We all know that a healthy gut is essential for good health—and now scientists have discovered the very best vegetable to keep it that way.
Not surprisingly, they have pronounced broccoli the most gut-friendly vegetable. It’s a cruciferous vegetable that reduces cancer and type 2 diabetes—and it’s good for the gut, too, say researchers from Penn State.
Broccoli contains molecules that bind to a receptor that helps protect the lining of the small intestine. The lining allows water and nutrients to pass through, but blocks food particles and bacteria—in other words, broccoli helps protect against a leaky gut. Other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts also protect the gut and should be part of any healthy diet, the researchers say.
The researchers fed laboratory mice a diet that was 15 percent broccoli—equivalent to around 3.5 cups a day for humans—and compared their gut health to another group that wasn’t given the vegetable.
The vegetable stimulated AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor) activity, which protected the gut lining in the small intestine. But the gut health in the non-broccoli group deteriorated, and there was little or no AHR stimulation.
And what was seen in mice will be seen in people, the researchers say.