Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In celebration of all things Irish, today we dedicate our Friday Fun Fact to the humble potato. Not only is the potato an excellent vehicle for salt and butter, this little gem can also be a friendly microbiome helper. Win win!
It turns out that cooked (and cooled) potatoes are high in resistant starch (RS). Just like it sounds, RS is resistant to digestion in the stomach and small intestine, which means it reaches the colon (a microbe rich area) still in pretty good shape. Lots of good bacteria like munching on RS and ferment it, producing Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) like Butyrate. SCFAs decrease inflammation and intestinal permeability. In other words, they keep you healthy, and they keep your microbes where they should be, in your gut.
Not a fan of the old potato? Not to worry, plenty of whole foods are RS rich – like green bananas, and plantains!