Our expert says:
Good to hear from you again. It is most unfortunate that the retirement home may be adding bicarb when they cook vegetables. This is a silly old-fashioned practise to make the vegies look bright green, but because bicarb is an alkali it destroys some of the vitamin C in the food. Refer the cook at the retirement home to the dietitian you are going to take your Mom to see, so that the dietitian can explain how unnecessary this cooking practise is and what it does to the nutrient content of the vegies. I do not, however, think that adding bicarb to vegies will cause diverticulosis. As an alkaline substance, bicarb should not exacerbate the condition and it is used in many baked dishes, cakes, etc. The reduced intake of vitamin C may affect your Mom's resistance to infections and make wounds heal more slowly, but it is unlikely to have caused the diverticulosis, which is probably what is known as an autoimmune condition. Glad to hear that Mom is already taking probiotics, because they can really help the gi tract to recover from many problems.
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