheese
  • Dairy
  • Organic ham
  • Organic sausage
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Rolled oats
  • Whey protein
  • Spirulina

Slippery elm is available from qualified practitioners, pharmacies and health food stores. You should use it under the guidance of a qualifier practitioner.

This image shows a herniated bowel, notice the three large herniation’s at the bottom of the picture. This is called ‘Diverticulosis’ if these become inflamed by filling with normal fecal matter then you have what is called ‘Diverticulitis’

This indicated the importance of a high fiber diet to keep the bowel full, and reduce the pressure on the bowel wall, greatly reducing the chances of these herniation to develop.

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