Resistant starch is going to be a super food soon, if it isn't already. With the ever expanding insights into long term health coming from the study of the microbiome, more and more we are realising just how important resistant starch is in our diet.
What Is Resistant Starch
Resistant starch as the name implies, is resistant to being absorbed. Most starches are absorbed in the small intestine whereas resistant starch is not. It Instead resists this absorption and makes its way through to the large intestine ( colon ) where intestinal bacteria ferment it. When it is fermented it produces short chain fatty acids that are either absorbed by the colon or used by the bacteria in your colon for energy.
Here's a really cool video going in depth about what it is and how it works
Pretty cool hey!
Short Chain Fatty Acids have been shown to
- stimulate blood flow to the colon
- increase nutrient circulation
- inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria
- help us absorb minerals
- help prevent us from absorbing toxic/carcinogenic compounds
With the overwhelming amount of evidence into maintaining a healthy microbiome, resistant starch is imperative in enabling the good bacteria to stay abundant. When your good and bad bacteria get out of balance from constant anti biotic use, anti biotics in the food chain, the over consumption of processed food that has anti bactrerial agents on them and a poor lifestyle in general, resistant starch becomes your no.1 friend in restoring the balance. Everyone knows how important the live cultures pro biotics are but we need to feed them as well. Just like keeping plants healthy, they need to be fertislised so to speak by these pre biotic resistant starches. That's right, Pre Biotics.
Benefits Of Resistant Starch
Of course it's going to make you stronger and leaner. How?
- Improved blood fats
- better satiety
- better insulin sensitivity
- improved digestion
- better body composition
- improved immunity
- And everything a healthy microbiome influences especially the immune system and brain health.
Common Sources Of Resistant Starch
Here is a short but not limited list
- starchy fruits and vegetables (such as bananas)
- whole grains
- some types of cooked then cooled foods (such as potatoes and rice)
I like to cook potato's and rice and then let them cool in the fridge and use them all week for my carbs. Why? It increases the resistant starch content and can almost half the calories of the food!
Trust Me - You're Not Eating Enough
I like to supplement with it too and I suggest you do too. Why? only 7% of Australians eat enough vegetables so chances are you're not going to get enough of this important pre biotic food from artichokes and apples etc. Sorry - just being honest.
Most developed countries (including Europe, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia), which have a highly processed diet, consume about 3-9 grams of RS per day. The goal should be 20g minimum and up to 40g
Best pre biotic supplements come from forms of inulin,
ground chicory root (the most common source of inulin due to its extremely high concentration)
leeks and onions
bananas and plantains (especially when they’re slightly green)
sprouted wheat (such as the kind used in Ezekiel Bread)
unmodified potato starch (NOT potato flour), plantain flour and green banana flour are also excellent sources of RS.
Just add them to your shakes or smoothies!
Start slow with adding resistant starch as you can experience increased gas and bloating as your gut flora changes and adapts. You don't want to be too uncomfortable though.
So if you experience IBS, want better bowel movements, understand the importance of a healthy microbiome or simply want to cover all your nutrition bases, get in to the pre biotics before they become cool.