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Carbohydrates are important macronutrients required for optimal health. Of late, however, carbs have earned a bad reputation for being responsible for hampering fitness goals. Like all other foods, there are some varieties of carbohydrates that are healthier than the others; the consumption of these shall only be advantageous, no matter what one's nutritional goals may be. Here is a list of carbs you must eat - in other words, foods that should be part of everyone's diet.

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Quinoa

In recent times, quinoa is well-known as a superfood that has high nutritious value and good taste as well. Like all whole grains, carbs in this form are highly recommended for daily consumption, but quinoa offers added health benefits. It contains far higher amounts of protein and amino acids as compared to other grains. It is also rich in micronutrients like magnesium, manganese, calcium, Vitamin B and E, and an excellent source of fiber as well. Being the least allergenic of all grains, quinoa is a wonderful alternative for those having gluten allergies or a general preference for gluten-free foods. There are numerous preparations into which quinoa can be incorporated or best of all, be consumed all by itself.

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Yogurt

Though some people consider yogurt to be a protein, it has significantly higher carb-content, allowing it the label of a "good carb”. Apart from offering a good serving of protein, it also contains probiotics or active bacteria cultures that serve various purposes in the human body; most significantly, they help maintain a healthy gut, though they may boost immunity and prevent vaginal infections in some cases. The best part is, there are various kinds of yogurts, which have varied methods of preparation as well as distinct nutritional profiles. Depending upon which macro and micronutrients one wants to inculcate into their diet, one can choose from a wide variety of options.

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Legumes

Legumes are another important carbohydrate. They are complex carbohydrates with high quantities of protein and fibre. This makes them highly satiating such that despite a low-calorie serving of legumes, the consumer feels full for longer periods. Also, being a vegetarian food that offers much protein intake, legumes are great options for those looking to build muscle without resorting to animal proteins. Though some people do not find legumes to be very appetising, there are about 19,000 varieties of lentils, peas and beans in existence - one is sure to find one that appeases their palate.

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Brown Rice

White rice is being widely recognized as a poor dietary choice these days, as more and more research reiterates that it the health benefits it proffers are outweighed by the health risks associated with it. However, for those who enjoy rice and need to consume it on a daily basis should switch over to brown rice which is now becoming a popular alternative. This is because brown rice is linked to enhanced well-being; brown rice provides much energy as well as other nutrients including fibre, selenium, manganese and so on. Such nutrients help increase antioxidants, lower cholesterol, protect one against heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, so on and so forth. Thus, brown rice is a wonderful substitute for rice-lovers who can indulge guilt-free!

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Popcorn

Yes, popcorn! Not the salty, buttery variety, which one gets at movie halls and as packaged snacks, but the plain, natural kind. The latter form is full of whole grains, antioxidants, and fiber. All these equip the body to function and perform better. This makes it the ideal snack that could replace cookies, chips and other unhealthy carb/fat-rich snacks. It is noteworthy, however, that homemade popcorn that is air-popped or made with just a little bit of oil is the only kind recommended for consumption. If that is too bland, perhaps slight seasoning with salt or salt substitute would be fine. But cheese, butter, flavorings and other additives are completely inadvisable, for they neutralize the health value of plain popcorn.

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Fruits

Of all sweet carbohydrates, fruits are perhaps the one of the few varieties that makes it to the "good carbs" list. This is because despite the high fructose content, fruits have many, many nutritive qualities. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, alongside being a major source of dietary fibre. Regular consumption of fruits in limited portions has been associated with lowered risk of various cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes and other conditions, depending upon the specific nutritional profile of fruits consumed. It is important to remember that even as fruits make for healthy alternatives to packaged snacks, not all kinds maybe conducive to one's particular fitness goals. Therefore, one should choose the fruits they'd like to consume wisely and eat regulated portions of these on a daily basis, if possible.

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Oats

Oats pack a punch of carbohydrates and improves heart health. This health food has soluble fiber and is a great substitute to wild rice and flaxseed. A half-cup serving of oats contains 10 grams of proteins and provides muscle-friendly strength. Apart from this, intake of oats offers lower cholesterol and can help with weight management. Oats make for easy-to-make breakfast and provide blood-sugar friendly carb.

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Carrots

This root vegetable has a crisp texture. Typically, carrots are orange in colour, but one can also find purple and yellow varieties of carrots as well. People who are on a low-carb diet generally rule out consumption of carrots from their diet. Carrots are amazing source of Vitamin A, C, B-6, and potassium. The fat-soluble compounds found in carrots treat a range of cancers. They can also reduce the chances of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.


Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.