Carbohydrate-rich foods naturally contain varying levels of glucose. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products, grains, seeds and legumes. The body breaks down these foods and converts them into glucose for energy. Every cell uses glucose and it's the brain's only energy source.
Carbohydrates are broken down at various speeds, depending on their complexity. Simple carbohydrates, like fructose, a sugar found in fruits, rapidly enters the bloodstream as glucose for a quick source of energy. Complex carbohydrates, which contain a lot of fiber and complex starches, like barley or beans, enter the bloodstream as glucose more slowly. They provide a more sustained source of energy to the body.
Nutritionally speaking, complex carbohydrates make healthier food choices. They tend to be nutrient dense, containing important vitamins and minerals in addition to complex sugars. They also contain fiber, the part of a plant that remains undigested and passes through the body largely intact. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. It's found in foods like beans, apples, oatmeal and lentils. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the diet. Its laxative effect promotes regularity and helps prevent constipation. It's found in foods like brown rice, carrots and whole grain breads.Learn More
Fiber can be found in a wide variety of foods, but to get the highest amount quickly, consume a diet heavy in legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, pistachios and sunflower seeds can also increase fiber intake.Full Answer >
The foods with the highest levels of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots and dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach. Vitamin A is an important nutrient for keeping a person's immune system and vision healthy.Full Answer >
Examples of foods containing simple carbohydrates are blackberries, cake, carbonated soft drinks, cookies, fruit juice, lemons, melons, pasta, raspberries and candy. Foods that include complex carbohydrates include asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, lettuce, oatmeal, pinto beans, radishes, split peas, watercress, whole wheat flour and zucchini. Carbohydrates are divided into simple or complex types based on the number of sugars they contain in their chemical makeup.Full Answer >
Many foods contain vitamin B12, but some of the foods with the highest B12 content include shellfish, liver, fish and crustaceans. Fortified cereals, red meat, low fat dairy products, eggs and cheese are other foods rich in this vitamin.Full Answer >