Is resistant starch the cure for chronic constipation?

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!).

sack of potatoes
Does ablution have to be so arduous? Image via Flickr

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. And with it comes a very simple, cheap fix that I’m about to guinea pig for you.

Please note: This post has been updated with the results of my resistant starch experiment. I reckon you’ll want to read on. The results were very positive!

What is this resistant starch when it’s not sounding so recalcitrant?

Resistant starch (RS) is 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. Thus, it resists digestion. For many years it was believed that all 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 guff.

What does this mean? Well, when it reaches the large intestine (colon), good bacteria attaches to it and the digestion/fermentation process begins down here. Which produces a range of side effects, mostly good…

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