This post has been updated.
Gut health makes the world go around. This is where the wellness movement is at right now. And crucial to good gut health is sturdy, regular poo action. For many, especially those of us with an autoimmune disease, regular poo action is but a pipe dream (which sounds like an ablution entendre; so many things do!).
I’ve written about constipation quite a bit (you can catch up here). And I am on a committed journey to finding a safe, natural, gentle solution to my own periodic struggles with stuckness. The latest theme to emerge is resistant starch.
What is this resistant starch when it’s not sounding so recalcitrant?
It’s a type of food starch – contained in legumes, green bananas and cooked (and cooled) potatoes – that remains whole through the stomach and small intestine, and, unlike most foods, reaches the large intestine intact. Ergo, it resists digestion. For many years it was believed that starch was completely digested and absorbed in the small intestine. But a study published in the 1980s showed that certain starches reach the large intestine as malabsorbed, fermentable material.
What does this mean? Well, when it reaches the colon, good bacteria attaches to it and the digestion/fermentation process begins.
And why is this so good? Foods that are digested in the colon promote the growth of good gut bacteria, and increase the colon pH to become more acidic, which improves your overall gut health and decreases the risk of leaky gut.