If you have diverticulitis, you may be wondering if you can enjoy seafood, specifically shrimp.
While it’s important to be mindful of your diet during a flare-up, seafood can still be a healthy and delicious option.
But before you add shrimp to your plate, there are a few things to consider.
In this article, we’ll explore whether or not shrimp is safe to eat with diverticulitis and provide some helpful tips for managing your diet during a flare-up.
So, let’s dive in!
Can You Eat Shrimp With Diverticulitis?
The short answer is yes, you can eat shrimp with diverticulitis. In fact, seafood is often encouraged as a source of protein for those with this condition.
Proteins are essential for human health, and diverticulitis can make it difficult to find suitable sources of protein. Shrimp is a great option because it is low in fiber, which is important during the acute stage of the illness.
However, it’s important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently to different foods. Some people with diverticulitis may find that shrimp triggers their symptoms, while others may not have any issues at all.
If you’re unsure about whether or not shrimp is safe for you to eat, it’s always best to consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Understanding Diverticulitis And Diet Restrictions
Diverticulitis is a condition where small pockets, called diverticula, form in the lining of the colon and become inflamed or infected. The severity of the condition can vary, with mild cases treated with antibiotics and a low-fiber diet, while more severe cases require hospitalization.
During a diverticulitis flare-up, it’s important to follow a clear liquid diet for a few days before transitioning to low-fiber solids and then gradually reintroducing high-fiber foods. Fiber softens and adds bulk to stools, helping them pass more easily through the colon and reducing pressure in the digestive tract. Many studies show that eating fiber-rich foods can help control diverticular symptoms.
Women younger than 51 should aim for 25 grams of fiber daily, while men younger than 51 should aim for 38 grams of fiber daily. Women 51 and older should get 21 grams daily, and men 51 and older should get 30 grams daily. If you’re having difficulty structuring a diet on your own, consult your doctor or a dietitian who can set up a meal plan that works for you.
In the past, doctors recommended avoiding nuts, popcorn, and seeds for those with diverticulosis or diverticular disease. However, recent research suggests that these foods are not harmful. It’s important to talk with your doctor about whether you should change what you eat and drink if you have diverticulosis or diverticular disease.
Constipation often contributes to the development of diverticula. A high-fiber diet helps fight constipation by softening stool, which then moves through the GI tract more comfortably and easily. To eat a diet rich in fiber, choose minimally processed plant foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes including lentils and nuts.
During a diverticulitis flare-up, you may need to give your bowel time to rest by eating only clear liquids for a few days. Foods to eat in the initial phase of a diverticulitis flare-up include broth, fruit juices without pulp, gelatin, ice chips or pops without bits of fruit or fruit pulp, tea or coffee without cream, and water. A liquid diet should only be followed for a few days before transitioning to the next phase.
The Nutritional Benefits Of Shrimp
Shrimp is a highly nutritious food that offers numerous health benefits. It is an excellent source of protein, with a 3-ounce serving of steamed shrimp providing about 20 grams of protein, which is 40% of the recommended daily value (DV). Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body and is especially important for those with diverticulitis who may have difficulty getting enough protein from other sources.
In addition to protein, shrimp is also a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Vitamin B12 is crucial for maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, while phosphorus and potassium are important for bone health and maintaining proper fluid balance in the body. Magnesium is essential for muscle and nerve function, while zinc and selenium are important for immune system function and wound healing.
Shrimp also contains omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant astaxanthin, which can promote heart and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation in the body and may help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Astaxanthin has powerful antioxidant properties that can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
While shrimp is high in cholesterol, it has not been found to have a negative impact on heart health. In fact, studies have shown that eating shrimp may actually improve heart health due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin.
Tips For Incorporating Shrimp Into Your Diverticulitis Diet
If you’ve been given the green light to eat shrimp with diverticulitis, here are some tips for incorporating it into your diet:
1. Choose fresh or frozen shrimp: Avoid canned shrimp, as it may contain additives or preservatives that could aggravate your symptoms.
2. Cook it right: Shrimp is a versatile ingredient that can be boiled, grilled, baked or sautéed. Avoid frying it, as fried foods are often high in fat and can be difficult to digest.
3. Pair it with low-fiber sides: Since shrimp is low in fiber, it’s important to pair it with low-fiber sides such as cooked vegetables, white rice or mashed potatoes.
4. Watch your portions: While shrimp is a healthy source of protein, it’s also important to watch your portions. Stick to a serving size of 3-4 ounces per meal.
5. Consider other seafood options: If you find that shrimp doesn’t agree with you, there are plenty of other seafood options that are low in fiber and high in protein, such as salmon, tuna or cod.
Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently to different foods, so it’s important to listen to your body and make adjustments accordingly. If you experience any adverse symptoms after eating shrimp, speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian for guidance.
Other Seafood Options For Diverticulitis Sufferers
Seafood is a great option for those with diverticulitis, but if shrimp isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options to choose from.
Fish is a great source of protein and can be easily digested by those with diverticulitis. Salmon, tuna, and cod are all low in fiber and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, or broiling.
Shellfish lovers can still enjoy oysters, clams, scallops, and lobsters. However, it’s important to avoid any shellfish that is cooked with garlic or onion. Instead, try steaming them with a can of beer or a glass of wine for added flavor.
If you’re a fan of fried seafood, opt for a breading made with cornmeal instead of wheat flour. This will help to keep your fiber intake low and reduce the risk of triggering symptoms.
When it comes to seasoning your seafood, stick to simple options like olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Most herbs and spices are safe to use as well, but be sure to check the ingredients before using spice blends or rubs as they may contain garlic or onion powder.