Are you tired of hearing that carbs are the enemy when it comes to gut health? Well, we have good news for you. There is a type of carb that can actually improve your gut health and promote overall well being. Say hello to resistant starch. This powerful carbohydrate has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its numerous health benefits. In this article, we’ll dive into what exactly resistant starch is, the different types available, and how it can benefit your gut.
What is Resistant Starch?
Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that goes through the small intestine undigested, which means it reaches the colon intact. There, it acts as food for friendly bacteria and promotes their growth. Resistant starch can be found in many foods such as legumes, unripe bananas, and cooked-and-cooled potatoes and rice.
Types of Resistant Starch
There are four types of resistant starch: RS1, RS2, RS3 and RS4.
- RS1 : RS1 is found in seeds, nuts and grains where it’s bound to the fibrous cell walls. It resists digestion because humans don’t have the enzyme needed to break it down.
- RS2 : RS2 is found in uncooked potatoes or green bananas. This type of resistant starch is called “raw” because cooking destroys its resistant properties.
- RS3 : RS3 forms when starchy foods like potatoes or rice are cooked then cooled. The cooling process changes the structure of the starch making it harder for digestive enzymes to break down.
- RS4 : There’s RS4 which is a chemically modified form of resistant starch that’s used as an additive in processed foods like breads and cereals.
Each type has different properties that make them beneficial for gut health such as improving insulin sensitivity and aiding in weight management. Incorporating these various types into your diet can help improve overall gut health.
Health Benefits of Resistant Starch
- An Excellent Source Of Fuel : Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that our bodies can’t fully digest, which means it resists being broken down in the small intestine and instead moves on to the large intestine. This unique quality makes resistant starch an excellent source of fuel for beneficial gut bacteria. When feeding these good bacteria, they produce short-chain fatty acids that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall gut health.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity : Resistant starch has also been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of colon cancer.
- Aid In Weight Management : In addition to its effects on gut health, consuming foods high in resistant starch may also aid in weight management by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing appetite. Studies have shown that incorporating resistant starch into your diet may help with weight loss efforts.
Good sources of resistant starch include cooked and cooled potatoes or rice, green bananas, legumes such as lentils and beans, oats, and some whole grains like barley. Incorporating these foods into your regular meals can provide numerous benefits for your overall health.
Alternatives to Resistant Starch for Gut Health
While resistant starch is a great option for improving gut health, there are also other alternatives that can be included in your diet.
- Prebiotic Fiber : One alternative to resistant starch is prebiotic fiber. This type of fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut and promotes their growth. Foods high in prebiotic fiber include bananas, onions, garlic, asparagus, and artichokes.
- Probiotics : Another alternative is probiotics themselves. Consuming foods or supplements containing live cultures of beneficial bacteria can promote a healthy balance of microbes in the gut.
- Fermented foods : Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are also great options for promoting gut health. These foods contain live cultures that aid digestion and boost immunity.
- Consuming A Variety Of Fruits And Vegetables : Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide different types of fibers that nourish the microbiome. It’s important to aim for diversity when it comes to these plant-based foods in order to maximize their benefits.
Including resistant starch in your diet can lead to several health benefits, especially for gut health. Resistant starch helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which aids in digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.