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Resistant Starch 101

Resistant Starch 101 - Niyama Wellness

In the world of nutrition, there's a quiet hero lurking in our food: resistant starch. Often overlooked, resistant starch is gaining recognition for its numerous health benefits and its potential to support digestive health, weight management, and blood sugar regulation.

What is Resistant Starch?

Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine, hence its name. Instead of being broken down and absorbed like other starches, resistant starch passes through to the large intestine, where it acts as a prebiotic fibre, feeding the beneficial bacteria in our gut.

Benefits of Resistant Starch:

  1. Improved Digestive Health: Resistant starch acts as a prebiotic, meaning it is food for the good bacteria in our gut, promoting a healthy balance of microflora. This can lead to improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and a stronger immune system.
  2. Stable Blood Sugar Levels: Unlike rapidly digestible carbohydrates, resistant starch has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. It can help regulate blood glucose levels, making it beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those looking to manage their weight.
  3. Enhanced Weight Management: Resistant starch can increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which may help control appetite and reduce calorie intake. Additionally, it may boost fat burning and reduce fat storage in the body.
  4. Lowered Risk of Chronic Diseases: Research suggests that diets rich in resistant starch may lower the risk of chronic diseases such as colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

How to Include Resistant Starch in Your Diet:

  1. Choose Resistant Starch-Rich Foods:
    • Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of resistant starch. Add them to soups, salads, stews, or enjoy them as a side dish.
    • Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like oats, barley, and brown rice, which contain higher levels of resistant starch compared to refined grains.
    • Green Bananas: Unripe bananas are a great source of resistant starch. Enjoy them sliced in yogurt or blended into smoothies.
    • Cold Potatoes: When cooked and then cooled, potatoes undergo a process called retrogradation, increasing their resistant starch content. Enjoy cold potato salads or roasted potatoes that have been chilled.
    • Cooked and Cooled Rice: Similar to potatoes, brown rice that has been cooked and then cooled contains higher levels of resistant starch. Use cold rice in salads or stir-fries.
  2. Include Whole Foods in Your Diet:
    • Emphasize whole, minimally processed foods in your diet to naturally increase your intake of resistant starch. Choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and tubers over refined and processed options.
  3. Experiment with Recipes:
    • Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with recipes that incorporate resistant starch-rich foods. Try adding beans to soups and casseroles, swapping refined grains for whole grains in recipes, or using unripe bananas in baking.
  4. Add a Resistant Starch Supplement to Smoothies:
    • Incorporate unripe bananas or a resistant starch supplement into your smoothies for an extra dose of resistant starch. Blend with other fruits, leafy greens, and your favourite protein source for a nutritious and filling beverage. Niyama’s You’ve Gut This fibre powder contains Solnul™ Resistant Starch as well as organic acacia fibre, probiotics and glutamine. It’s flavourless and mixes with cold or hot beverages and can be added to baking and smoothies of course.
  5. Gradually Increase Intake:
    • If you're not used to consuming foods high in resistant starch, gradually increase your intake to allow your body to adjust. Sudden changes in fiber intake can sometimes cause digestive discomfort.

Final Thoughts:

Resistant starch is a valuable addition to any diet, offering a myriad of health benefits and supporting overall well-being. By incorporating resistant starch into your meals and snacks, you can nourish your gut, stabilize blood sugar levels, manage weight, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Start small, experiment with different sources of resistant starch, and enjoy the nutritious benefits it has to offer. Your body will thank you for it!


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