Benefits Of Carbohydrates
The three main macronutrients required by the healthy working of the human body are proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are quite beneficial for the body. They are the source of immediate energy required by the body to perform numerous physical and mental activities. The multifold benefits that carbohydrates provide to us include:
1.Source of immediate energy
The most important benefit of carbohydrates is that they provide instant energy to the body in form of glucose. When we intake food rich in carbohydrate the digestive enzymes of the mouth, stomach and intestine quickly break them into simple sugars. These sugars are ultimately converted into glucose. This glucose is absorbed through the intestinal walls and flows into the bloodstream. Then it is either distributed to body cells and muscles for immediate use, or is retained as reserve energy as glycogen in the liver and the muscles. Excessive amount of carbohydrates are also stored as fat.
2.Prevents the breakdown of muscle tissue.
When the body needs immediate energy for performing physical activities, it first uses glucose from carbohydrates for this purpose. If insufficient amount of glucose from carbohydrates is available, then body converts glycogen stored in the fatty tissues into glucose. Further if more energy is required, energy is obtained by burning the protein tissues stored in the body muscles. Sufficient availability of carbohydrates in the body makes glucose available for providing energy, thus preventing the breakdown of muscle tissues.
3.Complex carbohydrates aid the process of digestion.
Dietary fiber is one of the most important constituents of our diet and is composed of complex carbohydrates, which cannot be digested and converted into glucose by digestive enzymes present in the body. Insoluble fiber such as cellulose, some type of hemicelluloses, whole grains and lignin in plants are a few such substances that are indigestible and stimulate peristalsis. It is this muscle movement that moves food along the colon and all through the digestive tract. They also add bulk to the food, keeping its movement slow in the large intestine and facilitating the process of digestion. Sufficient intake of carbohydrates thus prevents digestive disorders like, constipation, diverticulitis, and colon cancer.
4.Prevents abrupt rise in sugar levels.
Sometimes, intake of carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index result in a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This happens due to the quick breakdown of these carbs into glucose, which raises sugar levels. This “sugar-spike” results in appetite swings, food cravings, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin insensitivity. The presence of dietary fiber, which is composed of complex carbohydrates, reduces the rate of breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. As a result the blood sugar levels increase at normal speed than making an abrupt rise. This ultimately prevents the occurrence of many health problems, keeping the body healthy.
5.Provide the body with phytonutrients.
Many carbohydrates provide the body with phytonutrients that are essential for our health. These are chemical substance usually obtained from plant foods and are beneficial for the body. They act as antioxidants and prevent the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. They also protect the body against many bacterial and viral diseases.
With so many benefits carbohydrates need to be an essential part of your diets and should be consumed regularly.