Welcome to health science class 101. (Did you think you were done with school by now?!) Today I am sharing the fascinating and powerful health benefits of beta-hydroxybutyrate, resistant starch, and green banana flour. If all three are new to you or even if you are acquainted with them, keep on reading to learn how they are all connected and why they are essential tools for your vibrantly healthy life.
Commercial break: Here’s something you may not expect from me—you really can bake your way to good health with green banana flour. Mmmmm—don’t miss my pancake recipe at the end!
Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and keto
Have you ever heard your Keto-obsessed friends talk about beta-hydroxybutyrate (also known as beta-hydroxybutyric acid, 3-hydroxybutyric acid, or simply BHB)? They are one of the 3 “physiological” ketones produced by the body, specifically in your liver, when eating a Keto Diet.
BHB makes up about 80% of the total circulating ketones in your blood which is why it holds the title of the most important ketone body. It acts as a fuel source for organs and signals for gene transcription and regulators of metabolism. Increasing your supply of BHB has been reported to prevent or improve the symptoms of various age-associated diseases such as cancers, as well as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Another benefit of boosting your BHB is it decreases inflammation in general and in your gut.
If you are curious about the Keto Diet (low-carb and high-healthy fats), check out these blogs and podcasts:
- Blog: My Love-Hate Relationship with Keto
- Podcast: Keto Simplified
- Podcast: Navigating the Ketogenic Diet
The definition: It is a carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine. The fermented fibers then serve as a prebiotic and help with colon health. In practical words, they help feed the good bacteria present in your gut.
Side note: PRObiotics replenish your gut with all sorts of GOOD bacteria. PREbiotics give your gut the proper fuel to maintain good bacteria and happy and healthy gut flora. This is critical as 80% of your immune system lives in your gut!
These starches are also keto-approved because it does not raise sugar levels or hurt your digestion. The process can also help produce some short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). You want SCFAs in your body because they help your body improve sleep quality, regulate the liver, provide energy, prevent inflammation, and so much more, including helping the body naturally heal.
We all know about starches, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc., but not all are resistant starches.
Here are 5 different types of resistant starch.
This info is from our friends at SelfDecode.
1: Starch that’s physically inaccessible to digestion, as found in legumes such as beans and lentils. ( I am not a fan of beans and lentils because of the high lectins. Many people are sensitive to lectins)
2: Naturally resistant starch due to its structure. It can be found in starchy foods like green bananas and raw vegetables like potatoes.
3: It’s formed after types 1 and 2 are cooked and then cooled, and can be present in foods such as bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
4: Starch that has been chemically modified to resist digestion, is found in processed foods like bread and crackers.
5: It’s created through a process that involves heating and cooling starchy foods with particular lipids.
Currently, in research, different functions of resistant starch, such as modulation of the gut microbiota, gut peptides, circulating growth factors, and circulating inflammatory mediators have been characterized by animal studies and clinical trials. You can learn more about a few of these studies here.
Green Banana Flour
I really have gone bananas for green banana flour! Any way you peel it, green banana flour provides endless health benefits and can be cooked or consumed raw. I could go on for days, but instead, I will sum up the health benefits in this section. Let’s get started!
It provides more resistant starch than any other food—42-52 grams per cup!
- It is fermentable fiber. Meaning that it passes through the intestines undigested.
- The fermentation process delivers short-chain fatty acids (such as butyrate) that your body needs and loves.
- This process can reduce the glycaemic load of foods, making them easier on your blood sugar levels.
Less is also more. Green banana flour has such a high starch content that you can use 30% less flour than wheat. Save money and calories! It has a similar texture to cassava or coconut flour and a neutral taste.
Green banana flour also works as a supplement. Simply add 1-2 tablespoons to your smoothie or any raw food you are eating to add some superfood powers. It is more potent when consumed raw.
Baked or raw, you are treating your body to a healthy dose of:
- Zinc: Gives you a healthy immune system, healing, brain function, skin/hair/nail health, and is especially important for young kids during development.
- Magnesium: Helps you sleep and recover sore muscles better.
- Phosphorous: Naturally aids the body in detoxification efforts that help cells repair themselves and keep our hearts beating normally.
- Manganese: Positively influences your metabolism to increase the absorption of calcium and supports weight loss and management
Remember my promise of baking your way to vibrant health? You know I am a woman of my word, so here you go! Brownies, pancakes, pumpkin bread—all of the goodness! You can Duck Duck Go plenty of banana flour recipes from the simple to the decadent—whatever you are in the mood to eat!
Below is my go-to pancake mix. I love making them for my grandkids when they visit. None of them have noticed a difference….and you know how picky grandkids can be. 🙂
Gluten-free, grain-free, and packed with healing properties in every bite!
- 1 Cup of green banana flour
- 2 tablespoons of monk fruit
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 pasture-raised, organic eggs
- Coconut oil to grease the pan
- ½ cup of almond milk or your favorite non-cow milk
- Optional deliciousness: pecans, berries, bananas…whatever makes you smile
- Turn on the stove to medium-high heat and oil up the pan.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together with a whisk or fork. Keep mixing and dancing until there are no more lumps. Normally it is fine to have lumps when using classic pancake mixes, but since green banana flour is so fine, lumps should be stirred out.
- Pour the pancake mix onto the pan in any shape or size you crave.
- Cook for about 1-2 minutes and then flip. Cook the other side for about a minute.
- Top with whatever you want and enjoy!