Do This With Your Broccoli To Help You Poop Instantly

Fiber does your body good, especially when you need to poop. Fiber gives your poop some substance and makes it easier to pass. Women need at least 25 grams of fiber a day, and men need 38 grams. A cup of raw broccoli can help you reach your fiber needs with almost 2 grams of fiber. But there are many more health benefits to broccoli other than fiber to help you poop.

A 2018 article in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition compared broccoli sprouts with alfalfa sprouts on how they could help people with constipation. One group ate 20 grams of broccoli sprouts every day while another ate 20 grams of alfalfa sprouts. Four weeks later, the broccoli sprouts group had fewer issues with constipation because these sprouts had a positive influence on the gut bacteria. Why broccoli sprouts and not alfalfa sprouts? Broccoli sprouts have high levels of a phytochemical called sulforaphane. Broccoli also has sulforaphane, but you have to activate it by chopping it and eating it raw.

Health benefits of sulforaphane

Sulforaphane is in its inactive form in vegetables like broccoli and kale. It becomes active when it meets with the plant's enzymes which are part of its defense system. The process of chopping your broccoli releases these enzymes and transforms the inactive form into sulforaphane, as does chewing your broccoli. However, you'll want to eat the broccoli raw if you want most of the benefits of sulforaphane. Boiling or microwaving this vegetable reduces the important nutrient, while steaming it for a few minutes can maximize the benefits of sulforaphane (per Healthline).

Not only does sulforaphane help you poop, but it also protects you against cancer, according to the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Sulforaphane protects your cells against damage from free radicals produced by food additives, pollution, and UV rays. Cancer-promoting inflammation can be stomped out by the nutrient. You'll also protect your DNA and slow the growth of tumors. 

Broccoli and digestive health

Even though raw or steamed broccoli provides more sulforaphane to help you poop, cooked broccoli can also improve your digestive health, according to a 2019 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. The researchers had people eating 200 grams of cooked broccoli or 20 grams of raw daikon radish a day for 18 days. Eating broccoli significantly improved the ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria in the gut, particularly among people with a body mass index (BMI) lower than 26.

If you're not a fan of broccoli, you can also opt for cauliflower or other Brassica (cruciferous) vegetables to help you poop by improving your gut diversity. A 2017 article in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research had 10 people eat six portions of broccoli, cauliflower, and broccoli and sweet potato soup a day for two weeks. During another two weeks, the same people only ate one portion of broccoli and one of cauliflower. When eating the high-Brassica diet, the people improved their digestive health by reducing sulfate-reducing bacteria. In addition to broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, Brassica vegetables also include cabbage, collards, and radishes (per National Garden Bureau).