Can you eat spicy food with diverticulitis? 

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat spicy food with diverticulitis?”. We will also discuss what diverticulitis is, its causes, and how to prevent it. We will also learn what type of food we should avoid and what type of food and its portions are necessary to eat to prevent or treat diverticulitis.

Can you eat spicy food with diverticulitis?

No, it is not recommended to eat spicy food when you have diverticulitis as this type of food can contribute to pain and increased symptoms such as nausea. 

Among spicy foods, chili powder should be out of your diet if you have diverticulitis. The spicy ingredients can irritate and inflame the digestive tract, causing diarrhea, vomiting, and other problems, all of which are associated with diverticulitis.

What is diverticulitis? 

Diverticulosis refers to the presence of small outgrowing pouches or sacs called diverticula, and they can develop in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Although diverticula can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, their presence is more common on the left side of the large intestine, an area known as the descending and sigmoid colon.

What are the causes of diverticulitis?

Diverticula (bulging pouches) form when there is pressure inside the colon as a result of constipation, straining constipation, the can be caused by:

Insufficient fiber in the diet: If we consume not enough fiber, it causes the feces to be small and hard, this increases the difficulty to pass, and increases pressure on the colon.

Age: As we age, the external muscular wall of the colon thickens, which causes a constriction of the duct, making it difficult to pass feces.  Waste remains in the colon longer, becomes harder and drier, and requires additional pressure.

How to prevent diverticulitis?

  • Consume fiber: according to food codex guidelines and the world health organization, it is recommended to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber to maintain proper intestinal health.  
  • Fiber supplements: if it is not possible to eat the recommended amount of fiber through the diet, you can make use of fiber supplements, however, it is important to consult a nutritionist to indicate your adequate intake depending on the type of food.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids: fiber absorbs water and increases soft waste in your colon. If you don’t drink enough fluids, fiber can lead to constipation.
  • Preoccupying the toilet immediately: delaying evacuation causes the feces to be harder, thus causing more pressure to be exerted in passing through the tract. 

What is the diet to treat diverticulitis?

Below is the portion of different food groups that help with the treatment of diverticulitis.

Cereals that include grains:

  • 1⁄3-3⁄4 cup high-fiber ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1-1¼ cup ready-to-eat shredded wheat cereal
  • 1½ cup whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
  • 1 small oat bran muffin


  • 1 medium pear with peel
  • 1 medium apple with peel
  • ½ cup of raspberries
  • ½ cup of cooked plums


  • ½ cup cooked green peas
  • ½ cup cooked frozen mixed vegetables
  • ½ cup cooked swiss chard
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato with the skin
  • 1 medium potato with the skin
  • ½ cup cooked winter squash

Foods to avoid with diverticulitis

  • Spices: when you have diverticulitis it is recommended to refrain from adding spices to your food. This is because spicy foods have been reported to aggravate diseases of the digestive system. Since diverticulitis is a condition that affects the digestive tract (intestines), it is best to avoid foods that contain spices.
  • Cabbage: although cabbage contains nutrients such as vitamins and minerals suitable for good nutrition when you have diverticulitis it can worsen your symptoms due to gas. As your body digests cabbage, it can inflame your intestines and cause gas.
  • Corn: if you have diverticulitis, it will be necessary to avoid the consumption of this grain. Corn has been found to worsen the side effects associated with this digestive health problem.
  • Peppers: peppers have a natural spice, particularly red and green, that could worsen the effects of diverticulitis. In addition, it has been reported that they can cause gas, which could accumulate in the diverticula and cause even more pain. Eating peppers can increase abdominal pain and cause constipation and diarrhea. 
  • Broccoli: broccoli is difficult to digest and can cause gas. As gas builds up in the digestive tract, it can further inflame the diverticula, worsening the effects of diverticulitis.
  • Food with high-fat content: high-fat foods include fried foods, such as French fries, wings, and French fries, as well as pizza, hamburgers, and other fast food. This food can cause inflammation. In addition, they can contribute to the production of gas and diarrhea.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query “can you eat spicy food with diverticulitis?”. We have also discussed what diverticulitis is, its causes, and how to prevent it. We also learned what type of food we should avoid and what type of food and its portions are necessary to eat to prevent or treat diverticulitis.


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