Why you should eat resistant starch (because your tummy will thank you!)

If you’re looking to improve your gut health, you may be undervaluing the importance of getting resistant starch in your diet.

What, never heard of resistant starch? It is a type of starch, that, true to its name, remains resistant to digestion. It has similar properties to both soluble and insoluble fiber in the body, in that it acts as a prebiotic in your gut and increases stool bulk. However, it possesses extra special powers once it enters your body that can have a tremendous effect on your health.

Wait, but carbs are bad, right? Hasn’t this been settled already? Well, as is usually the case in nutrition, there is no clear-cut black and white when it comes to bad foods and good foods. Yes, eating an excess of refined carbs and simple starches does induce weight gain and increases bodily inflammation. However, resistant starches are a class unto themselves. These starches do not raise blood sugar levels simply because they do not get digested by the body. They pass through the small intestine wholly intact and act as terrific fuel for your gut bacteria once they arrive in the colon.

Why are resistant starches so very good for you? The starch acts as a prebiotic in the gut, fueling the growth of beneficial bacteria. (Fun fact: Your gut bacteria outnumber your body’s cells by 10:1, so it’s important to give them a little TLC!) One resulting benefit is that when the bacteria digests these starches, they form a short-chained fatty acid known as butyrate as a byproduct. Butyrate is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound in the body, and the preferred fuel of colon cells. In fact, research has shown that resistant starch may be an effective destroyer of precancerous colon polyps.

Resistant starch consumption also improves insulin sensitivity, assists in weight loss, reduces leaky gut, reduces fasting blood sugar, improves gut function and the quality of the microbiome, and, among many other things, may even bind to unwelcome bacteria for removal.

Raw tigernuts, or chufa, are an excellent source of resistant starch.
There are 3 naturally occurring types of resistant starch:

Type 1 – found in whole grains, seeds, legumes. It remains undigested due to the protection of the fibrous cell walls.
Type 2 – found in raw starchy foods like green bananas and raw potatoes. However, this starch becomes digestible once heated.
Type 3 – found in starchy foods like rice and potatoes once they are cooked and cooled. The cooling process initiates retrogradation, which causes certain digestible starches to become less accessible to the body and transform into resistant starches. Cold leftovers and brown rice sushi are great examples of this form.
There is a fourth type of resistant starch that is chemically made and primarily found in the GMO corn product known as hi-maize corn starch. This frankenfood is no more potent in resistant starch than any other natural sources and should be avoided.
The way a food is prepared has a huge effect on how many and what type of resistant starches occur. For instance, once a green banana turns yellow, most of its resistant starches become digestible. So what foods can you eat to increase your resistant starch intake? Cooked-and-cooled rice/legumes/potatoes, certain breads, beans, raw green banana flour, raw potato starch, sushi, tigernuts. Check out this comprehensive list for other common foods high in resistant starch.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-you-should-be-eating-resistant-starch.html#ixzz3oy0EqTvr

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