A recent study added to the growing body of evidence that broccoli is in fact a superfood by revealing that the vegetable contains specific chemicals that can preserve and enhance intestinal health as well as suppress disease.
When Penn State University researchers conducted tests on mice, they discovered that the chemicals in broccoli attach to a receptor that aids in protecting the lining of the animals’ small intestines.
They found that this binding “initiates a multitude of processes that impact the functionality of intestinal cells” when it occurs.
The intestinal lining contains certain cells that support your wellbeing. These cells include paneth cells, which create lysosomes containing digestive enzymes, and goblet cells, which make a “protective coating” of mucus along the gut wall.
The scientists discovered a link between consuming broccoli and having these kinds of cells.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the small intestine performs the majority of the labor involved in digestion, hence it is essential to maintain a healthy small intestine.
More cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, can help lower the incidence of cancer and Type 2 diabetes, according to other study.
We are all aware of the health benefits of broccoli, but why? How does eating broccoli affect our bodies? According to a statement made by Gary Perdew, the H. Thomas and Dorothy Willits Hallowell Chair in Agricultural Science at Penn State.
“Our research is assisting in elucidating the mechanisms through which broccoli and other nutrients improve mice’s health and maybe also that of humans,” he concluded.
The fact that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts should be a staple of a regular, nutritious diet is strongly supported by this study.
Researchers gave a group of mice in the study, whose findings were published in the journal Laboratory Investigation, a diet that contained 15% broccoli, or around three and a half cups of the vegetable daily for humans.
A second control group of mice was given a “normal lab diet” without any broccoli.
Once the mice were fed the various diets, the researchers examined the tissues of the animals for various characteristics, including the degree to which aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands—the chemicals that bind to the receptor—were activated.
The study discovered that the absence of AHR activity in the mice fed a diet that did not contain 15% broccoli led to “altered intestinal barrier function.”
In particular, the mice who did not get broccoli had fewer goblet cells, less protective mucus, slower food transit, and lower levels of Paneth cells and lysosome formation in the small intestine.
According to Perdew, the mice who weren’t given broccoli had poor gut health in a number of aspects that are known to be linked to disease.