28 Best Carb Foods for Optimal Energy & Weight Loss

Image via Bembu

By Bembu

Carbohydrates have been getting a bad reputation for several years now as the culprit behind weight gain, fatigue, and other adverse health conditions. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth, and most health professionals will ask you to think twice before eliminating an entire food group from your diet. The key is to know which carbohydrates to eat and which to stay far, far away from.

Plant-based foods help you lose weight and gain energy because they are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They naturally detox the body, improve the efficiency of the digestive process, and give the immune system a boost. On the other hand, highly processed carbohydrate foods, such as refined sugar and sweet treats, will give you brain fog and increase your waistline. Here’s a list of the 27 best carbohydrate foods for optimal energy and weight loss.


1. Blueberries

One cup of blueberries contains 21 grams of carbohydrates, and they’re worth every gram of it. As one of the world’s healthiest foods, blueberries have been shown to alter genes that regulate fat-burning and storage. They have also been shown to enhance energy levels by reducing abdominal fat, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, and improving insulin sensitivity. This is possibly due to their unique polyphenol content. Anthocyanins are a special type of antioxidant with promising results. According to Doctor Steven Bolling, heart surgeon and head of the cardioprotection laboratory at the University of Michigan, blueberries, and anthocyanins show promising results in regards to these health conditions that regulate energy levels.

2. Bananas

Bananas are a great food to eat if you suffer from a bloated belly because they are high in prebiotic indigestible carbohydrates. This means that they help fill you up and provide “fuel” to the good bacteria in your gut so that it can remove toxins and keep things moving. One study found that women who consumed a banana twice a day as a pre-workout snack improve their gastrointestinal symptoms and reduced stomach bloat. The authors of the study concluded that bananas could be a useful food for women who have weight problems. Add them to smoothies or eat them plain with a handful of nuts for a protein boost.

3. Apples

Apples Best Carb Foods for Optimal Energy Weight Loss

Apples are an excellent source of fiber, which has been shown to help you lose weight and improve your energy levels. Because they’re high in easily digestible carbs, eating an apple a half hour or so before you workout is a great way to increase your energy levels without feeling bloated or weighed down from a high-carb energy bar. A 2003 study showed that women who ate three apples a day lost 1.22 kg after 12 weeks. They also had a more significant reduction in blood glucose. Because they are naturally sweet, apples make an excellent replacement for sugar in smoothies, baked goods, and on top of oatmeal.

4. Broccoli

Eating your greens is a great way to lose weight and increase your energy levels because they’re packed full of fiber and antioxidants that naturally detox the body and improve digestion to help get rid of excess weight. Broccoli contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane that has been shown to fight obesity. One study found that mice who were fed sulforaphane reduce their visceral fat by 20 percent, which was 15 percent lower than the control group. The study also found that sulforaphane had positive effects on gut bacteria to remove toxins and promote weight loss, which can help you feel more energized.

5. Raw Cacao

You don’t need to stop eating chocolate if you want to lose weight. You just have to eat the right kind. Raw cacao powder is one of the best sources of bioflavonoids on the planet, which might be the key to losing weight and keeping it off, according to one study. Flavonoids are naturally occurring bioactive compounds that have been shown to increase energy expenditure and decrease fat absorption. Unlike cocoa, raw cacao is unprocessed and hasn’t been stripped of its nutrients. Loko for it at your local health food store and add it to smoothies for a treat.


6. Kamut

Kamut Best Carb Foods

Kamut is an ancient grain packed full of protein and omega three fatty acids. It’s also relatively low in calories. One half-cup serving contains 140 calories and has 30 percent more protein than wheat. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it a great replacement if you’re sensitive to gluten. Research shows that eating kamut helps lower cholesterol, balance hormones, improve cognitive function, fight the common cold, assist with bone structure support, and detox the body. Its high fiber content helps push food through the digestive tract to aid in weight loss. Enjoy kamut as a side dish at dinner and prepare for a great morning workout the next day.

7. Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are the king of anti-inflammatory foods. Chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and fatigue. One study found that tart cherries alter abdominal adiposity (belly fat), adipose gene transcription, and inflammation to promote weight loss and reduce the risk of metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. One cup of cherries contains 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 16 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. True tart cherries are hard to find, but they’re worth seeking out at your local health store for their amazing health benefits.

8. Sweet Potatoes

 

Along with berries, sweet potatoes are high in the polyphenol antioxidant anthocyanins to fight free-radical accumulation, detox fat from the body and keep your immune system working at its best. They’re also full of slowly digested carbohydrates, which is the best kind as they do not spike your blood sugar levels as refined sugars do. By improving your insulin sensitivity, you’ll reduce the number of calories that are converted into fat. Additionally, sweet potatoes are high in vitamins including A, C, and B6 to give you lots of energy through your day. Enjoy a baked sweet potato with a salad for lunch or turn them into sweet potatoes fries when you’re craving the fast-food kind.

9. Buckwheat

Despite having “wheat” in its name, buckwheat is a gluten-free grain, which makes it easier to digest then other grains if you’re sensitive to gluten. Buckwheat is a true superfood because it’s full of fiber to prevent glucose from being dumped into your bloodstream too quickly. Fiber also helps send a steady supply of fuel to your brain so you’ll be thinking clearly all day long. Research shows that buckwheat has health-promoting benefits equal to or better than that of fruits and vegetables. Put buckwheat in the rotation along with your other favorite ancient grains when looking for a delicious side dish at dinner.

10. Lentils

Lentils punch a robust nutritional punch that includes 116 calories, 9 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, and 1.8 grams of naturally occurring sugar per a 100-gram serving. The same amount also contains 127 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6 to take care of all of your energy needs. Additionally, one serving has an impressive 45 percent of folate, 70 percent of manganese, and 58 percent of thiamine. The most satisfying way to enjoy lentils is to create a delicious soup. Be sure to add other delicious vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, tomatoes, and onions.

11. Oats

Oats best carb foods

 

 

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