This study is so interesting we couldn’t wait to tell you about it. Colorectal cancer, which includes the often-fatal colon cancer, is one of the most pervasive types of tumors around. Researchers have found a possible mode of protection: eating “resistant starch.” And it’s in a ton of common foods.
Our bodies cannot digest resistant starch, so it finds its way to the bowel in nearly the same form as it was on the fork. There, in the bowel, the starch plays some key roles that include lowering bowel pH and transit time, and increasing the production of short-chain fatty acids. These might seem a bit beyond our grasp, but know this: these effects promote the growth of healthy bacteria and the elimination of bad bacteria.
A new literature review shows that resistant starch also helps the body defend against colorectal cancer. These foods might fully kill pre-cancerous cells and lower inflammation that can otherwise promote cancer. This literature review only reiterates what researchers have been pointing out since the 1990s: in a comparison study of 12 populations worldwide, researchers found an inverse association between resistant starch intake and colorectal cancer incidence. But now we might know why. Researchers believe that the fermentation process in the colon is how we can prevent colon cancer—and eating starch can aid that fermentation process.
Where to find resistant starch? Well, you don’t have to go digging too far in the supermarket aisles. Just look for legumes, such as any kind of peas or beans and green bananas, as well as cooked and cooled starchy products, like sticky rice and pasta salad. The key is eating these foods at room temperature or cooler. When you heat them, the resistant starch disappears.
Here’s another reason to include resistant starch in your diet: it’s also believed to help people achieve weight loss goals by making you feel fuller after a meal, facilitating fewer calories consumed, and helping your body metabolize fat more efficiently.
Right now, we could consider this preliminary research. But it is highly encouraging. This research group fully believes that foods that contain resistant starch should be on the menu for cancer prevention.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
This Type of Starch May Kill Colon Cancer
Higgins, J., et al., “Resistant starch: a promising dietary agent for the prevention/treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer,” Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. March 2013; 29(2): 190–194.
Cassidy, A.., et al., “Starch intake and colorectal cancer risk: an international comparison,” Medical Research council. May 1994; 69(5): 937–42.