What is Starch?

The first thing we are going to do to know the meaning of the term starch is to discover its etymological origin. In this case, it must be determined that it is a word made up of an element from Hispanic Arabic, “al-”, and another from Greek. Exactly it comes from the Greek word “amylon”, which was used to refer to a kind of bread that was made with unmilled grain and water.

The term starch refers to a carbohydrate that works as an energy reserve in most vegetables. It is a polysaccharide: a carbohydrate that is made up of an extensive chain of monosaccharides. The monosaccharides, meanwhile, are polyols that have an extra ketone or aldehyde group.

Starch is considered a macromolecule since it is a large molecule. In this case, it consists of amylopectin and amylase. Cereal starch also includes a reduced amount of fat.

Starch grains vary in shape and size. They are not soluble in cold water, but when the temperature increases, gelatinization occurs and thus hydrates.

In the nutrition of the human being, starch is very important for its contribution of calories. Cereals, bulbs, and tubers are a very valuable source of starch and help offset a potential lack of fruit or meat. Starch, like the rest of carbohydrates, contributes to brain development.

At the time of digestion, which consists of processing the most complex molecules in food to obtain simpler ones that allow the absorption of nutrients, polysaccharides become simpler carbohydrates. This occurs with starch thanks to the action of substances that secrete the salivary glands and the pancreas.

In the same way, we cannot overlook another important series of benefits that starch brings, such as these:
-It is considered to be very easy to assimilate, so digestion with it is not heavy.
-It manages to give the body energy. Hence, it is considered one of the best fuels that human beings have.
-No less relevant is that it is considered a great element to avoid suffering diseases related to the colon, such as cancer, and even to be protected against infections of different kinds.
-In addition, it improves the immune system.
-Of course, keep in mind that it has a marked anti-inflammatory effect.
-In this list of advantages that the aforementioned starch brings, it is important to remember that it contributes to regulating intestinal transit.

On the contrary, among its disadvantages is that if it is abused, there is a risk of gas, cramps of different intensity, bloating and even some diarrhea. These symptoms are established to appear when more than 40 grams of starch have been consumed per day.

Starch can be used in various ways. From potatoes, for example, starch is also called potato starch or flour, which is used in various recipes. The starch maize known as cornstarch and is frequently used in baked goods.