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Broccoli Good for Many Things Including Digestive Health

Another health benefit will hopefully convince you to eat your veggies!


Broccoli – It is so good for you, yet so many people dislike the taste. But even if you hated the green veggie as a kid, you may want to give it another shot. Research has found yet another health benefit – this time for promoting a healthy gut.

Professor Gary Perdew at Penn State has found that when mice ate broccoli as a regular part of their diet, they had fewer digestive health problems, such as leaky gut and colitis.

Leaky gut is a term for a malfunctioning gastrointestinal tract lining. The intestinal barrier protects harmful substances from entering the body (such as toxins), but selectively allows nutrients to be absorbed. When the gut is inflamed (colitis), this barrier does not work effectively – and the result could be some detrimental health conditions, including arthritis and heart disease.

The key nutrient of benefit is likely indole glucosinolates, which breakst down into ICZ in the stomach. ICZ bind and activates a receptor in the gut that helps the body regulate itself against contaminants and toxins. It also aids in maintaining healthy balance in gut flora.

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If you truly can’t handle a stalk of broccoli, the good news is that this nutrient can be found in other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

But giving broccoli another try really is worth the effort. Quite likely, you just have not had the veggie cooked properly if you still truly hate it. Remember that overboiling it until soft not only ruins the taste, but also it’s looks (which can leave it even more unappealing to a taster.) Broccoli will turn brown if overcooked, but will keep its green color if boiled for a short amount of time – or even better, steamed.

Stir-frying is also a good way to maintain both nutrient content and flavor.

You may also want to mix broccoli in something if it is not appealing on it’s own. Broccoli chopped very finely is great in a salad or mixed in a pasta dish. You could also puree and add it to soups and casseroles.

Journal Reference:
Troy D. Hubbard, Iain A. Murray, Robert G. Nichols, Kaitlyn Cassel, Michael Podolsky, Guray Kuzu, Yuan Tian, Phillip Smith, Mary J. Kennett, Andrew D. Patterson, Gary H. Perdew. Dietary broccoli impacts microbial community structure and attenuates chemically induced colitis in mice in an Ah receptor dependent manner. Journal of Functional Foods, 2017; 37: 685 DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2017.08.038

Additional Reference:
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