By one estimate, 3 in 5 Americans older than 70 have the abnormal bulges called diverticula somewhere in the wall of their intestinal tract. Yet only 20 percent will ever experience a complication like diverticulitis (inflammation of
a pouch), a tear, or an abscess.
Doctors have long advised people with diverticula to avoid nuts, corn, and popcorn for fear those foods would get lodged in a pouch during digestion and wreak havoc. But in 2008, research published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association found that regular consumption of these foods did not boost the risk of diverticular complications. In fact, eating plenty of nuts and popcorn seemed to lower risk.