We are often led to think that carbs are the enemy of weight loss. However, is this the complete truth? As a result of inaccurate and skewed reporting plus quotes used out of context over the years, carbohydrates may have inadvertently and misguidedly been associated with weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and a variety of other health conditions. Taking a deeper look at carbohydrates, it may well that this food group has been given an undeserved bad reputation.
While it is true that processed foods high in sugar and refined grains typically lack important vitamins and minerals, many nutrient-dense, fibre-rich foods are actually incredibly healthy! In other words, do not tar all carbohydrates with the same brush!
Here are 12 high carbohydrate foods that are packed full of nutrients.
Oats are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Raw oats are particularly high in a specific type of fiber called oat beta glucan. In addition, oats are a relatively good source of protein and contain more protein than most grains.
Some studies indicate that eating oats may reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol levels. It may also lower blood sugar levels, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
An added benefit of eating oats is that it is very filling and will keep you feeling full for a long time which can in turn help support healthy weight management.
Bananas are a popular fruit people love to use in many different recipes. The versatility of this amazing fruit can be found here. So wonderful is this fruit, you can even consume its peel! You can read more about this here.
Bananas are high in potassium and vitamins B6 and C. They also contain several beneficial plant compounds. As a result of their high content of potassium, bananas may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Unripe and less ripe bananas also contain decent amounts of resistant starch and pectin, both of which support digestive health and provide fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Quinoa is a nutritious seed that has become incredibly popular among health-conscious consumers. Classified as a pseudocereal, which is a seed that’s prepared and eaten like a grain, cooked quinoa contains 70% carbs, making it a high-carb food. However, it’s also a good source of protein and fibre.
Quinoa is rich in many minerals and plant compounds and has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved blood sugar management and heart health.
As an added benefit, quinoa does not contain any gluten, which makes it a popular alternative to wheat for those on a gluten-free diet.
Given it’s relatively high in fibre and protein, quinoa is very filling. For this reason, it may help promote healthy weight management and gut health.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious tuber or root vegetable. Sweet potatoes contain generous amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Sweet potatoes are also rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help neutralise harmful free radicals in your cells to protect you against chronic disease.
Like quinoa, buckwheat is considered a pseudocereal. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and does not contain gluten. Buckwheat contains both protein and fibre and has more minerals and antioxidants than many other grains.
Studies suggest that it may be particularly beneficial for heart health and blood sugar regulation.
Chickpeas are part of the legume family. They contain many vitamins and minerals, including iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Not only have chickpeas been linked to improved heart and digestive health, but some test-tube studies also suggest they may also help protect against certain types of cancer.
Beetroot is full of vitamins and minerals, along with powerful antioxidants and plant compounds. Further, beets are also high in inorganic nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide lowers blood pressure and may decrease the risk of several diseases. Beet juice is also very high in nitrates, and athletes sometimes use it to enhance their physical performance.
8. Kidney beans
Kidney beans are a member of the legume family and a variety of the common bean. Kidney beans are an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. They are also rich in antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanins and isoflavones. Their numerous health benefits include improved blood sugar regulation and a reduced risk of colon cancer.
However, be sure to cook them first because raw or improperly cooked kidney beans are toxic.
Oranges are especially rich in vitamin c, potassium, and some B vitamins. In addition, they contain citric acid, as well as several potent plant compounds and antioxidants.
Eating oranges may improve heart health and help prevent kidney stones. They may also increase the absorption of iron from other foods you eat, which may help protect against iron deficiency anemia.
Apples are replete with many vitamins and minerals. They are a known source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre. Apples may also offer several health benefits, including improved blood sugar management and heart health. Early research suggests that adding apples to your diet may even be associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. Perhaps, an apple a day really does keep the doctor away!
Blueberries are generally regarded as a superfood due to their high antioxidant content. Blueberries also contain high amounts of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
Studies have shown that blueberries are a good source of antioxidant compounds, which can help protect your body against damaging free radicals. Some studies suggest that eating blueberries may even improve memory in older adults.
Some research has indicated that grapefruit consumption could enhance heart health and improve blood sugar management. Furthermore, other research suggests that certain compounds found in grapefruit could help prevent kidney stones, lower cholesterol levels, and even potentially slow the growth and spread of cancer cells.