Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Learning to love legumes - reblogging a great article by Sally Marchini

Well, seeing yesterday's post was about resistant starch and the gut microbiome, it's only fitting that today I want to share a post about one of the excellent natural sources of resistant starch- that would be legumes. Legumes are things like peas, beans and lentils and they are nutritional powerhouses with fantastic nutrient qualities, a great source of plant based protein, low GI carbohydrates and, you guessed it, resistant starch.

The blog I am sharing today is by my friend Sally Marchini - Accredited Practising Dietitian and the social media dietitian for Diabetes Counselling Online.  Sally can be frequently found on social media and over at her own place, Marchini Nutrition, and she has a wonderful, practical and balanced approach to good healthy nutrition.  Here's what Sally has to say about legumes (just click on the title below to go to the article)

Learning to love legumes

Her tips for using legumes in all sorts of ways are great and worth bookmarking for that day when you're all out of inspiration - I know I will.

Want to read more of Sally's great posts? A list of her blog posts can be found here - I recommend you have a look!
And don't forget to love your legumes!!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy

Monday, 20 October 2014

Resistant starch and a healthy gut

Happy Monday morning everyone!

There's an interesting commentary in today's Medical Journal of Australia on resistant starch - we should be eating more of it ! 

So what is resistant starch? 

Resistant starch is a type of dietary fibre that is fermented in the large bowel and feeds the gut microbiome- the bacteria in your bowel that do so much good. Despite the messages to eat more fibre, and people are doing that, most people are increasing their fibre with processed foods like cereals, which don't necessarily contain resistant starch. More fibre yes, but all the great health benefits, no.  There is evidence that a healthy gut microbiome plays a role in preventing diabetes, obesity and some cancers, so its worth taking a moment to understand how to keep it healthy.

Click here for more from the CSIRO:

So where do you find resistant starch? 

It can be found in some starchy fruits and vegetables (eg bananas and sweet potatoes), in legumes (have I told you how awesome beans, chick peas and lentils are lately?) and interestingly,  in some cooked and cooled starchy foods. Cooking and cooling starchy foods like  rice, pasta and potatoes, and eating them cold, lowers the GI and increases the amount of resistant starch. Add some healthy fats and lemon juice and you lower the GI further - so in great news for the southern hemisphere, summer is coming and its time for potato salad, pasta salad and rice salad OH YEAH!  

For more interesting information on resistant starch check out this post from Precision Nutrition here:
All about resistant starch

You can read the article from Medical Journal of Australia here:
Feeding a hungry microbiome

And here's some great recipes for summer salads from the Australian Healthy Food Guide, search the site for more:
 Tuna and chargrilled vegetable pasta salad
Classic potato salad
Veggie packed brown rice salad 

So there's your challenge for this week, go feed your gut!!

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy