Well Being

Want A Healthier Digestive System? These Could Be The Key

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As I have mentioned in the past, I have always had an upset or irritated stomach. Despite trying numerous medications and other methods, I have yet to find something that truly helps. However, changing my diet to include much more produce over the past few months has improved it somewhat — or, at least, when I go back to eating the way I used to, I start to feel the unhealthier foods' negative impact return. While I wouldn't say my stomach feels great all the time, I think that eating leafy green vegetables and other healthy items are definitely helping to improve my system, and a new study in the journal Nature Immunology seems to concur.

In an experiment from the Walters and Eliza Hall Institute’s Molecular Immunology division in Australia, researchers have found that innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) promote a healthy intestinal system. ILCs — a kind of immune cell — prevent harmful bacteria from accessing the intestine, thus regulating it and potentially preventing conditions like inflammatory disease, bowel cancer, Crohn's Disease and even food allergies. Additionally, scientists discovered that a gene called T-bet is the one to produce ILCs.

T-bet's activity is affected by signals given to it from food, so take a wild guess at what kind of stuff you should be eating. If you guessed leafy green vegetables, you are correct! Proteins found in cruciferous ones like cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli are know to affect the T-bet gene, so researchers believe that eating these types of foods can help your digestive system.

Study research Dr. Gabrielle Belz said:

“Proteins in these leafy greens could be part of the same signalling pathway that is used by T-bet to produce ILCs.

“We are very interested in looking at how the products of these vegetables are able to talk to T-bet to make ILCs, which will give us more insight into how the food we eat influences our immune system and gut bacteria.”

The more we learn about what exactly can encourage good health and effective bodily systems, the less prevalent illnesses like Crohn's and bowel cancer will hopefully be. As of now, a whole lot of research points to maintaining good health by eating a balanced diet, including tons of leafy green vegetables.

Photo: Shutterstock

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