To answer this, it is important to know how the large intestine works. Its job is to remove most of the water from stool and change it into a solid waste. However, when stool passes too slowly, and therefore stays in the large intestine too long, too much water is removed. This causes the stool to become hard and dry. To prevent constipation, it is recommended that you incorporate plenty of water and exercise into your daily life and that your diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Some specific vegetables that are high in fiber and help to move the stool through your intestine – in other words, foods that help prevent constipation – are ones you often find right in front of you. Zucchini, spinach, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and, yes, broccoli, are all good options.
But be warned – while broccoli is high in fiber, raw broccoli can be hard for some to digest. Some people may experience stomach pains due to irritation of the intestine, but there are ways to get around this. Try eating your broccoli frozen or cooked. Or try increasing your water intake while you’re eating broccoli or adding a lot of soluble fiber with it, which will help it move along.
Fortunately, however, this irritation is not a problem for most people. Many find that the extra gas formation caused by peas, beans and broccoli helps the stool pass through the colon more easily.