Did you know that your digestive tract is home to around 100 trillion bacteria—more than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy?
Collectively known as your microbiome, your gut bacteria impact virtually every aspect of your health, including your appetite, immune system, moods, and your ability to lose weight.
An imbalance of gut bacteria (known as dysbiosis), often caused by antibiotic use, stress, and/or excessive consumption of refined sugar, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autoimmune disease, and even cancer.
Whenever you eat, you’re feeding these gut bugs and science is beginning to see how specific foods, including a unique carb called Resistant Starch, have the ability to fuel the good bacteria while starving the bad ones.
Resistant starch is found in a variety of foods including cooked and cooled rice, chickpeas, green peas, lentils, oats, raw potato starch, and cooked and cooled potatoes.
Its name stems from the fact that it cannot be broken down completely by the body.
Because it’s resistant to digestion, it keeps blood sugar stable after meals and can help make you feel full for longer.
Here’s how it works:
When you consume a resistant starch, like a boiled-and-cooled sweet potato, it passes through your stomach and small intestine mostly intact.
By the time it reaches your colon, the starch is fermented and it feeds your gut bacteria.
The trillions of bacteria begin breaking down resistant starch and producing beneficial compounds such as short-chain fatty acids.
Evidence suggests that SCFAs may benefit us in many ways.
For instance, they:
Aid in mineral absorption
Prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria
Inhibit us from absorbing toxic/harmful compounds
Now that you know all about the benefits of resistant starch, you’re likely wondering how to begin adding it to your diet?
It’s important to start slowly since too much too soon can lead to bloating and abdominal discomfort.
Start by adding 1 tablespoon of raw potato starch (Bob’s Red Mill is a great option) to your morning smoothie or a small boiled-and-cooled sweet potato to your lunch .
Increase the dosage over the next week and monitor how you feel – take note of your energy, hunger, and mood.
Here are some other easy ways to incorporate resistant starch into your diet:
Eat prebiotic-rich foods. Add asparagus, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, and leeks to salads.
Cook, then cool your starches. This process changes starches and influences how your body digests them, feeding good bacteria while stabilizing blood sugar. We recommend foods like lentils, wild rice, and sweet potato (primarily after workouts).
Eat an array of fibrous vegetables. A happy, healthy gut demands a diversity of plant-based foods. Feed your good bugs by filling half your plate with colorful veggies.
If you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss efforts, and/or if you suffer from constipation, resistant starch may help. Remember: a lean, healthy, strong body begins with a healthy gut.
Share this article with a friend or family member who’d benefit and until next time, have an AUMazing day!