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Hi! I'm Stelios Pantazis. I'm a doctor and I specialize in medical nutrition and metabolic disorders. Today, I'm talking about bowel diverticula. Bowel diverticula are points along the large intestine that have indentations, which are caused by holes on the thick bowel walls that allow softer walls to penetrate. This leads to the creation of sacs that start from the internal layer of the intestine. Their existence does not cause any symptoms, unless they are inflamed, which is called diverticulitis, namely inflammation of one or more diverticula. Diverticulitis is a painful condition that often requires hospitalisation and the use of strong antibiotics. Diverticula are very common for people over 60 years old, while they rarely affect people under 30 years old. Moreover, men suffer from them more often than women. Scientists are not certain about the cause of diverticula, but they've noted a series of factors that are associated with more often occurrence. Among these factors, age is the most important one, as studies have shown that they affect 50-70% of people over 80 years old, while they rarely affect people under 30 years old, as mentioned earlier. Furthermore, some studies have shown that the increased alcohol consumption and smoking increase the risk of diverticula. But a bowel condition is surely associated with diet too. Today, I'll tell you which diet factors increase the risk of diverticula. This presentation is based on a study that you'll find in the description below, if you want to check it out, which compared some foods with regard to the risk of diverticula. Let's see which foods seemed to cause diverticula and which foods seemed to protect us from them. First, vegetables. The study has shown that all vegetables protect from diverticula. This is largely attributed to the fact that vegetables are really rich in fibers, as well as anti-inflammatory substances that protect the bowel. Cruciferous vegetables seem to be particularly useful. Such vegetables are broccoli and cauliflower. Green leafy vegetables, which are really rich in fibers, are also very useful. Second, fruits. Fruits also seem to protect against diverticula. This is partly attributed to the fact that they contain many fibers as well as other anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. Fruits that contain many fibers, such as apples, oranges, plums, figs and pears, are possibly particularly beneficial. Third, legumes. Another group of foods that have been proven to be really beneficial and to protect from diverticula is legumes. This study has shown that legumes are particularly protective, and the scientists that published it believe that the fact that legumes are really rich in fibers plays a very important role, because fibers are really good for the proper bowel function. Fourth, fish and seafood. Fish and seafood are more protective than the other animal proteins. This may be attributed to the fact that they're rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are very good for our health, as we all know. This may also be attributed to the fact that they replace red meat, which significantly increases the risk of diverticula, as we'll see. Unprocessed cereals. Cereals are an Ianus food. When eaten with their husk, namely unprocessed, they're really healthy. On the contrary, when they're processed and their husk has been removed, they become unhealthy. The same applies to diverticula. It's clear that unprocessed cereals protect you from them. Sixth, dried nuts. Contrary to what some experts recommend, dried nuts seem to mildly protect from diverticula. Seventh, poultry. Finally, poultry seem to protect from diverticula, which may be attributed to the fact that they replace red meat. These are the foods that protect from diverticula. Let's see the foods that seem to increase the risk of diverticula. If you intend to live after 60 and you want to decrease the risk of diverticula, you should start avoiding them from a relatively young age or even stop eating them. First, meat. When I say "meat", I mean the meat of mammals, such as pork or beef, which has been repeatedly proven to increase the risk of diverticula, when consumed often. In this case, fish and poultry are a much better alternative. Meat increases the risk of diverticula either it is processed or not. Second, processed cereals. As I said earlier, processed cereals increase the risk of diverticula significantly. When I say "processed cereals", I mean the white flour that is used in pastries. Third, sugar. We shouldn't be surprised to find out that the study concludes that sugar increases the risk of diverticula too. Fourth, dairy. This study has shown that full-fat dairy increases the risk of diverticula, while low-fat dairy doesn't. Fifth, butter and margarine. Finally, butter and margarine seem to increase the risk of diverticula a little. These are the foods that increase the risk of diverticula, and you should avoid them as much as possible. On the contrary, you should focus on the foods I mentioned in the beginning that help decrease the risk of diverticula. Now, if you suffer from diverticula, what diet should you follow, in order to prevent diverticulitis? The answer is given by the guidelines of the American Gastroenterological Association on the prevention of diverticulitis. The guidelines, which you can find in the description, if you want to download and read them, clearly mention that the ideal diet is particularly rich in fibers, namely rich in fruits, vegetables, unprocessed cereals and legumes. In fact, it points out that the recommendation that has prevailed for many decades against the consumption of dried nuts, legumes and foods containing seeds makes no sense. Finally, as expected, the guidelines stress the importance of low weight in the protection from diverticulitis. Namely if a person suffering from bowel diverticula wants to protect themselves from diverticulitis, they shouldn't only follow a healthy diet, but they should also maintain their weight within the normal range. If you are overweight, you should make a proper effort to bring your weight down to the normal levels, in order to be protected. If you thought this was interesting, please give us a thumbs up. Share it with people who you think might find it interesting and subscribe to our channel in order to get notified when we upload a video. You can also suggest subjects in the comment section. Thank you very much!

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