Indian Foods, Recipes Rich in Complex Carbs
What are Complex Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates have been a topic of always. When you hear the word "carbohydrates", you may visualize about the white bread, rice or pasta, and think about avoiding the white group!
But have you heard the recent buzz about complex carbohydrates and how can they be made a part of a balanced healthy diet?
Why do you need carbohydrates?
Everyone requires carbohydrates, they are the preferred source of energy for your brain and muscles. They are digested faster than protein and fat, and are the perfect fuel for your body. The quantity of carbohydrates needed by your body is highly individualized and depends on your body’s needs. Around 45 – 60 % of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates, and the preferred source should be complex carbohydrates like Buckwheat Groats Strawberry Porridge.
Buckwheat Groats Strawberry Porridge
Why are complex carbohydrates a better choice?
- Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down since their molecule structure is larger. Also, most complex carbohydrates have a plenty of fiber which moves slowly through the digestive tract. On the other hand, foods that are made up of simple carbohydrates, like - candy, pastries, refined pasta and sugar based sweets, all of them are an instant source of energy and are digested very quickly giving a rapid swing to your blood sugar. Because of which the person may feel hungry again soon after.
- Complex Carbs help us to feel satiated and full for a longer time and help in portion and eating control. Whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables have complex carbohydrates.
- In addition to regulating blood sugar, complex carbohydrates are power packed with many nutrients, they are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that simple carbohydrates may not have.
Other benefits of Complex Carbohydrates
Certain carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas and brown rice contain large amounts of tryptophan, which relax the body and help you to get a sound sleep. Oatmeal even helps your body to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep. Your body also uses carbohydrates for optimal brain function. Foods such as vegetables, oats, legumes, nuts and fruits all contain carbs that help in mental focus and aid in maintaining a healthy mood. Remember – Do not deprive your brain of carbs! It needs them!
Common Indian Foods Rich in Complex Carbohydrates
1. Whole Grains: Whole grains like barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, quinoa, bulgur wheat are rich in complex carbs. These are the healthiest grains as they are not processed. This is the same reason that they are rich in fiber. They abound in other nutrients like potassium, magnesium and phosphorus as well.
Try Quinoa Veg Upma for breakfast. Quinoa upma recipe is a truly healthy recipe made as a replacement to rava upma. What makes it healthy vegetable quinoa upma? The addition of veggies, peanuts and lemon juice.
Quinoa Veg Upma, Vegan Breakfast
At lunch time you can indulge in Buckwheat and Sprouts Khichdi. Filled with protein, complex carbs, fiber and antioxidants it is a wise choice.
Buckwheat and Sprouts Khichdi
2. Vegetables: In this food group, you will find 2 types of complex carbs – fiber and starch based. The fiber based veggies is what you should focus on rather than starch based ones like potatoes. Include more of carrot, green peas, broccoli, cabbage, colourful capsicum and a whole lot of green veggies seen in the market.
These veggies are best used to make Indian sabzis like Carrot Methi Subzi. However, potatoes should not considered as a complete culprit. A medium cooked potato is a good source of potassium.
Carrot Methi Subzi ( Delicious Diabetic Recipe)
However, you can innovatively use them to make Broccoli Paratha. Add them to your daily foods and it is not so very difficult to make up for your daily requirement of healthy carbs.
Broccoli Paratha ( Tiffin Treats)
3. Fruits: Again when we talk of fruits, choose fiber rich fruits like guava, grapefruit, apple, orange, berries, sweet lime, amla etc. Remember to avoid canned versions of any of these fruits as they will be loaded with refined carbs – sugar in the form of sugar syrup.
Fruits are best had whole. Also try and keep the skin of fruits like apple, pear etc. intact. Do not peel them, as most of the fiber lies just beneath the skin.
Alternatively include them as a part of salads like Grapefruit and Green Apple Salad. The flavours in this salad complement each other beautifully, making this a salad you will really enjoy snacking on.
Grapefruit and Green Apple Salad
It is a wise choice to include them for breakfast in the form of Oatmeal Almond Milk with Oranges too! All you need to do is put all the ingredients into a jar, give it a shake and stow it into the fridge. After it sits there for a few hours, it sets beautifully and becomes a satiating and super tasty breakfast.
Oatmeal Almond Milk with Oranges, Healthy Breakfast
Yet looking for something more interesting? Then try this Mixed Fruit Chaat. Chopped and chilled fruits are tossed with spice powders that are typically used in chaats, gives a juicy, crunchy, peppy flavoured treat that will refresh your taste buds.
Mixed Fruit Chaat, Diabetic Friendly Recipe
4. Beans and Pulses: These include moong, rajma, chana, matki etc. Soak them cook them, toss them with a few veggies and you are all set for a complex carb meal. By this we mean recipes like Masoor Beets Zucchini Peppers Lunch Salad. Pack these ingredients together in box, while packing the lemony dressing in another. Toss them together just before having for lunch.
Masoor, Beets, Zucchini , Peppers Lunch Salad, Healthy Veg One Dish Meal
One other to have them is to sprout them. Sprouting not only makes them easy to digest, but also increases the nutrient count by manifold. Learn how to make Matki Sprouts.
Sprouted and Boiled Matki
Once you have mastered the art of making sprouts, use them more creatively. Toss them with some spices and cook them like Matki Sabzi. This sprouted matki ki sabzi is a dry preparation that is usually served with phulkas and Kadhi. Learn how to make matki sabzi in a step-by-step fashion.
What is the Takeaway?
So, the type of carbs you would like to avoid are all the refined and processed grains. Also avoid a very high intake of sugary foods that just give you empty calories. Instead have more of complex carbohydrates that is power packed with a number of essential nutrients and also helps to maintain your waist line! Add more plants to your plate as they are the best source of complex carbs.
Spicy Garlic Hummus
For example, instead on munching chips, try raw veggies with Spicy Garlic Hummus ! Instead of having rice and pasta, have whole grains and whole wheat pasta. Common complex carbohydrates include – lentils, beans, whole grain products, brown rice, corn, wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, tomato, broccoli, spinach and a lot of other fruits and vegetables. Try Mushroom Barley Soup as a healthy appetizer to a meal. You could also include low fat dairy products in your diet!
Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe , Healthy Vegan Soup
So choose your diet plan wisely! Make informed choices!