The Atkins Diet Ain’t All That: 5 Reasons to Consume Carbohydrates!

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With so much information out there either for or against carbohydrates, it’s often very confusing as to whether we should or shouldn’t eat them, in what form, how often, and at what time of the day. Let us take a moment to clarify what a carbohydrate actually is. A carbon molecule, two hydrogen molecules and an oxygen molecule all together are what comprise a carbohydrate; it’s as simple as that, no matter what form it is in. The difference is how they come packaged – for example, white bread is a highly refined grain with little to no enzymes, water content, fiber, or nutrients, so it digests very quickly and is ‘gluey’ in the body.

A piece of broccoli however has much more of all of the above, making it digest slower and providing the body with much more nutritional value, while providing a feeling of fullness that white bread does not. Eating carbohydrates in fruit, vegetables, legumes and tubers in their whole form is one of the best things you can do for your body and here are the reasons why:

5 Feeds Good Bacteria in the Small Intestine

Complex carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides are found in mushrooms, potatoes and beans and actually feed the good bacteria in our small intestine. Be sure to include them in salads, stir-fries, prepared as desired as they will complement any probiotics that you take by feeding them. When you introduce the probiotics in the form of yogurt, kefir, kim-chi, or other ferments, by eating the oligosaccharide rich foods alongside them, you will be increasing their chances of surviving and allowing them to prosper as well.

4 Balanced Blood Sugar

Complex carbohydrates are packaged with nutrients that slow down their digestion, meaning they don’t flood into your bloodstream unchecked causing a ruckus with your blood sugar. Instead, it allows for a steady release of energy which won’t spike blood sugar/insulin. Many fruits and vegetables even contain nutrients that actively balance your blood sugar. For a little extra help try to consume at least a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day.

3 Regulate Metabolism

Carbohydrates actually help the organs work more efficiently, particularly when they are raw and fiber rich. The nutrients nourish the organs, healing and building them as needed, and the fiber helps to sweep clean the intestinal tract for food to more effectively pass through. When your digestive tract is clean and free of debris, your metabolism with heighten and your body will be able to optimize on all levels, including weight and energy levels.

2 Helps the Functioning of the Internal Organs, Muscles and Nervous System

Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for all of these systems due to their general ease to break down for utilization. There are easy to digest sources like raw juices and certain fruits, and harder to digest sources like broccoli that will provide for time-released energy.

1 A Source of Energy

Carbohydrates are the body’s chief source of energy as you will notice in any fitness source when they explain that you need something like a banana pre-workout for energy or post-workout for glycogen replacement. All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which the body either uses or stores the muscles or fat tissue. Severe carbohydrate restrictors tend to have issues with low energy as their bodies enter a ketogenic (actually a starvation) state, surviving on fat instead as fuel.

Carbohydrates are absolutely necessary in our diets. Without them, our bodies break down fairly quickly, so be sure to get the highest quality fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and tubers that you possibly can so that you can fuel your body with the highest octane possible. You will notice a difference within a few days.

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