Can you eat kale when you have diverticulitis?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat kale when you have diverticulitis, what is kale, what is diverticulitis, is it healthy to eat kale when you have diverticulitis, and what diet you should follow if you have diverticulitis. 

Can you eat kale when you have diverticulitis?

Yes, you can eat kale when you have diverticulitis. High fiber diets help to ease symptoms because constipation can lead to a higher risk of developing diverticulitis. Try to include high-fiber foods such as kale, drink plenty of water, and exercise to reduce the risk of developing diverticulitis. 

What is kale?

Kale or also known as leaf cabbage and is part of a group of cabbage. Kale plants have green or purple leaves and do not have a central head like other cabbage. Kale grows annually from seeds with a range of germination temperatures. It can survive as low as -15 C. 

There are several kale varieties depending on the leaf types. They might range in color from light green to dark green, violet-green, or violet-brown. 

  • Curly leaf
  • Bumpy-leaf is also known as Tuscan Cabbage
  • Plain-leaf
  • Leaf and spear or feathery type leaf
  • Ornamental, there are many varieties that are not as palatable. They can be white, red-pink, lavender-blue, or violet. 
  • Chinese kale

Kale grows perfectly in the winter. There is a variety of kale called hungry gap that grows after the winter period. There is also another variety that is called Jersey kale or cow cabbage. 

What is diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis is a disease where diverticula, small bulging pouches, form in the lining of your digestive system. Diverticula are commonly found in the lower part of the large intestine or colon. 

Diverticulitis is common in men older than 40 years. The problem is when more than one diverticula is inflamed because it causes severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and changes in bowel movements. 

Mild cases of diverticulitis can be treated with changes in your diet and antibiotics. When it becomes more severe surgery might be required. Signs and symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Constant and persistent pain for several days in either the left side of the abdomen or both sides of the abdomen. 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Is it healthy to eat kale?

Yes, kale is healthy to eat when you have diverticulitis. Raw kale is composed of up to 84% of water, 9% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 1% fat. In 100 grams of kale, there are 50 calories, 8.8 grams of carbohydrates of which 3.6 are from fiber, 1 gram of fat, and 4.3 grams of protein.

Based on the daily value percentage of a 2,000 calorie diet, 100 grams of kale can give up to 145% of vitamin C and 371% of vitamin K. Kale also contains enough amounts of folate, vitamin b 6, manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. 

When kale is cooked it provides fewer calories. 100 grams of cooked kale contains 28 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fat, and 1.9 grams of protein. Vitamin K is higher with 418 ug, up to 400% of DV, and vitamin C is reduced to 41 mg or 49% of DV. 

What diet should you follow if you have diverticulitis?

If you are in the acute phase of diverticulitis, meaning diverticula has become inflamed, you need to eat a low fiber diet and aim for less than 20 grams of fiber per day. Food allowed in this phase of the disease are: 

  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • All meat and meat substitutes
  • Limit fruit to no more than 3 servings per day (1 serving is ½ cup) 
  • Try to eat no more than 2 servings per day of vegetables (1 serving is ½ cup) 
  • Eat refined bread, cereals, and starches
  • You can eat all types of fat

In the maintenance phase or diverticulosis, you should include a high-fiber diet to help ease symptoms and reduce the risk of developing diverticulitis. Adults should aim for about 30 grams of fiber per day. Some food you should include are

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Leafy greens, such as kale. 
  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day
  • Exercise
  • Try to avoid fast food and junk food 

Follow this link for more information about the diverticulitis diet. 

Other FAQs about Kale that you may be interested in.

Can you eat kale when taking warfarin?

Can you eat kale when taking eliquis?

Can you eat kale when pregnant?


This article answered can you eat kale when you have diverticulitis? What is kale? What is diverticulitis? Is it healthy to eat kale when you have diverticulitis, and what diet should you follow if you have diverticulitis?” 

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