The latest science backs up what mothers around the world have been saying for centuries: broccoli is not only good for your health, but it is essential for maintaining a healthy gut. And if you’ve found your waistline kept growing bigger long after you stopped growing taller, this dinner plate staple can keep the outside of your gut in check, too.
It all “boils” down to how broccoli influences your gut flora. And, as I always say, your health begins and ends in your gut.
This latest study involved 18 healthy adults who were randomly assigned to eat either 200 grams (about half a cup) of cooked broccoli per day or 20 grams of fresh daikon radish per day for 17 days.
It turns out that these two vegetables were NOT created equal. By the end of the study, only those who ate broccoli saw the balance of bacteria in their guts change for the better!
Two of the gut’s most common residents are called “firmicutes” and “bacteroidetes.” Now, I don’t expect you to be able to pronounce those – just know that previous research has shown that to maintain a healthy weight, you want more of the bacteroidetes in your gut.
In the study, the broccoli eaters INCREASED their proportion of bacteroidetes relative to firmicutes by 37 per cent, while those who ate the radish REDUCED that ratio by 5 per cent.
That’s good news for those of you who want to be lighter on the scale . But beefing up on bacteroidetes has other benefits, too – these good “bugs” also support smooth digestion and strengthen your immune system .
They help eliminate toxins and pathogens… and keep your brain healthy , too!
So, bring on the broccoli – and thank all the mothers out there who keep pushing this cruciferous wonder on children all over the world.
These “little trees” are loaded vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber – which also helps things move through your gut at the right pace.
And broccoli has cancer-fighting potential , too, because it contains high levels of anti-cancer plant compounds called glucosinolates.
To get the most benefit from your broccoli, eat it raw or lightly cooked to preserve its active enzymes. As the weather warms up, try a cold broccoli salad for a refreshing and tasty side dish.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
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Broccoli May Beneficially Affect Microbiota Diversity: Study, nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Broccoli-may-beneficially-affect-microbiota-diversity-Study
Broccoli Consumption Impacts the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiota, fasebj.org/content/31/1_Supplement/965.18.abstract
New-Found Link Between Microbiota and Obesity, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4644874/
Environmental and Gut Bacteroidetes: The Food Connection, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3129010/