Nutritional Benefits of Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is a unique alternative to wheat flour. It’s popular among low carb enthusiasts and those who have gluten-related disorders.

In addition to its impressive nutrition profile, coconut flour may offer several benefits when enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. These include improvements in blood sugar stability, digestion, and heart health.

Coconut flour is made from coconut flesh that has been dried and ground. It’s a byproduct of coconut milk and oil production.

During manufacturing, coconuts are first cracked open and drained of liquid. The coconut meat is then scraped out, rinsed, grated, and strained to separate the solids from the milk. The solids are then baked at a low temperature until dry before being ground into flour.

The resulting white powder looks and feels similar to flour made from grains such as wheat and its mild in flavour. Coconut flour is commonly used in gluten-free and grain-free foods such as cupcakes, bread, and cookies.

Nutrition

Coconut flour has an impressive nutrient profile, being particularly high in fiber, potassium, iron, and plant-based protein.

A 1/4-cup (28-gram) serving of coconut flour contains: Calories: 120, Carbs: 18 grams, Sugar: 6 grams, Fiber: 10 grams, Protein: 6 grams, Fat: 3 grams, Iron: 11% of the Daily Value (DV), Potassium: 13% of the DV.

Compared with wheat flour, coconut flour is higher in fiber, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and iron.

Potassium and fiber are nutrients that are commonly under consumed in modern-day diets, which can lead to health issues such as elevated heart disease risk and digestive problems. Adding coconut flour to your diet can help you meet the recommended daily intake for these important nutrients.

Additionally, because coconut flour is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than traditional wheat flour, it’s a popular choice for those following low carb dietary patterns.

Benefits

Coconut flour has a diverse nutrient profile and may offer a range of health benefits. That said, few studies have directly examined it.

Coconut Flour

May help keep blood sugar stable

Coconut flour is packed with fiber, which may promote healthy blood sugar levels.

A 1/4-cup (28-gram) serving provides a whopping 36% of the DV for fiber. That’s more than four times as much as all-purpose flour.

Foods rich in fiber help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the speed at which sugar enters your bloodstream.

Studies show that higher fiber diets benefit those with diabetes by reducing blood sugar and insulin levels while promoting a healthy body weight.

Coconut flour is also lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than all-purpose flour, this makes it better at promoting healthy blood sugar regulation.

Promotes digestive health

Coconut flour’s high fiber content makes it a good choice for keeping your digestive system healthy.

Most of its fiber is insoluble, which adds bulk to stools and helps move food smoothly through your gut, thereby reducing the risk of constipation.

Studies show that diets high in fiber may reduce the risk of a number of health conditions that impact the digestive tract, including colon cancer.

Additionally, older research suggests that coconut flour contains small amounts of soluble fiber and other fermentable fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

In turn, these bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate, all of which nourish your gut cells.

May reduce risk factors of heart disease

Coconut flour is high in fiber and potassium, so consuming coconut flour may support heart health by reducing heart disease risk factors.

Specifically, research suggests that eating coconut flour may help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

What’s more, coconut flour is a good source of potassium, which is essential for promoting and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Having elevated blood sugar levels increases the risk of developing heart disease.

May help support a healthy body weight

Coconut flour may help you maintain a healthy body weight.

It offers both fiber and protein. These nutrients are important for appetite regulation and can help keep you feeling full between meals. This could lead you to reduce your overall calorie intake. Research suggests that diets high in protein and fiber may even promote weight loss.

Even though dietary patterns high in fiber and protein likely enhance weight loss and support a healthy body weight, there’s currently no evidence that directly links coconut flour to weight loss.

Free from gluten and grains

Coconut flour is free from gluten, so it’s a suitable option for people with celiac disease, wheat allergy, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Gluten is a group of proteins found in certain grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. People who cannot tolerate gluten may experience symptoms ranging from gas, cramps, or diarrhea to gut damage and nutrient malabsorption after ingesting it.

People with celiac disease or wheat allergy should avoid all gluten-containing grains, while those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can choose to either reduce their consumption or eliminate the protein from their diet.

Coconut flour offers an alternative to wheat and other gluten-containing flours. It’s also naturally grain-free, so it’s a popular choice for those following grain-free diets such as the paleo diet.

Uses

You can use coconut flour in a variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. It’s a popular ingredient for those following gluten-free and grain-free diets.

You can substitute it for other types of flour when making bread, pancakes, cookies, muffins, or other baked goods. However, be mindful that coconut flour tends to absorb more liquid than other types of flour, so you can’t use it as a one-to-one replacement.

For the best results, start by substituting 1/4 cup (28 grams) of coconut flour for every 1 cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour.

You may also want to increase the liquids by the amount of coconut flour you add. For example, if you use 1/4 cup (28 grams) of coconut flour, pour in 1/4 cup (60 mL) of additional liquids.

Further, remember that coconut flour tends to be denser than other types of flour and doesn’t bind as easily.

Bakers often recommend that you mix it with other types of flour or add 1 egg for each 1/4 cup (28 grams) of coconut flour to give your end product a fluffier, softer texture.

This unique flour can also be used as breading or to thicken soups and stews. What’s more, you can use it as a binding agent in burger or veggie loaf recipes, as well as to make grain-free pizza crust or wraps.

Takehome

Coconut flour is a gluten-free flour made solely from coconuts.

It’s high in fiber and is a good source of protein. Adding it to your diet may promote stable blood sugar, good digestion, and heart health.

It may also support a healthy body weight when consumed as part of a nutritious, balanced diet.

Plus, it’s delicious and versatile, so it’s a smart choice when choosing a flour alternative.

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