If you’ve bought into the misconception that carbs ‘make you fat’ or are ‘bad,’ you’ll likely be happy to learn that they don’t and they aren’t. Of course if you overdo carb-rich foods, they could contribute to weight gain, but, then again, so could too much of any kind of food.
If you are currently shunning carbs, here are five reasons why you should invite them back onto your plate.
Carbs feed your brain.
Seems like a good enough reason to me. Seriously though, your brain’s primary source of fuel is glucose—the breakdown product of carbohydrates. If you don’t eat enough you may be unable to think clearly, concentrate or easily remember things.
Carbs can promote a healthy gut.
Gut health is all the rage right now. Before there was emerging research on the gut health benefits of probiotics from fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut or kefir, the focus was on fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies, beans, legumes and whole grains. Why? These carbohydrate foods supply soluble and insoluble fiber that help feed and rejuvenate the ‘good’ bacteria in your intestine. These good bacteria ensure that digestion runs smoothly by keeping you regular. Regularity can also help you keep uncomfortable bloating at bay.
Carbs can lift your mood.
Now, I’m not suggesting you turn to classic carbohydrate comfort foods like cakes, cookies, ice cream or candy to turn your frown upside-down. Since carbohydrate foods produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone that elevates mood, suppresses appetite and calms, eating them regularly can have a positive impact on your overall frame of mind. On the flip side, a diet too low in carbs may cause you to feel tired, angry and tense, i.e. not your best and most vibrant self.
Carbs are nutrient dense.
Beyond being rich in fiber, whole grains also supply various antioxidants, vitamins B and E and some healthy fats. Of course fruits and veggies are also bursting with a host of different nutrients that are linked to prevention of certain types of cancer, heart health, weight control and more. Filling your plate with nutrient-rich foods such as these can do wonders for your body.
They just taste good.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with eating foods simply because they taste good. Am I right? And yes that goes for all the nutritious carbs out there, as well as those that contain added sugars and are the perfect treat. Strike a healthy balance with your intake of the nutrient rich and not-so nutrient rich and there’s no reason to deprive yourself of carbohydrates.
Beth, a.k.a Queen Nutrition Bee