Do I Need to Supplement with Resistant Starch?
This has been a big topic lately, and I don’t think that it’s just a fad. It makes too much sense.
Our gut bacteria is among the most important aspects of our health. There are at least 10 times as many bacterial cells in the human body as there are human cells.
That means that you are at least 91% bacteria (if we’re measuring by number of cells). While that’s astonishing on its own, what’s even more important is the role that our gut bacteria plays in our overall health.
Because our gut controls so much of our immune system, inflammation, and signaling in our bodies, having the right gut bacteria can be the difference between being overweight and lean, and perhaps eventually between having a chronic disease and being healthy.
Our gut bacteria is affected by lots of things, but nothing is more important than what we feed it. And one of the best things we can feed our gut bacteria is resistant starch. (Fiber is another big one, but that’s the subject of a different article.)
Resistant starch typically comes from a variety of plant sources, including plants that humans don’t eat very often any more, but also from certain fruits (bananas), tubers (such as potatoes), and even beans and rice, if they’re prepared properly. You don’t need to eat all of these foods, but I point it out just to note that resistant starch has pretty much always been a significant part of the human diet.
I won’t go fully into why resistant starch is so important (I’ve written an Ultimate Guide here). It’s enough that you know this is not something that has just come out of nowhere.
You can certainly get resistant starch from foods, but it’s tough. And perhaps as importantly, supplementing is cheap and effective. The best place to start is simply potato starch, and from there perhaps to add in a few other types of resistant starch.
Initially, there might be a little digestive discomfort, but that almost always subsides within a couple weeks.