Welcome to our new Urban Family series by Sharon Raccah Perez, founder of 'PowerMeHealthy.' As an accredited Health Coach and healthy home food chef, Sharon will share advice based on her experiences and desire to help others see the importance of healthy living and eating.
I often hear people make statements such as, "we don't eat carbs," "our house is carb-free," or "I try to stay away from carbs, they are so bad for you." I think the 'diet' industry has worked extremely hard to have us believe that all carbs are bad for us, and it does pose the question, "Should we stay away from carbs?"
Not all carbs are created equal
Refined, processed foods such as white bread, pasta, doughnuts and croissants are not actually carbs, and I recommend you stay away from these. On the other hand, whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables are nutritious carbs and should be included in any balanced diet. It's always good to remember that we need at least nine servings of vegetables and fruits a day; they are good for our health and fill us with minerals, vitamins and fiber. Of course, we need to be mindful of the sugar intake with fruit, but let's save that discussion for another time.
Image via Wikipedia
Which grains are good grains?
Talking about whole grains usually has everyone running in the opposite direction. They seem to have a bad reputation, which leads many to ask the question, "Should I eat carbs?"
For the record, these are an example of what I mean when I say whole grains. These whole grains help you feel satiated because of the way they absorb into the body. They give you constant energy throughout the day and keep our systems healthy. Oats are great for your skin; black rice is an antioxidant; buckwheat can help lower cholesterol and teff is high in protein along with iron and calcium to keep our bones strong.
How much should you consume?
I recommend quality over quantity. You don't need to eat whole grains every day five times a week is sufficient. Consuming these grains on a regular basis will keep 'unhealthy' carb cravings at bay.
With many things in life, moderation is essential, and while I cannot tell you that carbs are always great, I do think they are a wholesome, healthy addition to any balanced diet.
Image via Pexels
Sharon's quick recipe
One of my favorite dishes is black rice; I love the flavor and texture. Try this recipe of mine for a quick, healthy meal.
½ cup of coconut milk
1 and ½ cup water
1 cup black rice
½ teaspoon ginger, grated
½ teaspoon lemongrass
½ teaspoon coriander
Place the coriander, ginger and lemongrass in a small food processor and blend into a paste. Then, in a pot or rice cooker, add the rice, water and coconut milk and cook. It should be ready in approximately 40 minutes.
[Top image via Pexels]
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