Broccoli Can Cure Stomach Infections
August 31, 2010
by Jonathan Benson
It is hardly breaking news that eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli helps to improve health. But researchers from the University of Liverpool have discovered new benefits to eating both broccoli and plantains — two high-fiber foods — that may help people with Chron’s disease and other digestive disorders. According to the recent study, broccoli and plantains contain compounds that help protect the gut from infection and improve overall stomach health.
Broccoli and plantains are not the only foods that provide this benefit, but they are two in particular that scientists found to have exceptional benefit. The compounds in these two foods actually boost the ability of the stomach lining to ward off bad bacteria, passing it through the tract and out of the body before it can cause harm.
“We have known for some time the general health benefits of eating plantain and broccoli, which are both high in vitamins and minerals, but until now we have not understood how they can boost the body’s natural defenses against infection common in Chron’s patients,” explained Dr. Barry Campbell, who worked on the study.
The intestinal lining in the gut is coated in M-cells, which are designed to maintain intestinal health. But these cells are often disrupted by processed foods, artificial chemicals and other additives. Long-term ingestion of these substances can severely damage a person’s bacterial balance, leading eventually to disease.
“Knowledge of the M-cell role offers a more detailed explanation as to why a healthy diet can improve the health and well being for people with Chron’s disease and healthy individuals alike,” emphasized a spokeswoman from the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation, in response to the study.
“Simple, nonprocessed foods…are associated with positive ecology of friendly bacteria in our intestines,” explains Greg Hicks, M.D., in a book by Dan Buettner called The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.
“These friendly bacteria include immunomodulating and fiber-fermenting lactic acid bacteria. Stressors of this healthy ecological system, such as surgery, certain medications, and consumption of meats and processed foods disrupt a natural balance and shift from friendly to unfriendly bacteria.”