Resistant starch; what is that? For hormones to function properly, you need a healthy liver and intestines, and to keep your intestines healthy, it is important to properly feed your gut bacteria living there. Did you know that trillions of bacteria live in and on our bodies? According to the latest insights, there are about as many as your own body cells. Pretty sobering isn’t it? It’s high time to start feeding your resident critters properly.
Plenty of energy is closely related to your intestinal flora
It seems that 8 out of 10 American people suffer from digestive complaints and lack of energy. Digestion and energy are related: your digestion determines whether you get energy from your food or misery. The link is your gut flora: all those trillions of critters in your gut that have to convert everything you eat into useful substances and energy for your body.
An imbalance in the intestinal flora is closely related to, among other things, persistent overweight or underweight, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, food intolerances, and allergies. All issues that cost you tons of energy. Agree? Change your gut flora and miracles can happen.
How do you do that? By giving the good animals plenty of food. First of all, eating a wide variety of unprocessed, preferably organic and as fresh as possible products. So many plants in all colors of the rainbow! And resistant starch should not be missing: let your gut bacteria feast.
Resistant starch? But starch acts like sugar in your body, right?
Correct; Starch consists of long chains of glucose molecules (a type of carbohydrate). In our body, it behaves like sugar. So you can get a blood sugar peak if you eat it and we always try to prevent that as much as possible. Resistant starch, however, is an indigestible type of starch that, as a result, ends up in your large intestine without being digested in your stomach or small intestine. And that’s where the magic happens! In your colon, resistant starch is a valuable food for good, healthy colon bacteria.
Bacteria are like ants: feed them and they multiply
Many studies have shown that resistant starch can have a positive effect on your health. First, the resistant starch ensures that several good, healthy gut bacteria (bifidobacteria, lactobacilli, and Bacteroides) will increase in number. Bacteria are like ants in your kitchen: if you feed them, they increase in number enormously. The deficiency of a wide variety of good gut bacteria is likely to cause allergies and food intolerances; certain foods are then no longer processed properly. This is important!
Intolerances and allergies are caused by an unbalanced intestinal flora and by changing your intestinal flora they can disappear again! There are gut bacteria that mainly feed on sugar and sweets. If you feed them they will multiply. This can lead to stubborn sugar addiction because these bacteria literally want to be fed: they are like little children who keep nagging for sweets.
More healthy gut bacteria, more health for you
When these good bacteria in your large intestine digest the resistant starch, certain healthy fatty acids are created, including butyric acid (also called butyrate). This butyric acid is super healthy fuel for the cells that line your intestinal wall and is an important source of energy. Butyric acid, therefore, plays an important role in keeping your intestinal wall healthy and inhibiting chronic intestinal infections. Butyric acid can even repair damaged DNA of the intestinal cell and thereby reduce the risk of colon cancer developing.
Butyric acid; the magic in your gut
Check out this amazing video and see what it’s like inside your colon. It’s good to see these kinds of videos every now and then and realize that your body needs you to keep healthy. Until you are 40, your body takes care of you, after you are 40 it becomes a matter of smart cooperation, I always say.
Fewer digestive problems thanks to resistant starch
Because resistant starch lowers the pH value in your intestines, it can inhibit inflammation and therefore also lower the risk of colon cancer. Resistant starch can also be useful in various digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, constipation, and diarrhea.
The fatty acids that are not used for repairing your intestinal wall end up elsewhere in your body where they also have various beneficial effects on your cells. Animal studies have shown that resistant starch can increase the absorption of minerals in your gut.
Resistant starch can increase your insulin sensitivity
I already told you that resistant starch can help you reduce the type of gut bacteria that is always crying out for sweets. But it has an even greater health effect if you tend to eat a lot of sweets. A lot of research has shown that resistant starch helps to improve the insulin sensitivity of your cells. Low insulin sensitivity, also called insulin resistance, is the cause of the main chronic diseases that threaten us: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, overweight, and obesity.
Making your cells more sensitive to insulin is therefore important for your health. In addition, resistant starch is also effective when it comes to lowering your blood sugar after meals. This is because they are actually fiber and all-fiber does. Thereby; Fiber makes you feel full faster, so you probably (hopefully) tend to eat less.
Convinced? So what’s it all about?
Okay, so add some resistant starch to your menu every day. Where can you find it all? The good news is that it is in many health food products, but of course, I went looking for something that gives me and you an extra portion, which is easy and which fits in the list of healthy foods. Vary this, variation is incredibly important.
The largest amount per serving is found in a green, unripe banana. Yakkie yes: those green ones that still don’t taste like bananas and give you a bit of a bad, dry mouthfeel. But you know, if you throw half of it into a smoothie, you won’t taste it! Cut the other half into slices and freeze. Then you have stock available.
Did you know that you don’t have to cook oatmeal or oat flakes at all? It is recommended to soak them overnight in water or some (fresh!) orange juice. This way you have a delicious basis for your breakfast the next morning, including a portion of resistant starch.
Legumes all contain resistant starch, but white beans are the best. Preferably buy them fresh and cook them yourself. Did you know that you can make a delicious puree out of this?
Indeed, lentils also contain plenty of resistant starch. My favorite lentils are those little red ones. Did you know that you don’t have to soak them at all and that they are cooked in 15 minutes? Great for making a quick soup.
Sweet potato, cooled
You can read about resistant starch in cooled potatoes everywhere online. A cooled sweet potato really scores more than 3 times higher and sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes. Cooling causes retrogradation; the starch is pressed together stiffly, making it resistant to starch.
Another easy-to-process legume. Even now, soaking and cooking are recommended, but I confess that I sometimes buy them (organic) in the glass. Do not buy a can because of the possible endocrine disrupting substances on the inside of the can. Great for making your own hummus.
One of the few vegetables I eat from the freezer. There is nothing wrong with that and very useful. There are many dishes to which you can easily add a handful of peas. Also, think of an omelet that you would eat for breakfast.
Some addition plus a shortcut
I’m not very fond of baking, but do you bake (fruit) bread yourself? Vary your flours: I know that teff flour, chestnut flour, and tapioca flour contain resistant starch. And yes, chestnuts themselves too! Americans use potato starch by mixing a teaspoon in a glass of water. I advise you to initially opt for complete food and I am not a big fan of this. But if you want to try it, choose unmodified, organic potato starch (eg from Joannusmolen). That hasn’t been hot. Heated potato starch is no longer resistant.
Add it step by step and become a happier person!
Have you come to the conclusion that your healthy gut bacteria have received too little nutrition from you so far? Do not overdo it by eating it in abundance; you can get gas and stomach pain. Build it up slowly. This also applies to all changes in your diet: gut bacteria have to get used to new foods, just like you.
Finally: did you know that about 90% of the happiness hormone serotonin is produced in your gut? The hormone that makes you feel so good? Do you tend to be a little depressed every now and then for no apparent reason? Then your gut begs for healthy food! Time to feed your resident critters!