If you’re trying to clear your skin, lose weight or balance your blood sugar levels, you’ve probably been told to steer clear of starches at all costs.
You know, those treats like cookies, donuts and pizza that you love to indulge in.
While it’s true that those types of starches should be avoided, there are other types of starches that have many health benefits, especially for your skin.
They’re called resistant starches and this herbed potato salad is a simple way to incorporate them into your diet.
A resistant starch is not fully digested in your stomach and small intestine, which means it’s resistant to digestion. It’s sort of like soluble fibre.
This type of starch travels through to the colon where it then acts as a prebiotic feeding your good gut bacteria.
Just as starches are not created equally, not all resistant starches are the same either. In fact, there are four types of resistant starch such as:
The potatoes in this herbed potato salad are a type 3 resistant starch because they are first cooked and then cooled.
From promoting weight loss to protecting against colon cancer, research shows that resistant starch has a number of advantages. When it comes to acne, more specifically, this type of starch can help in many ways.
Numerous studies have found that resistant starch can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Maintaining normal blood glucose levels is vital for clear skin because imbalanced blood sugar is a big contributor to acne.
Let me explain why.
Every time you eat or drink, blood sugar levels rise and the pancreas releases a blood-sugar-regulating hormone called insulin into the blood. It helps to move glucose, a form of sugar broken down from the digestion of food, from the blood into the body’s cells to be used as fuel.
Meals high in processed sugar and refined carbohydrates rapidly increase blood glucose and insulin levels. Regular consumption of those foods can lead to chronically elevated blood-insulin levels, reduce your body’s ability to use insulin effectively and spike the production of androgen hormones. Excess androgen hormones promote more sebum (oil), which results in clogged pores and then inflammatory acne.
Consuming resistant starches like the cooled potatoes in this herbed potato salad can help stabilize your blood sugar levels, enhance insulin sensitivity and then promote clear skin.
Studies show that your digestive system contains about 100 trillion good and bad bacteria that help make up your gut microbiome. They play an important role in several body functions including (but not limited to) helping to digest food, absorb nutrients and protect against pathogens.
When you consume resistant starch, it converts into butyrate in the colon. This is a type of short-chain fatty acid and is the main source of fuel for the beneficial gut bacteria in your colon.
Eating resistant starch can help improve digestive health and in turn, support clear skin because a healthy gut is the foundation of healthy skin.
Research also suggests that resistant starch can decrease inflammation. This is so important because chronic inflammation can result in heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and skin issues like acne.
When it comes to the skin, chronic inflammation activates a group of enzymes known as Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs). These enzymes can destroy healthy collagen and prevent the production of new collagen. You definitely don’t want this to happen because collagen helps keep your skin plump and firm. Inflammation is also responsible for making those pesky pimples look even more red and swollen.
Moral of the story: inflammation is at the core of acne. But resistant starch can lower inflammation and then help reduce acne.
Aside from the benefits of resistant starches like cooled potatoes, this root vegetable contains a plethora of nutrients that support clear skin.
First off, potatoes are a great source of vitamin C. This antioxidant naturally converts to collagen in the body, which can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, promote cell turnover and keep the skin firm.
Potatoes are also high in fibre, which supports healthy and regular trips to the bathroom. Daily bowel movements are essential for clear skin because it’s how your body eliminates excess acne-triggering hormones and prevents them from being reabsorbed.
Finally, this root vegetable helps to reduce inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. As we talked about before, inflammation is a big contributor to acne. So adding this herbed potato salad to your anti-inflammatory menu plan is a great way to decrease inflammation and promote healthy skin.