A low-residue diet can be helpful during an IBD or diverticulitis flare-up, to get rid of common irritants and to help calm the gut. This low-residue diet can also be used as a low-fibre diet (less than 10 grams of fibre per day) before or after surgery to reduce bowel volume.

Of course, the best way to calm a flare and produce minimal fecal matter is an elemental diet – but as that can be costly, you can try this low-residue diet first and see if it’s sufficient to calm inflammation.

Good supplements that help calm intestinal inflammation quickly are George’s Aloe Vera Juice, MucosaHeal, L-Glutamine (take on an empty stomach if you want to reduce diarrhea) and probiotics.


Grain Products:
• white or Haiga rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat
• gluten-free cereals
• gluten-free crackers (unflavored), rice cakes
• rice or quinoa pasta
• avoid wheat – since an intolerance or allergy to wheat is highly likely.

• fresh non-acidic fruit juices (except prune juice) like apple, pear, mango, papaya – but keep to a minimum to avoid the sugar load
• applesauce, apricots, banana, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, peaches, watermelon, mango, papaya (very soothing)
• avoid fruits that are both raw and dried, such as raisins and berries.

• fresh-juiced vegetable juices
• red potatoes (no skin) – 25% less starch/fiber than white potatoes, so easier to digest
• well-cooked and tender vegetables including green/yellow beans, carrots, celery (remove strings), mushrooms, squash, zucchini, cucumber, butter lettuce only, avocados
• avoid vegetables from the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, onions, etc. as they will likely cause gas and bloating
• avoid beans and lentils, soybeans and soy derivatives
• avoid nightshade family vegetables; tomatoes (too acidic), peppers, eggplant

Meat and Protein:
• organic chicken or turkey, fish and eggs
• avoid tofu and red meat (but see note below)

Nuts and Seeds:
• nut butters in moderate amounts
• avoid all nuts and seeds, as well as foods that may contain seeds. But nut butters or seed pastes are fine; where everything is milled to smooth softeness.

• raw milk or raw cheddar (unpasteurized) might be okay, so test. Raw goat or sheep or camel milk is usually more easily tolerated than raw cow’s milk.
• organic butter (raw or pasteurized) is usually okay, but ghee is better.
• avoid pasteurized dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, etc) as it is another top allergen.
• avoid nut milks that are thickened with carrageenan

• unrefined coconut oil (MCT’s are healing for the gut), extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed flax or Udo’s oil and organic butter or ghee.
• avoid commercial vegetable oils like canola, soybean, “regular” safflower oil – basically, anything that is NOT cold-pressed. Also avoid margarine or butter substitutes, deep fried foods, or high heat pan frying.

• no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors
• no preservatives, conditioners, extenders, MSG, nitrates/nitrites (found in deli meats and hot dogs), or anything else that sounds like a chemical compound. Just buy and eat FRESH!

NOTE: A reader asked whether it is okay to eat organic, grass-fed beef on a low-residue diet. Technically, beef is not included in the list of allowable foods. However, I feel it would be okay if sliced super thin and eaten raw – like carpaccio. Or, the best way would be to consume as Beef Broth. So here is a recipe for you to use for a strengthening, nourishing beef broth where you will benefit greatly from both the gelatin and the minerals which are pulled out of the bones by the vinegar. Don’t worry about the vinegar as any acidity disappears during the cooking process. Recipe excerpted from The IBD Remission Diet.

Beef Bone Broth

• 3 pounds grass-fed or organic beef soup bones (marrow, knuckle, ribs or neck bones)
• 5 whole celery stalks
• 1 whole onion peeled
• 1 bunch of parsley (optional)
• 8 cups of water
• 2 tbsp. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 tsp. of salt (use sea salt or Himalayan salt for better flavor and electrolytes)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle beef soup bones with salt and roast, covered in the roasting pan, in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Cook the bones long enough so that the meat on them is done (you can also cook the bones in a large saucepan, on the stove top if desired – but the taste won’t be as good).

2. Fill a large stock pot with water up to ¾ full (or 6 – 8 cups of water), and bring to a boil. Place the cooked bones, onion, parsley, apple cider vinegar and celery in the boiling water. Boil uncovered for half an hour and remove any scum from the top. Then cover and simmer on low heat for 7 – 10 hours.

3. Remove pot from heat, mix well and then pour contents through a fine strainer into a large bowl (give bones to your dog, or neighbour’s dog). Place this large bowl uncovered in the fridge for 12 – 24 hours, or until broth has become jelly-like and the fat has risen and congealed on top.

4. Skim fat off top of bowl with a spoon. Portion up the remaining beef soup jelly into individual servings in zip-lock plastic bags and put them in the freezer to use as needed. Don’t worry about making too much because even when you’re back on regular food, this beef bone broth is excellent as a stock for soups, sauces, etc. When you’re ready to eat some soup, stir in 1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. of organic butter or coconut oil to each serving of soup. Add sea salt to taste.