Broccoli is much more than a great source of nutrients. It contains phytochemicals that help protect your gut from damage by toxic chemicals.
A recent study proved that Broccoli activates a protective ligand called AHR. AHR protect cells in the intestinal tract from fibrosis and helps suppress inflammation.
It would be very hard to avoid in-digesting any traces of harmful chemicals so it’s good to know that eating broccoli , other cruciferous vegetables and fruits help protect our gastrointestinal tract from the toxins in our environment.
In contrast eating junk food provides no protection of your gastrointestinal lining, it causes inflammation, delivers toxins into your gut and a heap of empty calories that usually end up as fat.
Troy D. Hubbard, Iain A. Murray, Robert G. Nichols, Kaitlyn Cassel, Michael Podolsky, Guray Kuzu, Yuan Tian, Phillip Smith, Mary J. Kennett, Andrew D. Patterson, Gary H. Perdew, Dietary broccoli impacts microbial community structure and attenuates chemically induced colitis in mice in an Ah receptor dependent manner, In Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 37, 2017, Pages 685-698, ISSN 1756-4646, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2017.08.038.
Consumption of broccoli mediates numerous chemo-protective benefits through the intake of phytochemicals, some of which modulate aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) activity. Whether AHR activation is a critical aspect of the therapeutic potential of dietary broccoli is not known. Here we administered isocaloric diets, with or without supplementation of whole broccoli (15% w/w), to congenic mice expressing the high-affinity Ahrb/b or low-affinity Ahrd/d alleles,for 24 days and examined the effects on AHR activity, intestinal microbial community structure, inflammatory status, and response to chemically induced colitis. Cecal microbial community structure and metabolic potential were segregated according to host dietary and AHR status. Dietary broccoli associated with heightened intestinal AHR activity, decreased microbial abundance of the family Erysipelotrichaceae, and attenuation of colitis. In summary, broccoli consumption elicited an enhanced response in ligand-sensitive Ahrb/b mice, demonstrating that in part the beneficial aspects of dietary broccoli upon intestinal health are associated with heightened AHR activity.