EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT COCONUT FLOUR
Coconut flour can be extracted from the ground and dried coconut flesh. This product is native to the Philippines, but has popularized in most parts of the world where it makes a god flour substitute to wheat and other flours containing gluten.
Coconut flour is unfamiliar to many people since it is primarily used individuals with wheat allergy and celiac disease because it has no gluten. Coconut flour packs different health benefits, including promoting weight loss, boosting digestion, nutritional benefits, enhancing heart health, and boosting blood sugar. However, it has some drawbacks, including being rich in salicylates, a drying effect, and a higher price than normal flour. Regardless of its shortcomings, it is recommended for use, including by people with different allergies. People should incorporate it into their diets for more health benefits. Thus, this blog will be your informant as it discussescoconut flour’shealth benefits, uses, and downsides.
i. It is gluten-free
Gluten isa combination of proteins contained in different grains like wheat with the potential of causing immune reactions in individuals with celiac ailments who make up 0.5-1% of the globe’s population. Further, certain people are sensitive to gluten despite not having celiac disease. These individuals encounter an array of symptoms immediately after taking foods containing gluten. In this regard, the symptoms are gastrointestinal, and they involve bloating, reflux, cramps, and abdominal pain. Further extraintestinal issues might result in fatigue, mind fog, headache, joint, and muscle pain. Because this product is grain-free and gluten-free, the flour does not trigger NCGS or celiac ailments issues.
ii. Provides Lauric acid
Coconut products such as flour contain great amounts of saturated fatty acid known as lauric acid, an average-chain triglyceride. Even though this acid elevates overall cholesterol amounts, it also escalates HDL cholesterol levels. Consequently, this lowers the proportion of non-HDL to HDL cholesterol, which is linked with low cardiovascular risks. Further, lauric acid precursors a chemical substance known as monolaurin, which translates to the internal body. Researchers have discovered that monolaurin contains different health benefits, including anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
iii. Has cardiovascular benefits
According to experts, coconut fiber contains a beneficial effect on multiple cardiovascular risk markers. In a research, 21 people supplemented their meals with coconut flakes for 14 days. The results showed that every participant experienced notable reductions in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride. However, there was no change for HDL level participants in that research. Thus, coconut fiber supplementing de-escalates the proportion of LDL to HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which lowers cardiovascular risks. Notably, coconut flour has high coconut fiber content and offers about 36 g of fiber/100 grams.
iv. Promotes digestion
Coconut flour contains high fiber, which favors digestion. The highest percentage of fiber in this product is insoluble, which helps in eliminating stool. In this relation, it promotes smooth food transportation via the gut, which lowers the chances of constipation. Further, this product has minimal fermentable and soluble fiber that feeds important gut bacteria. Consequently, these bacteria make other fatty acids like propionate, butyrate, and acetate, nourishing the gut cells. Further, the fatty acids lower symptoms associated with gut inflammation.
v. Contains anti-diabetic properties
Coconut flour contains proteins with an amino acid called l-arginine, which boosts insulin resistance and regulates blood glucose amounts. Further, this product contains fiber which the American Health Department confirms to have a reduced glycemic index. Therefore, diabetic people benefit from the dietary fiber in this product.
v. Contain anti-cancer properties
Coconut flour has flavonoids and phenols. These antioxidants destroy free radicals from causing oxidative stress and contain a chemo-protective property. Furthermore, the coconut flour digestion process in your gut synthesizes butyrate having anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
vi. Supports heart health
Different studies have found that dietary fiber intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol. The short-chain fatty acids are formed when the coconut flour metabolize in the gut. Notably, these fatty acids inhibit cholesterol from materializing in the human liver.
People use coconut flour in different recipes, including savory and sweet ones. This flour can be replaced with others, especially when preparing cookies, pancakes, muffins, bread, or various baked products. Notably, coconut flour cannot substitute other flour in equal amounts because it absorbs a higher liquid. To achieve the best outcomes, begin by substituting 30 grams or ¼ cup of this flour for each 120 grams or cup of other varieties. Additionally, coconut flour is denser than other types and hardly binds together. Bakers advise adding one egg for every 30 grams or combining this flour with other types to improve the product. Also, individuals can utilize this flour to thicken stews and soups or bread.
a. Rich in salicylates
Salicylates are different chemical compounds naturally occurring in varieties of plant foods. Particularly, coconut contains a high concentration of these substances, and since coconut flour is produced from coconut flesh, it possesses salicylate richly. In most people, consuming moderate salicylate does not influence them, whereas some experience salicylate sensitivity or intolerance. In those particular folks, foods containing salicylate can cause different respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms. Salicylate-sensitive people should seek medical attention before utilizing this product.
b. Has higher price than regular flour
The price for coconut flour is higher than regular flour, reducing its affordability to all people. It can lie between 5 to 10 times higher than wheat flour in equal amounts. Especially when purchasing high quantities of flour, this extra expense becomes an issue of concern to consumers.
c. It has a drying effect
Coconut flour absorbs larger liquid amounts than normal wheat flour, hence dries the food. Consequently, it cannot substitute wheat flour fairly because it would be excessively dry.
Coconut flour provides MCTs and fiber, boosts digestion and heart health, and combats infections. Further, this flour has no gluten and is safe for individuals taking non-gluten food. Therefore, it is healthy and safe substitute than other flour, and its significant fiber content promotes the digestive and health systems. Further, coconut flour favors ketogenic and paleo diets, non-gluten consumers, including gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, vegetarians, diabetes, and others searching for flour packed with nutrients. Additionally, this flour is used in many recipes varying from pancakes and desserts to pizza.