There is usually an abundance of carbohydrates in just about every holiday feast, and plates tend to end up piled high with these tempting foods. While the body does need some carbs in order to function, the wrong types of carbohydrates will only leave you feeling bloated and puffy, so be sure to include a selection of healthy carbs on your holiday table this year.
Not only are sweet potatoes packed with fiber, but they are also a fantastic source of potassium and vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest carbs out there, and do so much good for the body. From aiding in cell repair to restocking energy levels, this is one carb that definitely deserves pride of place on your holiday table.
Not only is squash a healthy source of carbohydrates, but it is also a regular feature of many holiday feasts, and is an easy ingredient to incorporate into yours if you do not usually do so. From a roasted butternut squash soup to baked acorn squash, this is colorful ingredient that is extremely easy to cook with.
Legumes consist of everything from beans to peas to lentils to peanuts, and, in addition to being healthy carbs, these foods are also packed with plenty of other nutrients. From fiber to protein to iron to folate, legumes can really give the body a great boost, and there are several different ways in which they can feature on your holiday table.
When it comes to carbohydrates in fruit, berries are one of the most nutritional carb sources out there, as they are rich in many minerals and vitamins. Blueberries, in particular, contain polyphenols and antioxidants that have been linked to various health benefits, and studies have shown that eating just one portion of blueberries a week can really help with preventing cognitive decline due to age.
While chestnuts are a nut, they actually have more in common with sweet potatoes, in the sense that they are primarily made up of starch. While chestnuts are high in carbohydrates, they also contain large amounts of vitamin C, folates and mono-unsaturated fats, making them a healthy and seasonal food for your holiday table.
Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that the body requires, as well as a healthy dose of iron and a range of antioxidants. If you usually serve rice at your holiday table, try swapping it this year for quinoa, as this makes for a far healthier rice alternative, and will add a contemporary twist to your holiday feast. Quinoa also works well in salads, and can be beautifully combined with some of the legumes mentioned above.
When it comes to planning the carbs that you will be including on your holiday table, try to incorporate as many of these healthier options as possible. From sweet potatoes to quinoa, these healthy carbs will enable you to really indulge in your holiday feast, without any of the guilt that usually pops up afterwards.