Did you hear the news? Carbs are not the public health scourge they’ve been made out to be. Whole grains and other healthy carbs are brimming with fiber for digestive health, as well as an array of vital vitamins and minerals. Plus, they taste pretty awesome, too.
Beyond that, some carbohydrates contain a type of starch called resistant starch, explains Washington, DC-based dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield, host of the Body Kindness podcast. Resistant starch is a type of sugar that the body cannot digest. That means that it sails through the upper part of the digestive tract, ending up in the gut, home to trillions of good bacteria.
There, the resistant starch (a type of prebiotic fiber) turns into a tasty snack for those healthy bugs, fueling them as they do their important immunosupportive and GI-protective work.
Scritchfield says some of the best sources of resistant starch include whole grains, beans, chickpeas, potatoes and plantains. Below, check out some ideas for incorporating these potent prebiotics in your diet.
Resistant starch standout: chickpeas
This tasty dip combines the tart and tangy taste of kefir with pumpkin, chickpeas and tahini for a dip that’s great year round.
Grilled Salmon with Kefir Dill Sauce
served with a side of Pumpernickel Bread
Resistant starch standout: pumpernickel bread
Rich in omega-3s, salmon is a great source of protein and healthy fats. The dill sauce, made with our Helios Greek-style Kefir, provides the probiotics, fed by the prebiotics in pumpernickel bread.
Resistant starch standout: potatoes
Note: Cooking potatoes reduces the amount of resistant starch. But once they cool down, the resistant starch converts back (isn’t science cool?). That makes chilled potato salad the perfect recipe for anyone in search of resistant starch.
Resistant starch standouts: plantains and beans
Plaintains are really heating up the foodie scene these days and they pair well with beans in this flavorful salad.
Resistant starch standout: Steel-cut oats
Note: Cooking reduces the resistant starch in oats, so try this idea from Scritchfield: Toast some steel cut oats in a pan and use them as a crunchy topping in your kefir smoothie bowl, in your favorite granola recipe, or sprinkled over a tasty dessert.
Resistant starch standout: peas
Super simple! Just blanch fresh peas and sprinkle with some salt. Eat them as you would chips or fries; you get the hand-to-mouth motion so many people crave in a snack, but minus the fat and with a dose of prebiotics.