Can white rice become a health food? Sort of.

Researchers recently discovered a simple cooking method to turn white rice into a health food; at least for beneficial gut bacteria or probiotics. There’s been huge interest and a flood of studies on the effects of the gut biome on human health over the past decade. The gut biome is all the trillions of bacteria, yeasts and other micro organisms which live in the digestive system and ideally keep each other in balance. This interest shouldn’t be too surprising since the human gut biome is essentially another organ. It influences hormone production, serotonin levels, mood and immune responses; for better or worse depending on the makeup.

We’ve all heard about reducing the intake of “white” foods such as rice, sugar, white flour and potatoes. These forms of starch break down very rapidly in the digestive tract. Causing damaging blood sugar spikes and insulin dysregulation. They also stimulate the overgrowth of yeasts and harmful bacteria strains which really mess things up when they get out of control.

A second form of starch is resistant starch. Beneficial bacteria love this type of difficult to break down starch and it doesn’t mess up insulin responses the same way. Researchers discovered that when they added ½ teaspoon of coconut oil to each ½ cup of rice during cooking, much of the starch converted to resistant starch when it cooled. Resistant starch remains this way even when reheated and is a recognized prebiotic. Prebiotics help beneficial bacteria maintain the upper hand in the digestive system.

The same applies to potatoes with no need for coconut oil. When cooked then cooled, much of the potato starch is converted. If heated and cooled again, even more is converted. Once done, it stays that way regardless of degree of reheating. Please note: White rice isn’t very nutrient dense, so use in moderation even if prepared this intriguing new way.

When it comes to inflammation, mood and emotional resiliency, diet does play a significant role. But the other big part of the equation is how the subconscious mind interprets life events and compares them to earlier experiences; particularly young childhood experiences. If the match connects current situations to past risk, trauma, punishment or danger, the involuntary response is coloured with anxiety, guilt, anger, self sabotage or paralysis; among others. These all directly affect digestive system functioning. If facing these mental or emotional challenges, setting up an initial interview with Integrative Therapist David Gilbert can be life changing. Even if no other therapy has been successful in the past. “It’s work so powerful it’s guaranteed.”

Research has demonstrated how powerfully the gut and mind influence each other. It’s a bi-directional feedback loop. Mood and stress challenges drive inflammatory responses which harm the digestive system and the trillions of organisms making it their home. Gut issues have very real damaging effects on stress levels, mental health and emotional resiliency; the ability to bounce back when things go wrong or in unexpected directions.

Addressing both affects the very foundations of good health. A win-win for every part. For those suffering digestive system challenges such as IBS, IBD, frequent stomach aches with no discernible cause, frequent constipation/diarrhea or Crohn’s disease there are a number of protocols. All of which carry response warranties.

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