Eating Greens Actually Prevents Cancer and Heals a Leaky Gut!
Turns Out That Green Veggies are Disease Busters!
Who told you to eat your green veggies? Your mother? Me, or another clinical nutritionist? Well, not only was mom right, but there is now some amazing research that will get you running to eat that broccoli and kale! Really! Read on…
Food goes into your intestines, you knew that. But did you know that 80% of your immune system is housed in your small intestine? The immune system is the one that either successfully fights off ‘bad guys’ such as bacteria and cancer or it succumbs to infections and disease results.
Three brilliant women, doctors and researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s Molecular Biology division in Melbourne, Australia, just discovered that a special type of immune cell can be controlled by the consumption of leafy greens in your diet.
Can Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Heal a Leaky Gut?
The cells are called ILCs for short (the full name is innate lymphoid cells) and they are found in the lining of the intestine. One of the many things they do is to protect the body from bad bacteria in the intestine and from infections entering through the digestive system.
The way this occurs is that the ILCs produce a hormone called interleukin-22 (inter-loo-kin) which is a protector against invading bacteria. The ILCs also help to maintain a healthy intestine by promoting good bacteria while also healing small wounds in the tissues of the gut. It is believed they also play a role in healing cancerous lesions in the intestine. And, from my perspective, “healing small wounds in the gut” sounds a lot like these cells may very well heal leaky gut – something that is critical to attaining good health whether the cause is gluten intolerance or a different cause. How are these important cells produced?
According to the researchers, a gene called ‘T-bet” actually instructs precursor cells (simply means the cells that come before) to develop into ILCs. This research study marks the first time that a gene responsible for the production of these vital ILC cells has been identified.What signals this gene to activate? Our food. But not just any food – green leafy cruciferous vegetables are the trigger.
The Best Veggies to Eat
Which vegetables fall into this category?
♥ arugula (rocket), bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccoflower, chinese broccoli, wild broccoli, brussels sprout
♥ cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, daikon, garden cress, watercress, kale, kohlrabi, maca, mizuna
♥ radish, rutabaga, turnip greens, turnip root, wasabi
The science behind it is quite fascinating.
The green leafy veggies actually interact with a receptor on the surface of the cell that in turn ‘switches on’ the T-bet gene. It is believed that the proteins in the leafy greens (yes, there is protein in vegetables) are part of the same signaling pathway that is used by the gene to produce the ILCs.
So, we get a two-for-one with these green veggies:
1. they turn on the gene that makes the incredible ILCs
2. they also help the gene produce the ILCs
Talk about ‘having our backs’! The ILCs act as immune surveillance of the digestive system. Considering we have potentially disease causing organisms entering our digestive tract on a regular basis, it certainly would be a great idea to have these ILCs robust and strong as protection against disease, don’t you think?
These Amazing Cells Kill Bad Bacteria
We also know that the ‘good bacteria’ of the intestine are responsible for keeping bad genes, and thereby diseases, in check. A strong ILC population would accomplish this goal of destroying the bad bacteria, supporting the good bacteria and improving overall health status.
The researchers consider their findings a breakthrough in gut biology and feel that it opens the door to a better understanding and treatment of allergy, inflammation, cancer and other GI disorders such as Crohn’s disease. This is a big deal. We know that a truly healthy intestine goes a very long way towards preventing a myriad of diseases.
Here at HealthNOW we speak long and often about reversing leaky gut and truly restoring optimal health through healing the gut and the immune system that resides within. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine said: “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food” – and he said it around 420 BC. It turns out he was totally correct.
Allergy, Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention
In summary it is believed that ILCs play a critical role in controlling:
• Food allergies
• Inflammatory diseases – this category basically includes all the degenerative diseases killing most people. E.g heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, etc.
• Development of bowel cancers – the ILCs are thought to prevent these cancers.
Oh my, are we feeling warm and fuzzy towards those lovely green veggies yet? I hope so. And I hope this research really gives you impetus to get those 4 to 5 servings of vegetables and 3 to 4 servings of fruits each and every day. To say it was important for your health would be an understatement!
Sometimes the simple things can be the most powerful. That’s why we never forget to work with a patient’s diet and we never forget to stress the importance of dark green leafy veggies. Please send me any questions you have and share this post with friends, family and… perfect strangers!
Is Your Body Healthy?
Find out now! We are here to help!—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. Our medical center is located in Sunnyvale, CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”