If you are an athlete or a beginner looking to get into shape, healthy starches can play an important role in your diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with energy and help to fuel your workouts, but not all carbs are created equal. Refined flours often times lack essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, so incorporating healthier starchy options such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, oats and pulses can give us the sustained energy we need while also providing valuable nutrients. In this blog post we will explore why these starches should be part of your balanced diet and how they can help fuel your fitness journey!
What are starches and why are they important for a healthy diet
Starches are carbohydrates that are essential for a healthy diet. Vegetables, beans, and whole grains all contain starches and provide a good source of complex carbohydrates to help meet your body’s energy needs. They also provide essential nutrients, such as B vitamins and dietary fibers which help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Eating starches in moderation can also improve digestion by providing some good bacteria that improves digestive health. To get adequate amounts of these beneficial nutrients, it is important to include a variety of starches in your daily diet. Vegetables like beans, lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash are great sources of starches with their own additional nutritional benefits – making them an excellent choice for a healthy lifestyle!
High-fiber starches to incorporate into your diet
Healthy starches are an essential part of maintaining a balanced diet. Incorporating high-fiber starches into your regular meals can bring countless health benefits such as improved digestion, weight control and better blood sugar levels. Some examples of healthy, high-fiber choices include whole grain breads and grains like oats, quinoa, barley, wheat berries and brown rice. Not only will incorporating these nutritious starches into your diet ensure that you’re meeting all nutritional needs, but it also provides flavorsome alternatives to standard carbohydrate sources for meal times. So make sure to include plenty of healthy starches in your next grocery haul!
a. Whole grains
Whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet! They provide complex carbohydrates that fuel the body with energy throughout the day. Whole grains are some of nature’s most nutritious foods and offer significant health benefits, including aiding in better digestion, providing vitamins and minerals, reducing the risk of developing certain diseases, and even promoting weight loss. Including more whole grains into your daily meals is beneficial for long-term health and can be incorporated in a variety of versatile ways from snacks to sides to main dishes. While it may take some extra effort initially to properly shop for and prepare whole grain foods for a healthy meal plan, this process is well worth it when considering the numerous health benefits that come with making this choice.
Legumes are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates! They provide the body with many essential nutrients, including protein, dietary fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. One advantage to adding legumes to a diet is that they are very versatile! Rich in proteins and fibers, they can be used in soups and stews to give extra texture and thickness, as well as being a great addition to salads. Also economical – legumes are a cost effective way to ensure essential nutrients are consumed on a regular basis. Both canned or dried legumes can be used for different recipes so it’s easy to fit them into any healthy diet plan. Introducing reasonably priced legumes into a meal routine offers significant health benefits while fitting into any budget.
For a delicious and nutritious side dish, potatoes are an ideal choice! A single baked potato provides a good amount of Vitamin C, iron, and dietary fiber. Plus, the added bonus of potassium means that potatoes can be part of a balanced diet. Potato skins are also full of nutrients, so you can even keep them for a little extra texture in your dishes! Peanut oil is the best way to prepare potatoes for frying- it reduces the amount of saturated fat in the food. With its versatility and nourishing properties, adding potatoes to your meals can bring out the best flavors while providing essential vitamins and minerals.
Tips for incorporating more starches into your meals
One of the simplest ways to incorporate more starches into your meals is to choose whole grain carbohydrates. Examples of healthy whole grains include quinoa, brown rice, barley, and millet. When making these starches a part of your diet, you can start with small servings such as ¼ cup cooked grains. Increasing the amount over time as you get used to it can help you adjust to adding more starches in your meals. Other than just cooking whole grains, you can also choose root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes for a tasty source of nutrition that is rich in starch content. These starchy vegetables are full of fiber and provide many other essential minerals and vitamins too. Eating root vegetables regularly can provide numerous health benefits so make sure to incorporate them into your meals too!
Sample recipe: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
– 4 medium sweet potatoes
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 red onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– ½ teaspoon ground cumin
– ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– 2 cups cooked quinoa
– ½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 ripe avocado, diced
– Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they are tender.
3. While the potatoes are baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to the onion mixture and stir to combine.
5. Add the quinoa and black beans to the skillet and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes.
6. Once the potatoes are done baking, split them open lengthwise and stuff with the quinoa mixture. Top each potato with diced avocado, cilantro leaves and a sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired.
7. Serve immediately and enjoy!
By incorporating starches into your meals, you can easily create a delicious and nutritious side dish or main course that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. The stuffed sweet potatoes recipe is just one example of how adding starches can help you make healthy and delicious meals out of simple ingredients. With the right combination of starches, proteins and vegetables, you can make a tasty meal that is sure to please! So don’t forget to add some starch to your meals – it’s an easy way to create nutritious and delicious dishes. Enjoy!