Why do we need to consume fiber?
The reason is that fiber has a multitude of health benefits. The more fiber one consumes directly correlates with lower risks of chronic health problems like cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, allergies, diabetes, and many gastrointestinal problems. Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of fiber as well as important carbohydrates, vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, and anti-inflammatory agents.
So, what is fiber?
Fiber, also known as roughage, is the indigestible part of a plant. Unlike digestible foods, it doesn’t undergo the normal digestion process, resulting in various health benefits for the body. Fiber is both soluble, which means it dissolves in water, and insoluble, which means it doesn’t dissolve in water. That being said, not all fiber is considered equal. Many scientific studies indicate that resistant starch, a fiber that resists normal digestion and slowly ferments in the large intestine, helps prevent health problems and chronic diseases.
Resistant starch defined
It is called resistant starch because it resists normal digestion that occurs with most of the carbohydrates, made in the stomach and small intestine, and it reaches the large intestine intact.
Because it isn’t digested normally, this starch is slowly fermented throughout the large intestine. It serves as food to the good bacteria, which is in charge of digesting food and, in turn, providing benefits to us with bioproducts of this process. This natural prebiotic selectively stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in our flora and inhibits the development of pathogenic bacteria. As a consequence, it also strengthens our immune system.
The benefits of resistant starch
- Improves gut health by reducing the symptoms of constipation, gas, diarrhea, etc.
- Improves mineral absorption
- Increases feeling of satiety and keeps you feeling satisfied longer
- Prevents allergies and asthma
- Helps prevent metabolic syndrome (cardiovascular problems; diabetes and obesity)
- Decreases glucose levels in the blood
- Production of fatty acids
Where to find resistant starch
It can be found in foods like boiled potatoes, lentils, beans, and rice. It can also be found in some underripe fruits such as bananas, papayas, and mangoes. When these fruits are green, they are rich in this starch. They have low amounts of sugar and a higher concentration of minerals and vitamins than when they are ripe.
A great way to get the proper amount of resistant starch is to include green banana biomass. Our recommendation is not to eat the green banana outright because it’s not appetizing in that state; however, it can be broken down and included in recipes to make it more palatable.
You can start including resistant starch by introducing it to your diet slowly. Doing so will help you avoid unwanted or troublesome symptoms like gas and bloating, or perhaps, pain. Keep in mind that a change in diet will also include changes in gut microbiota. Expect gas and bloating until your flora adapts. It’s ideal to vary and rotate two or three resistant starch foods. Follow the daily recommended dose of between and 15 and 30 grams a day.