Resistant starch is a type of fibre and is one of the fuel sources that feeds our amazing microbiome. It gets its name from being resistant to digestion and when it arrives in the large intestine this is where it gets to work. It promotes fermentation of short chain fatty acids, which then promotes the production of a compound called butyrate, which plays a key role in promotion of gut health and general well being.
Another reason why it’s so good for us is because it “flushes” out the evil bacteria, and instead, nourishes and feeds the friendly bacteria taking its spot. As fibre passes through the digestive system, it flushes away waste, harmful toxins, and LDL (bad) cholesterol from your system.
A recent study found that those on a resistant starch enriched food plan resulted in a loss of abnormal fat levels (LDL) in their blood, setting them up for improved heart health.
So, as you can see, it is a key nutrient for maintaining an optimal level of health (definitely worthy of that “bestie” title).
BENEFITS OF RESISTANT STARCH
• promotes intestinal barrier integrity
• Decreases toxin absorption
• Decreases abdominal pain wand IBS symptoms
• Enhances insulin sensitivity
• Upregulates mitochondrial function, therefore it increases metabolism
• Reduces inflammation
• Increases weight loss
Interestingly, the way you prepare starch-containing foods affects their starch content, as cooking or heating destroys most resistant starches. However, you can “recapture” the resistant starch content of some foods by letting them cool after cooking.
Foods high in Resistant Starch
1)COOKED AND COOLED POTATO–
If prepared correctly and left to cool, potatoes are a good source of resistant starch.
I like to cook them in bulk and have half a cup of cooled potato in salads. With some herbs and spices they are my favourite. Its important to have them cold as this will contain significant amounts of resistant starch.
2) RAW POTATO STARCH–
You can totally step up your resistant starch consumption by having actual potato starch. It is a white powder and is one of the most concentrated sources of resistant starch, with around 72% of the starches in it being resistant. You only need 1-2 tablespoons a day and I like adding it to smoothies and my cooled porridge. Its important not to heat it as this destroys the resistant starch.
3) GREEN BANANAS AND FLOUR-
Green bananas are another amazing source of resistant starch and fibre. As bananas ripen, the resistant starch transforms into sugar which makes ripe bananas sweet.
You can also purchase green banana flour to super charge your resistant starch. You can add this one to smoothies too or use in baking.
Oats are one of the most convenient ways to add resistant starch to your diet.
Letting your cooked oats cool for several hours or overnight could increase the resistant starch even further. Then adding some potato starch and green banana flour, you’ll have a very happy microbiome.
5) BEANS AND LEGUMES
Different types of beans can yield varying amounts of resistant starch.
Consider these sources of resistant starch
• White beans
Adding 1–3 teaspoons of inulin (or gum arabic or guar gum or pectin) acts synergistically to magnify the prebiotic effectiveness of the resistant starch. Passion Fruit skins are very high in pectin. They can be boiled and rendered and the water used in cooking and teas.
Here are other types of RS in foods
Apples are a delicious fruit with many prebiotic benefits. Approximately 50 percent of the fiber in apples is pectin, which increases butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that feeds beneficial gut bacteria and decreases the population of harmful bacteria.
Polyphenols, which are also found in apples, and pectin have been linked to improved digestive health and fat metabolism. An apple a day may not solve all your problems, but it sure can add some balance to your microbiome.
Flaxseed is rightfully dubbed a superfood. Chock-full of phytonutrients, flaxseeds boast an incredible concentration of lignans, a powerful group of antioxidants. These seeds also contain soluble fiber and can help move things along through your digestive tract.
Try adding flaxseeds to Greek yogurt, kefir, or on whole grain toast with nut butter.
Jicama, Yacon and Burdock
Okay, so, these are actually three different foods, but hear us out. Root vegetables like Jicama, Yacon and Burdock root contain high concentrations of inulin, a prebiotic fiber proven to improve gut health. It’s also thought that these slow-digesting, complex carbs have antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties.
Rich in prebiotics, asparagus is as healthy as it is delicious. Asparagus stalks are also rich in inulin, and adding asparagus to your diet can help promote digestive regularity.
Your asparagus options are essentially unlimited: Eat this veggie steamed, sauteed, roasted, or raw in salads. Enjoy over quinoa or rice, in with sweet potatoes, or in a range of dishes.
Bananas, especially when they still have their green tips, are brilliant at restoring harmony in your gut’s ecosystem. Bananas also have high concentrations of potassium and magnesium, which can aid against inflammation.
Foods to Eat for a Healthy Gut
When it comes to gut health, your best bets will always be fermented foods, cultured foods, fruits, and vegetables. Whole and sprouted grains can have a healthy place in a gut-friendly diet, too. In general, it’s a good idea to keep processed foods, added sugar, alternative sweeteners, and trans fats to a minimum.
Remember: The trillions of microorganisms in your gut can influence everything from your sleep quality and energy levels to your immune function and hormones. It’s best to keep them happy!
RICE PUDDING BALLS
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 TB honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1/2 cup cooked rice (risotto rice)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
How to Prepare
Put a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add almond milk, stevia, honey, cinnamon, and salt and bring to a boil. Add rice and stir well. Reduce heat to low and place a lid to partially cover pan, stirring often to prevent rice from sticking to bottom, until rice is tender, approximately 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour rice mixture into a bowl. Stir in raisins, almond flour, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate at least 3 hours until firm and cold.
Scoop by slightly rounded tablespoons and form rice mixture into balls using the palms of your hands then roll in shredded coconut (you should get about 20 rice balls). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Enjoy!
A word of Warning-
If you are new to resistant starch you need to introduce these foods in very slowly. As the starch ferments in your large intestine this can cause bloating and pain. If you start with a small dose like, ½ teaspoon of potato starch then slowly increase, your microbiome has a chance to make positive changes to deal with the increased food source.
Here are some more recipes:
1/2 – 1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
1 cup Potatoe Starch water
1/4 teaspoon full spectrum probiotic
3 stalks kale
3 stalks chard
1/2 cup f organic berry (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries)
(you can add bone broth too)
Add all of these delicious ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
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