Carbohydrates are the building blocks for your body. Carbs provide energy for accomplishing daily tasks, and also provide fuel for your body to rebuild and maintain healthy organ, muscle and nervous system cells. Your body breaks down carbohydrates for fuel with the help of an enzyme called amylase. Several healthy foods can help provide carbohydrates in your diet.
Whole-grain bagels are rich sources of healthy carbohydrates. They are made up of complex carbohydrates, which your body turns into glucose as a slow, even rate for consistent energy throughout your day, according to Phyllis Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Choose whole-grain bagels topped with peanut butter for breakfast or a mid-morning snack -- this provides protein and complex carbohydrates for energy, and dietary fiber for proper digestion.
Hummus is a Mediterranean dip made from chickpeas, olive oil, cumin, fresh garlic and lemon juice. This dip is a healthy source of complex carbohydrates, as well as essential fatty acids for heart health, dietary fiber and zinc. It is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, which are lipids that promote heart disease. Pair hummus with whole-wheat pita slices, which provide additional carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
Raw vegetables are simple snacks that provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals, such as boron, copper and vitamins C and A. Pack fresh cucumber slices, carrots, bell pepper slices, broccoli florets or cauliflower in a storage container or freezer bag for nutrition on the go. Raw vegetables are also abundant sources of carbohydrates for energy. Choose organic vegetables whenever possible to reduce your intake of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which are toxic to your body. Pair fresh vegetables with hummus or baba ghannouj, a Mediterranean dip made from roasted eggplant.
You can take smoothies with you for work breaks, gym workouts or road trips. Choose fruits and vegetables, such as berries, apples, fresh spinach leaves, oranges, carrots, celery, papaya, mangoes or kiwi fruits, for nutritious smoothies. These ingredients provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help your body ward off disease, as well as carbohydrates for cellular repair. Add low-fat milk or soy milk to boost the carbohydrate content of smoothies, and to give your smoothies a creamier texture.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Carbohydrates -- Overview
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 2010
- Wheat Foods Council: Grain Snacks
- veggie tray image by SKYDIVECOP from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.