Suffering from digestive problems like leaky gut and colitis? Consuming three and a half cups of a fibrous vegetable with many nutrients, like broccoli, each day may help maintain a healthy gut, a new study has suggested.
Good intestinal barrier function means that the gastrointestinal tract helps protect the intestines from toxins and harmful microorganisms, while allowing nutrients to pass into the system, and the study, published in the journal of Functional Foods, holds cruciferous vegetables - such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage - contain an organic chemical compound that further maintains a healthy gut flora and immune surveillance.
"There are a lot of reasons we want to explore helping with gastrointestinal health and one reason is if you have problems, like a leaky gut, and start to suffer inflammation, that may then lead to other conditions, like arthritis and heart disease," said Gary Perdew, Professor at the Pennsylvania State University in the US. "Keeping your gut healthy and making sure you have good barrier functions so you're not getting this leaky effect would be really big," he added.
In addition, broccoli may also help prevent cancerous diseases and Crohn's Disease, caused by inflammation in the lining of the gut, the researchers suggested.
The researchers performed a mice study, which showed that mice with a broccoli-supplemented diet were better able to tolerate digestive issues similar to symptoms of leaky gut and colitis than those without it.
Previous studies have suggested that broccoli may also help regulate diabetes and reduce the risk of prostrate cancer.