Research published in the Journal of Functional Foods has shown that broccoli has some amazing abilities. It can improve levels of good gut bugs, reduce gut inflammation and reduce chemically-induced colitis in mice.

All vegetables are healthy, but broccoli seems to have specific benefits to gut health. This research was conducted in mice, but that is where most clinical trials begin. Research is currently beginning on human patients with Crohn’s disease.

Broccoli is high in vitamins, minerals and sulfur compounds. The sulfur compounds help improve the efficiency of phase 2 detoxification in your liver, and they help to break down and excrete excess estrogen from your body. Having too much estrogen isn’t a good thing because it can aggravate estrogen dominant conditions such as PMS, breast pain, breast lumps, endometriosis and uterine fibroids.

Broccoli is also high in prebiotics. These are natural plant fibers that your body can’t digest. Instead, they are food for the good bugs in your gut. It is important to nourish your gut bugs, because they can easily be lost through factors such as diarrhea, antibiotic use and a high intake of sugar, which fosters the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast.

Broccoli is in the cruciferous family of vegetables and it does contain goitrogens. These are substances that block the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. Fortunately cooking destroys most goitrogens in food, therefore people with an under active thyroid gland are best off eating their broccoli cooked.

Another potential problem with broccoli is its high FODMAP content. This can be a problem for people with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. A low FODMAP diet may be necessary for a period of time, but it is important to work on restoring gut health so you can tolerate higher FODMAP vegetables again. We can achieve this with supplemental digestive enzymes and ultimate gut health powder.

For more information on healing gut inflammation and Crohn’s disease, see my book called Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.