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Time for a Comeback: 6 Carbs You’ll Want in Your Diet

Time for a Comeback: 6 Carbs You’ll Want in Your Diet

As early as 1972, Robert J. Atkins’ food plan suggested limiting carbohydrates in favor of proteins and fats as a way to lose weight. More recently, the popular paleo trend has promoted the health benefits of returning to the diet of our hunter-gather ancestors. However, a new study from The Quarterly Review of Biology suggests that complex carbohydrates played a crucial role in the development of the human brain. The findings suggest that we have been too quick to slash carbs from our grocery lists.

In today’s gluten-free world, many nutrient-rich starches have disappeared from the carts of health-conscious shoppers. As a result, diets today are missing the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutritional values that cannot always be recuperated with artificial supplements.

Here is a list of six carbohydrates that deserve a spot in your weekly rotation:

1. Purple Potatoes: not your average spud

This more vibrant cousin to the white potato packs a serious punch of antioxidants. When steamed or boiled, they can protect against free radicals. Plus, studies have shown that the high levels of potassium found in purple potatoes can reduce blood pressure.

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Purple potatoes

    Dr. Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton hopes to bring them back into favor. “Mention ‘potato’ and people think ‘fattening, high carbs, empty calories.’ In reality, when prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine, or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful phytochemicals and vitamins.”

    2. It’s a seed, not a grain, it’s buckwheat!

    This fruit seed is often mistaken for a grain since it is commonly used as a healthy, gluten-free substitute to flour. Popular uses of buckwheat include French galettes and soba noodles, both wholesome alternatives to wheat-based batters or pastas.

    Buckwheat

      “Buckwheat is loaded with health benefits… it is a great source of heart-healthy fiber, which helps keep you full longer. It also provides hunger-satisfying protein without any of the cholesterol or saturated fat that animal protein contains. Plus, it offers eight essential amino acids, making this complete protein a smart nutritional choice for vegetarians,” says Elaine Gordon, a master-certified health education specialist.

      3. The return of Quaker’s Oats

      While often paired with rich ingredients like honey, brown sugar and cream, oats are an important addition to your diet given their content of soluble fiber. Beneficial side effects of increased oats intake, according to The Whole Grain Council, include lowering bad cholesterol, reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and controlling blood pressure.

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      Oats

        Most recently, oats have made a big comeback as a healthy breakfast that is simple to prepare and a wonderful alternative to sugary cereals.

        4. Farro, it’s not just an ancient king in Egypt

        A wonderful alternative to pasta, Farro is an ancient Etruscan grain that is chock-full of nutrients like vitamins B and E as well as fiber. A study from Harvard Medical School notes that vitamin E “acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage. Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”

        Farro

          For a heartier meal, try adding farro to your regular soup or salad recipes. Or, create a healthy dessert by adding warmed fruit and honey to the cooked grain.

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          5. Change up your bean routine

          Despite being a carbohydrate, kidney beans can actually help you lose weight given their high levels of soluble fiber. Beans and legumes are harder to digest which can suppress appetite. The iron content in kidney beans is a bonus too. Daniel Pendick, executive editor of Harvard Men’s Health writes, “one-quarter of the world’s population is anemic, meaning they don’t get enough iron to produce the red blood cells and oxygen-carrying hemoglobin needed to nourish their myriad cells.” A diet of iron-rich foods, however, is the best way to combat deficiency.

          Kidney beans

            Get creative with kidney beans as you would with black beans. They can be used for more than chili and soups. Try adding an extra dose of iron and protein to salads or sauces.

            6. Fill up on fiber with butternut squash

            Butternut squash contains high levels of Vitamins A and C. Jessica Kovarick, a licensed and registered dietician says, “Beta carotene imparts the orange-yellow color of butternut squash. In the body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health. Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, also is important in maintaining healthy mucous membranes and other soft tissues, and it plays a role in promoting healthy skin.” Of course, if that is not enough, this healthy carb’s fiber content aids digestion and its high levels of potassium maintain heart health.

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            Butternut squash

              Butternut squash is delicious when simply roasted in olive oil and garnished with salt and pepper. If you are looking for a prepare-ahead meal, try making soup and stock your fridge or freezer for Fall and Winter meals.

              The Verdict: Eradication is extreme

              While it is not recommended to start reaching for white bread and plain pasta, there are benefits to adding nutrient-rich carbohydrates back into your shopping basket. Often, understanding the vitamins found in the groceries you buy can greatly improve your overall diet, health and happiness.

              Whether you are gluten-free, paleo or in search of the next big trend, the message is clear: some carbohydrates are just too good to pass up.

              Featured photo credit: Melissa’s Produce, mylifeisdelicious, vegancoconutzone, Jason Sani, helloantioxidants, Barley Swine via Instagram

              Featured photo credit: Cutting Bread by dinner series via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on February 11, 2021

              The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

              The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

              Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

              Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

              1. Humans Of New York

              Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

               2.  Paris in Four Months

              Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

              3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

              George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

              4. Andrew Knapp

              Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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              5. Idafrosk

              Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

              6. GrandmaBetty33

              Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

              7. Maya_on_the_Move

              Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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              8. Leoleoparis

              Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

              9. Jacob Santiago

              Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

              10. Julie’s Kitchen

              Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

              11. iloveplaymo

              iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

              12. “Red” Hong Yi

              Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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              13. Alexis Diaz

              A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

              14. Murad Osmann

              Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

              15. Simone Bramate

              Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

              16. Willie Kessel

              Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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              17. Nick Ulivieri

              Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

              18. Jo Jerry

              Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

              19. GoPro

              GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

              20. Vin Farrell

              Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

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