Resistant Starch to the Rescue
is a Superfood For The Digestive System
One of the easiest, cheapest and most potent ways to boost your prebiotic intake is through the
consumption of resistance starch. Like other prebiotics, this starch passes through the upper digestive
tract and stimulates the healthy bacteria growth in the lower tract (the large intestine and colon).
Additionally, resistant starch increases fermentation and the production of short-chain fatty acids like
butyrate. These acids lower the pH of our bowel, making it less hospitable for nasty pathogens and bad
bacteria. Additionally, butyrate is the preferred fuel of the cells that line the colon.
Feed The Good Bacteria
Prebiotics, or oligosaccharides act as food for our “good guys”, the flora.
It's a carb? It's a fiber? It's Resistant Starch!
What is resistant starch (RS)? It is a starch that escapes from digestion in the stomach or small
intestine of healthy individuals. Thus, it “resists” digestion. Resistant starch is considered the
third type of dietary fiber, as it can deliver some of the benefits of insoluble fiber and some of
the benefits of soluble fiber.
Carbohydrates are rapidly digested and absorbed as glucose (energy) into the body through
the small intestine. Resistant starch, on the other hand, resists digestion and passes through to
the large intestine where it acts like dietary fiber. In the large intestine it feeds beneficial
bacteria acting much like a probiotic.
Once RS reaches the large intestine, bacteria attach to and digest, or ferment, the starch.This is
when we receive the benefits of RS.
Resistant starch has been categorized into four types:
• RS Type 1: Starch is physically inaccessible, bound within the fibrous cell walls of plants. This is found in grains, seeds, and legumes.
• RS Type 2: Starch with a high amylose content, which is indigestible in the raw state. This is found in potatoes, green (unripe) bananas, and plantains. Cooking these foods causes changes in the starch making it digestible to us, and removing the resistant starch.
• RS3 Resistant starch that is formed when starch-containing foods are cooked and cooled, such as legumes, bread, cornflakes, potatoes, sushi rice or pasta salad. Occurs due to retrogradation, which refers to the collective processes of dissolved starch becoming less soluble after being heated and dissolved in water and then cooled.
• RS4 Starches that have been chemically modified to resist digestion. This type of resistant starches can have a wide variety of structures and are not found in nature. This is a synthetic form included for completeness, but not recommend. A common example is “hi-maize resistant starch.”