Resistant Starch: the recipe
Resistant Starch, it may not be something you have ever heard about. But I’m pretty sure that you’ve been eating it on a regular basis. The good news is, it is great for our gut microbiome! How can you get more of it, and what is the recipe for resistant starch?
What is resistant starch?
Resistant starch may sound like something very alien, but it is actually a naturally occurring type of starch (a carbohydrate). Starch can either be digested fast, slow, or can be resistant to digestion. Resistant starch is considered a dietary fiber and that’s when the health benefits start to show up!
There are four types of resistant starch (RS). Different types of resistant starch are divided into one of the four types based on the reason why it is resistant to digestion.
- RS 1: the starch is physically inaccessible because it’s trapped in indigestible cell structures
- You can find this in grains and legumes
- Milling or grinding the food can make the starch accessible
- RS 2: ungelatinized starch
- You can find this in uncooked potatoes, green bananas
- It will be accessible after heating
- RS 3: retrograded starch
- Cooked and cooled potatoes and rice
- Levels of RS3 rise with multiple cooking and cooling cycles
- RS 4: chemically modified starch
- Starch esters
Today we will be mostly talking about RS3, since that is a type of resistant starch you can easily create at home!
Health Benefits of Resistant Starch
There are many ways in which RS can provide a health benefit. The first one is that it lowers the Glycemic Index (GI) of the foods. A food that is high in starch, but that has a large amount of RS will lead to a low and slow blood sugar rise. The RS is not digested and will not enter the bloodstream.
Another health benefit that I personally find the most interesting is the fact that RS can be fermented by our gut microbiome. Fermentation of fiber and resistant starch leads to the production of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). There are 3 types of SCFA, propionate, acetate, and butyrate. SCFA have a lot of functions in our intestines and body, but Butyrate (click to read more) is the most interesting one. Butyrate is the main energy source for our intestinal cells, has anti-inflammatory properties, and supports our immune system. Yay, butyrate!
Apart from that, more resistant starch will mean a better nutrition for our healthy gut microbes. This means that the healthy and gut supporting bacteria have a bigger change to thrive and outweigh the ‘bad guys’.
In scientific studies, RS has also shown to trigger cell signaling pathways associated with an improvement in inflammation, diabetes, and obesity.
Gut Symptoms and Resistant Starch
One thing to be mindful about, is that not everyone’s gut is immediately able to handle resistant starch. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). You may be sensitive to resistant starch, and you can experience bloating. The best way to overcome this, is to slowly build up portion sizes of the resistant starch, so your intestines and gut microbes can get used to it.
If you want help, figuring out what works best for your gut, and how to overcome food sensitivities, schedule a free symptom assessment and I’ll show you how I can help.
Recipe for Resistant Starch
As mentioned above, there is one type of resistant starch that we can easily create at home. Resistant starch type 3, the retrograded starch.
Retrogradation is a reaction where gelatinized starch (that we can digest) starts to fold itself in a way that makes it indigestible. The retrogradation occurs when the gelatinized starch is kept in the fridge (4 degrees celsius) or freezer (-20 degrees celsius) for multiple hours (and some studies even say that 24 hours is optimal). The fridge seems to be the most effective in creating resistant starch. This reaction takes place in most starchy foods (like potato, rice, oats, pasta) that are cooked and not immediately eaten.
The reaction will continue to happen every time the food gets reheated and cooled again, so multiple cycles of heating and cooling will only elevate the amount of resistant starch. Make sure to do this in a food-safe manner though!
So boil them in big batches, and keep them in the fridge for use during the week! You will have made yourself a resistant starch rich meal, and this will also save you time in the long run!
What is your favorite resistant starch recipe? Let me know in a comment below!
Hi there, I’m Manon.
In my daily life I work as a registered dietitian in the Netherlands with a special interest in gut health.
During my workday I get loads of questions about healthy food, recipes and lifestyle to make it a little easier to get healthy. On Positive Gut I collect my best recommendations, tips and recipes to make your healthy lifestyle a little easier!