How to improve your gut health

How to add resistant starch to your diet?

There are two ways you can add resistant starch to the diet. You can either focus on eating more foods high in resistant starch or via supplementation.

 

If you want to do the former and add more high resistant starch foods to your diet (a good idea) here are the highest resistant starch foods.

 

  1. Uncooked rolled oats
  2. Cooked and cooled potatoes (they produce more resistant starch once they cool)
  3. Green bananas (as they ripen they resistant starch turns into normal starch).
  4. Cooked plantains (not really available in the UK however).
  5. Butter beans also known as white beans, Navy and Cannellini beans
  6. Lentils
  7. Chickpeas
  8. Cooked and cooled rice (once again like potatoes the starch becomes resistant starch once it cools)
  9. Cashew nuts

 

As you can see, some of these foods are not things we eat on a daily basis, but we easily could. However if you are not sure you’ll eat any of the above regularly another option is supplementation.

 

The supplements for resistant starch are green banana flour and potato starch. Both of these are extremely high in resistant starch. This allows you to easily get a daily dose of resistant starch.

 

If you are going to follow the route of supplementation. Start with about 2.5 grams mixed into water as it takes some time for your body to build up enough good bacteria before you can fully utilise more than this. Then every few weeks try doubling the dose until you get to about 20-30 grams (1-2 dessert spoons).

 

  1. Use a good quality probiotic and/or increase your intake of probiotic foods

 

The final aspect of creating a more balanced microbiome is to take a high quality probiotic supplement to help make sure you have a large and diverse spectrum of bacteria. If you don’t, you may not be able to digest much fibre or resistant starch and the above recommendations may only have minimal effects if you have a poor microbiome at the moment.

 

Symptoms of poor microbiome health can be IBS like symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, irregular bowel movements and consistency.

 

The point of either taking a probiotic or eating probiotic foods are they contain billions of beneficial bacteria to help increase our own levels.

 

Increasing your intake of yogurt and fermented vegetables such as Sauerkraut and Kimchi is a good way to boost the amount of beneficial bacteria you are getting.

 

Or  by using a supplement. For years I have taken Prescript assist probiotic and found it very effective. It is one of the few probiotics i’ve seen that has a study  on the supplement itself, which overall positive results, therefore I highly recommend it.(5)

 

A few other probiotics that use research driven combination of bacteria are, Udo’s choice and Renew Life Ultimate flora.

 

My three recommendations are:

  1. Prescript assist
  2. Udo’s choice Super 8
  3. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic 50 Billion

 

You do not need to take all of these, just one of them. You could try each one for a month and see if one works better than another. I would also have patience as it can take time for the microbiome to re-balance itself. Some experts believe it can a full 2 years.

 

I therefore recommend simply making a probiotic a daily habit and leaving it at that. the results will just keep coming, as always there are no silver bullets.

 

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