Important Functions of Carbohydrates Essential for the Body

Now some types of diet or diet consider carbohydrates as nutrients that need to be avoided. Whereas many carbohydrate functions for the body are necessary for daily activities.

In addition to protein and fats, carbohydrates are also the main nutrients contained in daily meals and are needed by the body. Almost all healthy diets advise entering a combination of all three.

Carbohydrate Functions

There are four main functions of carbohydrates that are indispensable to the body, namely:

  • Major energy sources

The first function of carbohydrates is as the main source of energy for the body. That energy is needed from breathing to more intense body activity, such as running. Carbohydrates are also one of the essential nutrients for pregnant women. During the process of digestion, the source of carbohydrates will be broken down into sugars, to be then absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and into the bloodstream. This sugar is known as blood sugar (glucose). Aided by insulin, sugar in the blood will enter the body’s cells. If there is excess glucose, it will be stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. When completely unused, glucose is converted into fat.

  • Limit calorie intake

The second function of carbohydrates is to limit caloric intake. How? According to scientific evidence, the high fiber content of foods containing complex carbohydrates is able to prolong satiety. Compared to fats, carbohydrates also contain fewer calories. In 1 gram of fat contained 9 calories, while in 1 gram carbohydrates contained only 4 calories.

  • Lowers the risk of certain diseases

Carbohydrates also serve to reduce the risk of disease. This is based on evidence from several studies on dietary fiber from whole grains that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and maintaining the health condition of the digestive organs. Sources of carbohydrates rich in dietary fiber include vegetables, potatoes or sweet potatoes cooked with skin, and whole grains.

  • Glycemic index determinant

The glycemic index is a benchmark that assesses how quickly carbohydrates or sugars in food are absorbed into the body. The higher the glycemic index, the faster the food increases blood sugar levels. Whereas foods with a low glycemic index are slower to digest the body and do not make blood sugar rise quickly.

Research shows that the habit of consuming foods or drinks with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, sweet cakes, chocolate, and sugary soft drinks, can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Types and Sources of Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates, which are simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates take longer to process in the body, when compared to simple carbohydrates. On the bright side, complex carbohydrates will provide energy consistently, without making the body get a sudden intake of excessive calories. Complex carbohydrates are also at less risk of piling up as fat in the body.

Sugar is a simple form of carbohydrates, while flour and fiber are complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars include fructose, as well as sucrose and lactose in fruit, vegetables, milk, and dairy products.

There are several types of foods that are able to provide optimal carbohydrate function for the body. These foods include whole grains and bread containing whole grains, brown rice, brown rice, or basmati rice, pasta or cereals from whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.

The recommended carbohydrate intake is about 45-65 percent of the total daily calories, or about 900-1,300 calories out of a total of 2,000 calories per day. To obtain it, a source of carbohydrates is required about 225-325 grams per day.

If you lack carbohydrates, it will likely make the body lack energy. When the body is deficient in calories derived from carbohydrates, the symptoms that can be felt are dizziness, nausea, and weakness. Extreme diets that limit carbohydrates and other nutrient intake can also put the body at risk of dehydration.

Do not underestimate the function of carbohydrates for the health of the body. If you want to implement a diet that reduces carbohydrates, first consult a nutritionist to make sure that this type of diet matches your health condition.

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How to Shrink The Stomach After Childbirth

For mothers who want their stomach to be tight again after childbirth, see some ways to shrink the stomach after giving birth below.

“The A only three months ago gave birth, but her stomach and body are already thin again, yes?” It’s amazed to see a woman who just gave birth, but her body shape is back to what it was before she was pregnant. And every woman may want the same thing, knowing how to shrink the stomach after giving birth quickly.

It takes time and patience

Actually, soon after giving birth, Mother’s weight has been reduced by about 3 to 6 kg. This amount is an accumulation of the baby’s weight, placenta, as well as the amount of blood and amniotic water that comes out. That hasn’t been supplemented by the amount of bodily fluids that will be wasted through urine, blood, and sweat. This weight loss also decreases the size of the stomach after giving birth.

Well, then so easy dong shrink the stomach after giving birth? Wait, don’t be happy just yet. The affair of flat and toned stomach only a few weeks after giving birth can indeed be experienced by some women. But unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case with every woman. For most women, it takes months or even years to get rid of the “baby fat” in the stomach. If so, it takes nine months or more, for the stomach to tighten again after giving birth.

The shrinking of the stomach after childbirth apparently depends on several factors, including:

  • Genetic.
  • Body shape and size before conceiving.
  • How much weight goes up during pregnancy.
  • How much mother moves or exercises.

How to shrink the stomach after giving birth can be a rather easy task if mother breastfeeds. In addition, weight gain is less than 13.6 kg when pregnant and diligently exercise regularly during pregnancy. The body is also easier to come back as before if this is Mother’s first pregnancy.

If not breastfeeding but want to slim down quickly after giving birth, Mother must take care of how much food intake enters the body. Mother no longer needs as many calories as when pregnant. But after giving birth, Mother is still advised to provide enough calories as much as 1,800-2,200 calories per day.

What to do?

In order to slim stomach and body, Mother can apply how to shrink the stomach after giving birth the following:

  • Breastfeeding
    Breastfeeding helps Mom burn 500 calories a day. The weight of breastfeeding mothers is likely to drop faster, when compared to mothers who give bottled milk to their babies. Breastfeeding also triggers contractions that help shrink the uterus, just as the whole body is exercising.
    Losing weight while breastfeeding is fine. If Mother loses about 1 kg in one week, it is likely to have no effect in the production of breast milk. However, it is best to consult a doctor if you want to lose weight during breastfeeding.
  • Sports
    Not only is it a way of shrinking the stomach after childbirth, exercise also helps to tighten back the abdominal wall and burn calories. Whether it’s just walking around the home area, taking yoga classes after giving birth, aerobics, stretching, swimming, or pelvic training exercises. At least, wait six weeks after giving birth if you want to start exercising. Make sure that you discuss first with the doctor to determine when to start exercising and the type of exercise that is suitable.
  • Maintaining food intake
    A healthy weight after labor can be achieved by consuming proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, whole grains, and other foods high in fiber, which make you feel full for longer. Also, don’t forget to eat smaller but frequent portions and avoid junk food or fast food.
    Do not go on extreme diets or be too heavy to lose weight quickly. Extreme diet makes the body starving, stressed, and tired so that it can affect the production of breast milk. In addition, the diet also makes Mother does not get enough nutritional intake. The baby may not get the nutrients he needs from Mother’s breast milk.
  • Holding a child
    Not only useful to put to sleep, carrying a baby also provides benefits for Mother. Carrying a child carries a weight of 3.6kg to 5.4kg, prenatal fitness experts say. If coupled with squats (repetitive movements from a standing position, to a position like going to sit, then returning to a standing position), the lower body muscles will form and the body’s metabolism will increase.
    You can also exercise by walking around the house while holding your child in the morning to get the benefits of sunlight. Don’t forget to wear baby clothes and eye protection, and don’t sunbathe too long in the sun.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking eight glasses of water a day is not only able to remove toxins from the body, but also makes you feel fuller. Adequate water needs can also prevent Mother from dehydration.

Consumption of probiotics

Research shows that probiotics can help women control their metabolism including abdominal fat after childbirth. Probiotics are known as “good” bacteria capable of improving gut health and digestion. However, further studies suggest that the consumption of probiotics alone is not necessarily able to lose weight after childbirth.

Mother’s body shape that changes after giving birth, will generally return to the way it was after some time. However, some mothers may find it difficult to get back to their shape before pregnancy, especially in the abdomen.