When you hear the word “carbohydrate,” does your mind immediately jump to sweets and snack foods?

Thanks to the popularity of low carb diets, carb is a naughty four-letter word in the minds of some. But carbohydrates are your body’s best friend, especially if you’re an active person. The macronutrient gets broken down into glucose, which is your body’s preferred source of fuel, especially during endurance or high-intensity exercise. Without adequate carbohydrates, energy levels will suffer.

Also, carbohydrates are found in a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, not just the snack foods and desserts most people think about. Many sources of carbohydrate are packed with nutrients, and fiber to fuel your workout with long-lasting energy. Here are 7 of my favorite fiber-rich carbs:

7 Fiber Rich Carbs to Fuel Your Workout

Visit our Pinterest page for more photos 

1. Quinoa

Technically a seed, but usually consumed as a grain, quinoa is also rich in protein, making it a great choice for refueling after a workout. It also contains small amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Try it in Luvo’s Quinoa and Veggie Enchilada or refuel after a workout with these quinoa hemp snack balls, which are a great portable snack.

2. Brown rice

Brown rice is an inexpensive and versatile source of fiber-rich carbohydrate, with 4 grams of fiber in a cup. You may also see different colors of “brown” or whole grain rice at the store, like black rice or green jade rice. Different colors have different types of phytonutrients responsible for their bright color. I personally love black rice, which gets it’s rich purplish-black color from anti-inflammatory anthocyanins. Try it in Luvo’s Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice, or make this recipe for black rice, crispy kale and coconut salad.

3. Sweet potatoes

With 4 grams of fiber in a medium spud, sweet potatoes contain even more fiber than the common white potato, which still packs a hefty dose. Sweet potatoes are especially high in soluble fiber, a kind of fiber that swells up to form a gel in liquid, making it extra helpful for healthy digestion. Sweet potatoes are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin A.

4. Mango

Juicy, sweet and tart mango is rich in natural sugars, providing quick energy to fuel a workout, along with 5 grams of fiber in one piece of fruit. It also contains 100% your daily needs of vitamin C. Try it in Luvo’s Orange Mango Chicken, or enjoy slices of cold, fresh mango sprinkled with lime juice and chili as a pre-workout snack.

5. Beans

As a whole, beans are the most fiber-rich food group, with 10-20 grams in a cup. If your digestion is a little more sensitive to the fiber in beans, you may want to save this food for after a more intense workout. Luvo’s So Cal Kale and Beans is packed with both white beans and red beans.

6. Whole grain pasta

Get more fueling power from your pasta by choosing one made with whole grains. Nowadays, it’s easy to find many different kinds of whole grain pasta beyond regular whole wheat. Look for pastas made from brown rice, quinoa, bean, lentil and spelt flours at the grocery store. Luvo’s Chicken Meatballs in Creamy Pesto Sauce are made with whole wheat pasta, while Luvo’s Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is made with brown rice pasta for a gluten-free option.

7. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and 13 grams of fiber in a cup. Try roasted chickpeas for a crunchy post-workout snack.

What are your favorite ways to fuel with these fiber-rich carbs? Share in the comments below!

Did you enjoy this post? Stay in the know with more nutrition tips, and exclusive promo offers — join our newsletter.