Carbohydrates foods are a macronutrient that your body needs in high doses on a daily basis for proper functioning.

Complex carbohydrates are formed when three sugar molecules are linked in the chain in the plant. They are present in the form of starch to store energy in the plants and in the form of cellulose providing structure to the plant. They are different from the simple carbohydrate which causes the rise in the blood sugar as soon as they are taken inside the body.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex Carbohydrates

What is the use of carbohydrates in the body?

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient that your body needs in high doses on a daily basis for proper functioning. When you eat carbohydrates, they get converted to glycogen and either used immediately for energy, providing a steady dose of blood sugar, or they are stored in the muscles and liver for energy at a later time.For sustained energy, eat foods rich in complex carbs.

Which foods are rich in complex carbohydrates?

Whole Grains

They include millet, oats, wheat germ, barley, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, oat bran, cornmeal and amaranth. Also any product that is made from these grains is also complex as well. Whole grain bread, bagels, buns and rolls are examples of these. Also pasta, macaroni and breakfast cereals that are made from whole grains are complex carbohydrates.

A diet healthy high in complex carbohydrates will be high in grains. Grains should form the basis of your diet, and at least half of the foods you eat should be grain based for good health


Fruits packed with complex carbohydrates include apricots, oranges, plums, pears, grapefruits and prunes.


Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, turnip greens, eggplant, potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, onions, all types of lettuce, celery, cucumbers, cabbage, artichokes and asparagus are all examples of complex carbohydrate rich vegetables.

Some fruits and vegetables high in complex carbs include:

  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Okra
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Asparagus
  • Grapefruit
  • Prunes
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Yams
  • Dill pickles
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
Complex Carbohydrates Rich Foods

Complex Carbohydrates Rich Foods


Beans are a type of legume that is a complex carbohydrate. Specific examples include lentils, kidney beans, black beans, peas, garbanzo beans, soy beans and pinto beans.


Dill pickles are made from cucumbers and they are complex carbs. Soy milk made from soy beans is a complex carb and dairy products like low-fat yogurt and skim milk are also complex carbs.

Nuts, Seeds and Legumes

Like grains, nuts, seeds and legumes are very high in complex carbohydrates. These foods also contain protein, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, and a range of vitamins and minerals. They’re high in fiber to aid digestion and help maintain a healthy weight. Nuts, seeds and legumes that are high in complex carbohydrates include:

  • Lentils
  • Chick peas
  • Split peas
  • Soybeans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans

Dairy Products

Soy milk, low-fat yogurt and skim milk are all good choices for adding complex carbohydrates to your diet.


Corn is a complex carbohydrate rich food that is high in fiber and rich in vitamins B, A and E. Corn also contains antioxidants that have anti-cancer properties.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate that has almost no fat and is unusually low in sodium. The fiber in sweet potatoes promotes the health of the digestive tract. Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate rich food that is filling and nutritious.