Unfortunately, the cooler months can bring about a little more than a cool chill to the air. When unwanted guests present, boosting your immune system from within is the best defence to keep the bugs at bay.
Approximately 80% of our immune system is within the gut, therefore, it’s not hard to believe the important role of our gut bacteria in the functioning of our immune system.
One of the most delicious ways to support gut bacteria is by honing in on fibre intake. There are three types of fibre:
Soluble fibre: slows down the digestive system, reduces raise in blood sugar levels and helps clear cholesterol (chia seeds, linseeds, oat bran, fruit, vegetables).
Insoluble fibre: speeds up the bowels (constipation) and acts as a broom to sweep out the digestive tract (wheat bran, rice bran, root vegetables legumes, wholegrain).
Resistant starch: cannot be digested and goes straight to the colon to feed bacteria, useful for weight loss and overall gut health. Resistant Starch (RS) encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria strains including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
Use of RS is a dietary favourite of mine when it comes to gut health and is gaining momentum in health circles, for the right reasons. Because RS cannot be digested, when we consume sources of RS its essentially for the benefit of our bacteria…and our waist line. Due to the poor digestibility of RS, we receive as few as 50% of the foods actual kilojoule content!
Sources of RS
The most common sources of RS include:
- Green bananas (unripe)
- Cooked and cooled pasta
- Cashew nuts
- Cooked and cooled white rice
- Cooked and cooled peas (frozen works well)
- Cannellini beans (or butter beans)
- Cooked and cooled potato
Ways with RS
Adding a healthy dose of RS to your daily diet is incredibly simple:
1. Toss a handful of lentils into salads or toss through roasted vegetables
2. Store roasted potato in the fridge for a few days and add to salads
3. Snack on a handful of cashew nuts or sprinkle vegetables with chopped cashew nuts
4. Make a dip using cannellini beans (see recipe)
5. Boil frozen peas and store in fridge until cool – mash with avocado as a quick cracker topping or add to salads
6. Toss cooked and cooled pasta with home-made pesto, cooled peas and feta cheese for a quick side or light lunch
Cannellini Bean Puree
- 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
- 1/3 cup macadamia nut oil (can also use olive oil)
- ½ tbsp. lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
- salt and pepper
- Combine cannellini beans, oil, lemon juice and chilli flakes in a blender/food processor, blend until smooth
- Add extra oil until desired consistency is reached
- Season with salt and pepper, enjoy!
Remember: Count fibre….not calories!
Casey Dick | Passionate Dedicated Natural Nutritionist | Brisbane, Australia, Dietary Nutritionist, Healthy Body and Mind Advocate, Natural Hormone Balance & Healthy Weight Loss, Natural Skin Health, Anorexia, Eating Disorder Recovery, Orthorexia, Thyroid, Non-dieting Approach, Gut Health, Nutritionist specialises in PCOS, Why can’t I lose weight, Weight Loss Resistance