Our parents used to scold us when we were children. Eating our vegetables was supposedly important to our growth. Whether we liked it or not, we were lead to believe that things like broccoli were good for us. As it turns out, the leafy green vegetable is not only great for your body, but it promotes a healthy gut.
Researchers from Penn State have discovered that those who choose to incorporate a healthy diet of broccoli into their everyday meals are better able to tolerate digestive issues such as a leaky guy and colitis. The testing was used on mice; those who were not given a steady diet of broccoli were not able to endure common problems in the system. In fact, Gary Perdew, a Professor in Agricultural Studies at Penn State, noted that other vegetables, such as Brussel’s sprouts and cauliflower have comparable health properties. Yum!
Perdew also adds that, “there are a lot of reasons that we should be exploring gastrointestinal health. If you have problems, like a leaky gut, that may lead to other conditions, like arthritis and heart disease.” It is no secret that including a rich diet of vegetables into our meals is far from a bad idea. Keeping our internal organs, such as our gut, healthy may extend our lifespan. Perdew and his team also note that a heavy diet of vegetables allows your gut to build healthy barrier functions that deter things like a leaky gut or colitis. A healthy intestinal function means that all nutrients would be able to properly pass into our system and not get blocked or clogged, which can cause severe internal concerns.
Get Your ICZs
By now, it should be common knowledge that vegetables, especially ones like broccoli, that are eaten on a regular basis, are not only good to keep weight off and fight illnesses, but also are healthy for our entire body. Perdew and his team identified broccoli as especially important due to its health benefits on our gut and intestinal systems. Although, we do not think about our internal organs very often, protecting them can prevent a majority of harmful diseases and cancers, such as colon cancer.
Vegetables that are cruciferous include a compound called indolocarbazole or ICZ. When consumed, ICZ attach to the lining of our immune system to maintain a healthy balance in our gut, which means fewer cases of common diseases in the bowel and colon. Another vegetable identified as great for your intestines is cabbage.
But, how much broccoli should we eat each day to ensure that our intestinal system is protected? Researchers have concluded that this number varies from person to person. However, for most humans, the amount comparable to Perdew’s experiment should eat around 3.5 cups of broccoli each day. This number may sound like a lot, but it’s not large considering we should be eating vegetables anyway. Adding other healthy vegetables into your diet adds to the protection as well. So, if you are not a fan of broccoli, feel free to consume that same amount of Brussel’s sprouts or cabbage each day to meet the level needed to activate the ICZ that may be needed to correct digestive problems.
While patients are often told that too many cruciferous vegetables may be a cause for more concern than good because of fiber content, Perdew and his team are confident in their findings which suggest otherwise.