While there are loads of nutrient-rich morning meal options out there to choose from, dietitians say that any well-balanced breakfast should always include both protein and fiber. One form of fiber that is guaranteed to both boost your microbiome and your energy levels is resistant starch. This nutrient is, in essence, a hybrid of starch and fiber that passes through your small intestine intact and gets fermented in the large intestine, where is then helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut to support a balanced microbiome. We spoke with two registered dietitians who shared why eating resistant starch is such an important part of maintaining good gut heath, and provided us with their favorite breakfast recipes filled with resistant starch,
Why eating resistant starch first thing in the morning is good for your gut
According to registered dietitian Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, director of Real Nutrition, resistant starch-filled breakfasts are hands down one of the best ways to get the necessary fuel to get through the day. "Foods that contain resistant starch work in tandem with other forms of fiber—aka insoluble and soluble fiber—to slow down the digestion of your morning meal and the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream," she says. "And all while supporting the health of your gut microbiome." Eating foods rich in resistant starch also helps boost your energy levels and heart health, promotes healthy digestion, and encourages regularity throughout the day, Shapiro adds.
5 resistant starch-filled breakfast recipes that will start your day on the right foot
1. Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats
According to Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a Miami-based registered dietitian nutritionist and a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, oats are not only one of the most nutrient-dense breakfast time foods, but they also happen to be one of the richest in resistant starch.
Filled with protein and dietary fiber, Ehsani says that oats are easy to jazz up with healthy toppings like fruits and nuts and can be made ahead of time. Take, for example, this recipe for vegan and gluten-free peaches and cream overnight oats by Minimalist Baker, which is easy to eat on the go. This simple, five-minute recipe tastes like a breakfast-friendly dessert and features delicious ingredients like coconut yogurt, peaches, and chia seeds (which are packed with longevity-boosting omega-3s).
P.S. To help the maximum resistant starch potential of the food, Ehsani recommends cooking oats and letting them soak to increase the quantity of this starch.
Get the recipe: Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats Recipe
2. Roasted Potato Breakfast Bowl
According to Shapiro, cooked potatoes also contain a good amount of resistant starch. She recommends serving roasted potatoes with a fried egg and a dollop of Greek yogurt (both of which add protein to the dish), then topping it off with a few spoonfuls of salsa for a well-balanced breakfast bowl. For another take on a potato-filled breakfast, this savory breakfast bowl by Two Peas & Their Pod is filled with lycopene-rich tomatoes, heart-healthy avocados, and everything-bagel-style roasted potatoes. Yum, yum, and yum.
Get the recipe: Savory Breakfast Bowl
3. Banana Flour Pancakes
Although Shapiro says that green bananas—which also happen to be one of the top resistant starch-filled foods—aren’t exactly her favorite flavor-wise, she does love using a bit of green banana flour in breakfast smoothie recipes. Another way to use this resistant starch-filled ingredient is by making this recipe for banana flour pancakes by Aubrey’s Kitchen, which is the most delicious gluten-free dish that will definitely start your day off right.
Get the recipe: Banana Flour Pancakes
4. Huevos Rancheros with Beans and Scrambled Eggs
“Beans like pinto beans, black beans, soy beans, and fava beans are all good sources of resistant starch, dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and antioxidants,” Ehsani says. She recommends incorporating beans at breakfast in delicious dishes like huevos rancheros, egg and bean wraps or burritos, or breakfast tacos.
“The resistant starch and high fiber content in the beans means they will be digested slowly through your digestive tract, which will help keep your blood sugar more stable throughout the day, provide you with sustained energy, and will help move things through your digestive tract—which is an important part of a healthy gut,” says Ehsani.
Now, if you’re looking for a flavor-packed breakfast, this huevos rancheros scrambled eggs recipe by Half-Baked Harvest will do the trick. It’s filled with explosive flavor from ingredients like onion, lime, and cilantro. Plus, it’s packed with resistant starch (thanks, black beans).
Get the recipe: Huevos Rancheros Scrambled Eggs
5. Tofu Scramble and Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl
For another savory, hearty breakfast idea, Ehsani recommends eating protein-and-fiber-filled grains like brown rice and barley, which are both good sources of resistant starch. "These grains help feed the healthy gut bacteria and encourage a well-balanced microbiome," she says. This protein-packed savory breakfast bowl by Running on Real Food has an anti-inflammatory, turmeric-infused tofu scramble and loads of resistant starch from the brown rice.
Get the recipe: Savory Vegan Breakfast Bowl
To breakfast or not to breakfast, that is the question:
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