IF YOU'RE one of the four out of five Australians who fail to eat enough vegetables, this may be welcome news.

According to a doctor in the UK, you only need to be eating one type to boost your health.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee, the author of "The Four Pillar Plan" and a correspondent on the BBC program, Doctor in the House, there is only one vegetable people really need to eat - broccoli.

"Broccoli is a lifesaver," he wrote in a recent article for the MailOnline.

The only vegetable you need to eat (apparently) is broccoli.
The only vegetable you need to eat (apparently) is broccoli.

Dr Chatterjee claims the common green vegetable boosts people's gut bacteria, which helps to support their immune systems and improve their bowel health.

"It does a number of things," he said.

"As it goes through the small intestine it helps to balance your immune system. And then the fibre from the broccoli that can't be digested goes along to the colon, which is the last part of the bowel, where most of the gut bugs reside and they start feasting on the fibre and making short chain fatty acids."

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for few calories.

The benefits of broccoli are well known.
The benefits of broccoli are well known.

The vegetable has been praised with cancer fighting powers in the past. Eating a high amount of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of cancer; particularly lung and colon cancer.

Studies have suggested that sulforaphane, the sulphur-containing compound that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite. Researchers have found that sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC), known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells.

Broccoli is known to have cancer-fighting capabilities.
Broccoli is known to have cancer-fighting capabilities.

Poor vitamin K intake is linked with a higher risk of bone fracture. Just one cup of chopped broccoli provides 92 micrograms of vitamin K, well over 100 per cent of your daily need.

Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin K improves bone health by improving calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.

Broccoli also contributes to your daily need for calcium, providing 43 milligrams in one cup.


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