Best complex carbohydrate foods

Hey, here I am going to discuss about a list of the best complex carbohydrate foods that you will find in your respective grocery stores. Without any further due, I am going to jump straight to the list.

Brown rice

This is probably one of the most popular whole food in fitness cultures. Now, brown rice is a whole-grain rice with the outer hull removed. When you compare it to the white rice, you see that white rice has the hull but it doesn’t have the cereal germ and bran layer because these are removed from them. Now, any type of rice has a whole version, these types we are gonna discuss some other time.

Talking about the nutritional value of brown rice, we see that brown rice and white rice have similar amount of calories and carbohydrates. Now brown rice is a whole grain and then again it is a good source of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, thiamine, niacin, manganese and vitamin B6 along with some rich high quality fibre.

Now, unlike brown rice, white rice doesn’t have the bran and germ layer so, its nutritional values differ to some extent.

Brown rice is the whole rice which has its outermost layer which is the hull, removed. For producing white rice the next layers underneath the husk which are the bran layer and the germ layer, are removed. This leaves mostly the starchy endosperm in the white rice.

Now, we come to the vital part of the topic. Due to this layer removal process and subsequent polishing, several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost. Among these important nutrients are: oil in the bran, that is removed along with the bran layer, dietary fibre, small amounts of fatty acids, and magnesium. Now, there is a part of these missing nutrients such as vitamin B and B3, iron are sometimes added back into the white rice.

In the United States the result of this modification is called ‘enriched rice’, and must comply with the Food and Drug administration (FDA) regulations for this name to be used. But, there is one mineral that still isn’t added back to the white rice, and that is magnesium. Now, putting the fact that one cup (195 g) of cooked long grain brown rice has 84 mg of magnesium, while in case of white rice, one cup contains 19 mg of magnesium.


Yeah, I know you guys have already heard of it but don’t you agree yourself on the fact that it is one of the healthiest complex carbohydrate sources you can ever possibly get!

Now, to let you know, in a 100 gram serving, oats provide 389 kilocalories (energy wise 1630 kJ), and an excellent source of protein as 20% more of the daily value or DV which is 34% DV, dietary fiber as 44% DV, numerous dietary minerals and several B vitamins, and especially the manganese (233% DV).

And, did you know that oats are 66% carbohydrates, having 11% dietary fiber and 4% beta glucans, only 7% fat and to an impressive accord 17% protein.

Now, oats do have an established property of cholesterol lowering effects. Though there is a little downside to oats which is the presence of avenins which are oat prolamins, or rather you can say gluten in a way. Though consumption of pure oats can cause avenin toxicity in celiac people but use of pure oats in a gluten free diet is rather beneficial, though it remains controversial as a small proportion of people with celiac disease react to pure oats.


Now, to give you a brief introduction, Quinoa is an annual seed producing flowering plant grown crop. Quinoa seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains.

Speaking in details, raw, uncooked quinoa is 13% water, 64% carbohydrates, 14% protein, and 6% fat. Well, nutritional evaluations indicate that a 100 gram serving of raw quinoa seeds is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, including 46% daily value for folate, and the dietary minerals magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Now, first of all we need to cook to eat the seeds because that is the typical preparation for the seeds. Well, after cooking, the nutritional values do change somewhat that is after cooking, quinoa is 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 2% fat. Cooked quinoa provides 120 kcal in a 100 gram serving and is a rich source of manganese and phosphorous, and a moderate source of dietary fiber, folate, and the dietary minerals, iron, zinc and magnesium.

Now, one thing we should definitely admire is that quinoa is gluten-free. Well, due to the high concentration of protein, ease of use, versatility in preparation, and potential for increased yields in controlled environments, it has been selected as an experimental crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long duration human occupied space flights.


To give a brief introduction, wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is in no doubt worldwide staple food. The most widely grown among the varieties is the common wheat.

Now, when we dive into the nutritional insights of this particular whole grain we see that, in 100 grams, wheat provides 327 kilocalories and is a rich source of multiple essential nutrients, such as protein, dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus and niacin.

Several B vitamins and other dietary minerals are in significant content. Looking at the macros, wheat is 13% water, 71% carbohydrates, and 1.5% fat, though for the protein its 13%. The protein portion is mostly made up of gluten though which is 75-80%.

The Food and Agriculture Organization has promoted a new protein quality method (DIAAS) according to which wheat proteins have a low quality for human nutrition. Though atleast for adults they contain adequate amounts of the other essential amino acids, wheat proteins are deficient in the essential amino acid lysine.

White flours are more deficient in lysine compared to whole grains, as the proteins present in the wheat endosperm which are gluten proteins are particularly poor in lysine.

As of 2017, significant efforts in plant breeding are being made to develop lysine rich wheat varieties, though without success.


I know there is a lot more to discuss on these whole grains, but for that I will be writing some specific detailed articles on each of the particular grains. I hope you liked it, if not then please leave some comments below. Thank you.


2 thoughts on “Best complex carbohydrate foods

  1. There is so much to learn about nutrition! I have read much, yet this article is enlightening.

    I did not know about the attempts to breed a wheat with more lysine and I hope that continues.

    It would be good if quinoa becomes more prevalent, because I find it fairly expensive.

    My favorite flavor in grains is the oats. Don’t we love oatmeal cookies? When I was a child there were many biscuits made from oats, including traditional oat cakes that had no sugar added. They were delicious. I don’t see those anymore.

    For people who can tolerate carbs, it is advantageous for them to know more about them, and be able to choose the best ones for their health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *