If you want to resist colon cancer, a starch known as “resistant” starch offers a way to lower your risk. You can consume this special starch in a variety of foods, but you have to eat them the right way.
“Resistant starch is found in peas, beans and other legumes, green bananas, and also in cooked and cooled starchy products like sushi rice and pasta salad. You have to consume it at room temperate or below — as soon as you heat it, the resistant starch is gone. But consumed correctly, it appears to kill pre-cancerous cells in the bowel,” says researcher Janine Higgins, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Your digestive tract can’t break down resistant starch, but the probiotic bacteria in your gut are crazy about it. By the time the starch reaches your colon, it stimulates the production of beneficial short-chain fatty acids. The result according to research: less harmful inflammation in the bowel and an increase in the death of pre-cancerous cells.
”Resistant starch may also have implications for the prevention of breast cancer,” Higgins says. “For example, if you let (lab animals) get obese, get them to lose the weight, and then feed half of (them) rats a diet high in resistant starch — these (animals) don’t gain back the weight as fast as (those) fed a regular, digestible starch diet. This effect on obesity may help to reduce breast cancer risk as well as having implications for the treatment of colorectal cancer.”