The high en­ergy foods we can grow in our gar­dens are by far the best kind of carbs. Meryn Wake­lin ex­plains why.

Go Gardening - - Healthy eating -

ar­bo­hy­drates give us en­ergy. But some carbs are bet­ter for our health than oth­ers. There are two types of car­bo­hy­drates we talk about in nu­tri­tion.

1Sim­ple car­bo­hy­drates give us a rapid spike of en­ergy. These kinds of carbs are found in the likes of white bread and sug­ary treats. If we eat too many of them too of­ten we can be­come ad­dicted to them, and that ad­dic­tion can drive fur­ther over-eat­ing of them, which in­creases the risk of dis­eases such as di­a­betes, heart dis­ease and cancer. Sim­ple car­bo­hy­drates are ba­si­cally de­rived from pro­cess­ing and re­fin­ing com­plex car­bo­hy­drates.

2Com­plex car­bo­hy­drates give us en­ergy too, but they also con­tain fi­bre plus min­er­als plus vi­ta­mins and they are es­sen­tial for our health. If we eat from our veg­etable gar­den and or­chard, we are al­ways go­ing to be eat­ing com­plex car­bo­hy­drates and we are much more likely to avoid ill­health. The sug­ars that are part of the com­plex carb food are slower to break down into sim­ple sug­ars so they give us sus­tained en­ergy. Our en­ergy lev­els re­main even through­out the day, rather than get­ting those peaks and troughs of en­ergy that drive us to make poor food choices.

Root veg­eta­bles are com­plex car­bo­hy­drate foods of the starchier va­ri­ety, thus higher in car­bo­hy­drates than other veges, but still pro­vid­ing us with an es­sen­tial va­ri­ety of min­er­als, fi­bre and vi­ta­mins.

The parsnip is an of­ten over­looked root veg­etable which we should all en­joy eat­ing, not only for its deeply sat­is­fy­ing and earthy sweet flavour but for pro­vid­ing us with its own unique se­lec­tion of nu­tri­ents. Parsnips are higher in fi­bre and lower in kilo­joules than pota­toes. They are a good source of folic acid and other B vi­ta­mins.

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