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There’s a secret ingredient in this fry-up, and since you’ll never guess what it is, I’ll tell you: it’s green banana. Here’s why it’s in there.

If you’ve read about food and health in recent times you might’ve come across a reference to resistant starch. Green banana contains lots of it. 

Resistant starch is fibre-like starch that ‘resists’ digestion, so it gets to the large intestine largely undigested. There it feeds our ‘good’ bacteria — a bit like fertiliser.

Different types of fibre encourage different types of gut bugs, and the more diverse our gut bug population, the healthier our gut is.

The gut plays such a central role in our well-being — including housing our immune system — that anything we can do to boost it is a step towards healthier ageing and a lower risk of disease. 

A healthy gut not only reduces our risk of irritable or inflammatory bowel conditions or bowel cancer, it can also improve our triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity.

So resistant starch is a good thing for most of us. Aside from feeding the critters in our gut, its benefits include binding with toxins so we can excrete them, improving our absorption of minerals (e.g. calcium), and having a mild laxative effect.

Yes, you may well be thinking that it’d need to do more than that to get you to eat green bananas.

I tried the fry-up recipe out of sheer curiosity and I can report that cooked green banana is ultra-bland, with a texture something like potato. The dish is actually quite tasty because of the bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomato and nutmeg.

If you want to check it out, you’ll find it here. It’s from The Clever Guts Diet Recipe Book, by Dr Claire Bailey, GP (and Michael Mosley’s wife).

But there are other options besides green bananas, such as legumes — in all their incredible variety — and oats.

If you’ve read about resistant starch, you’ll be aware of the idea that white rice, pasta and white potato create more of it when they’re pre-cooked, cooled and re-heated at a low temperature. This changes their structure. 

What’s more, when these foods have been cooked, cooled and re-heated, they also spike our blood sugar and insulin less than they would if we just ate them cooked.

Cooking them and cooling them does this a little (e.g. potato salad or cold rice salad), but heating them again adds to the effect.

We need to keep this in perspective though.

They still increase our blood sugar, in a way that say, meat, chicken, fish, nuts or a lot of vegies don’t. So it doesn’t magically turn them into a health food. 

But it does make them better for your body to manage. They’re still something to have sometimes rather than often, but if you love those foods, take note.

Remember too that everyone’s gut is different, and not all fibre works for all of us.

Trust your gut.


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Thursday, June 28, 2018 | Rhonda Anderson