TOP 10 CARB CHOICES
Here are Mind Muscle Spirit’s top ten favorite carbs! I know what your thinking, “No! Not carbs!” Really though, carbohydrates are very important to our everyday health. It is important to note that not all carbs are created equal. Just like, not all calories are created equal. Five hundred calories of kale is very different from 500 calories of M&Ms. The same goes for carbs. The type, quality, and quantity of your carb intake make the difference. Carbs are converted into glucose in the body, which is a form of sugar (not the same as processed sugar). Every cell in our bodies need glucose to survive, so without carbs we could not live. Being diligent about getting your carbs from a good source rather than candy, cakes, or other highly processed foods is key. There are three different types of carbs you should consume, these are: sugar, starch, and fiber. Sugar (the good king, NOT candy) carbs include fruit, starch carbs include legumes, various vegetables and whole grains, and fiber carbs include fruits, vegetables, and legumes. The higher the fiber a carb has the better. Fiber is extremely important to our health and 99% of people don’t consume enough fiber in a day.
By replacing the fatty, processed sugary foods and drinks with high fiber and starchy carbs your body with thank you and you will ultimately reduce your calorie intake as well. With that, you can see why these are our ten favorite carbs to eat!
Sweet potatoes have so many amazing qualities. They are high in vitamin C and A, which are important for supporting the body’s immune function and organ function. Vitamins C and A are also antioxidants which protect cells from aging and disease. Purple sweet potatoes are even higher in antioxidants because of their deep purple pigment. Sweet potatoes are also high in manganese, which helps the body to produce collagen promoting skin and bone health. Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber, making them a great carb to add to your diet. Another great thing about sweet potatoes is that they contain resistant starch, which is a prebiotic. Prebiotics are the foods that essentially “feed” all the good bacteria residing in your gut. The more good gut bacteria the healthier and stronger your immune system is.
Sweet potatoes are great baked in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 425 or cut up and roasted at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
Quinoa is a great carb because it contains all nine essential amino acids, high in protein, and is gluten free. This grain is higher in fiber than most other grains, which makes it an excellent carb choice. Quinoa also contains high amounts of manganese, magnesium, iron, and potassium. It also has a low glycemic index which also helps to control blood sugar.
To cook quinoa simply add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water, bringing it to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat and cover until it has absorbed all the water.
Brown rice is a whole grain that is high in fiber, which is why it is a carb we love. Brown rice aids in lowering cholesterol, moves waste through the digestive tract, and may reduce the formation of blood clots in the body. Because brown rice also helps the body to feel full it helps with weight loss. Brown rice, like quinoa, also has a low glycemic index.
To cook brown rice bring water to a boil then add brown rice lowering the heat and covering. Once it begins to boil again leave it for 45-55 minutes.
Oats are also gluten free whole grains that are high in fiber and antioxidants. Oats are high in manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Oats are also very filling and can help keep you full longer reducing your calorie intake.
When cooking oats it is best to use whole unprocessed oats. Instant oats are the most processed type and don’t provide the health benefits that whole oats do. Bring one cup of water to a boil and add in ½ cup of whole oats. Once the oats are added lower heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Legumes (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, etc.)
Legumes are a good source of protein and carbs. They contain a high amount of fiber making them a good choice carb. Legumes also help to stabilize blood sugar, and like the other carbs discussed keep your full longer helping with weight loss.
When buying legumes you can buy them raw and soak them in water yourself or buy them canned. If you buy them canned, make sure you purchase a can with BPA free lining and that the legumes do not have any salt added.
There are a number of studies that exists proving that apple improve our neurological health and even protect the brain from dementia. Apples are also high in vitamin C and B-complex vitamins. Apples are also high in fiber.
When purchasing apples ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS buy organic. These are on the Dirty Dozen list, which means there are one of twelve fruits and vegetables that conventional versions contain the most toxins that are harmful to the body.
Blueberries are high in fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin c, vitamin B6, and their phytonutrient content supports heart health. Their high fiber content makes them a great carb choice!
When purchasing blueberries ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS buy organic. These are on the Dirty Dozen list, which means there are one of twelve fruits and vegetables that conventional versions contain the most toxins that are harmful to the body.
Bananas contain resistant starch like sweet potatoes so they contain prebiotics, which are the foods that essentially “feed” all the good bacteria residing in your gut. The more good gut bacteria the healthier and stronger your immune system is. Bananas are also high in potassium, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, and fiber,
When purchasing bananas it is not essential that you purchase organic because you are not eating the skin. Organic is always the best option to avoid consuming any unwanted toxins and pathogens that harm the body.
Carrots are high in vitamin A, antioxidants, and fiber.
While carrots are not necessarily on the Dirty Dozen list, it is still important that you purchase organic carrots when possible. This is because you eat the entire carrot even the skin and that is where the toxins and pathogens from pesticides may reside.
Beets are low in calories and are high in folate, vitamin C, and fiber. Beets also contain nitrates from their deep purple pigment that help in lowering cholesterol and even improve athletic ability. If you’re looking for an all natural pre-workout, try juicing beets and drinking a glass before working out!