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Coconut Flour Benefits, Nutrition, and Uses

Coconut flour is a special alternative to wheat flour. You can make it from dried coconut meat.

It is well-known among those who follow a low-carb diet and those who are gluten intolerant.

It is thicker and holds more liquid than wheat flour and contains more fat, protein, and fiber.

Coconut flour can provide several health benefits in relation to its remarkable nutrition profile.

Here are some coconut flour benefits, nutrition, and uses.

Nutritional Information

A 1/4-cup serving (30-grams) coconut flour contains:

  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Fiber: 10 grams
  • Protein 6 grams
  • Sugar 6 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Iron 20% of the DV (daily value)

Iron is the primary mineral present in coconut flour and is an excellent choice for people who are concerned about receiving enough iron.

Similar to coconut oil, coconut flour also contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

MCTs in coconut flour may provide several health benefits, such as weight loss, virus protection, and improved brain function (1).

Keeps Blood Sugar Stable

Coconut flour contains fiber, which may help control blood sugar levels.

A 1/4-cup (30-gram) serving provides 40% of the fiber’s daily value.

The fiber content in coconut flour is three to ten times better than all-purpose flour.

Experts believe that fiber-rich foods can reduce blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.

In addition, the carbs in coconut flour have a low GI (glycemic index), making them less likely to spike the insulin (2).

Does Not Contain Gluten

Coconut flour does not contain gluten, which makes it an excellent choice for people with celiac disease or who are allergic to wheat.

Gluten is a set of proteins discovered in grains, including wheat, barley, and rye.

During digestion, gluten is hard to break down and can trigger an immune response.

People with gluten intolerance may have symptoms such as gas, cramps, or diarrhea (3).

Improves Heart Health

Research shows that consuming 15 to 25 grams of coconut fiber daily can help reduce total blood cholesterol.

Coconut flour provides lauric acid, a fat that is believed to help destroy the plaque buildup in your arteries.

Plaque buildup in the arteries is the major risk factor for heart disease, such as a heart attack.

In addition, studies show that lauric acid may not affect or even increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, so the influence of lauric acid on cholesterol may differ from person to person (4).

Aids in Weight Loss

Coconut flour can enable you to lose excess weight as it provides both fiber and protein. These two nutrients can decrease starvation and appetite.

The MCTs in coconut flour are also less likely to be preserved as fat in the body because they move straight, where they are used to generate energy.

MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) can suppress appetite and are handled differently by your body than long-chain fatty acids, which can help you eat fewer calories.

This effect is probably low. However, replacing long-chain fat with MCTs in a review of 13 studies helped participants lose only 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg), on average over 3 weeks.

Keep in mind that the results of MCTs on weight loss involve consuming much larger quantities (5).

Can Promote Digestion

Your digestion may also enjoy the elevated fiber content of coconut flour.

Most of its fiber is insoluble, adding mass to stools and helping to push food through your intestine efficiently, decreasing the probability of constipation.

In addition, it has small quantities of soluble and other fermentable fibers that can feed good bacteria in the intestine.

These bacteria produce SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate, all of which are good for your intestinal cells.

SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) may decrease the signs and symptoms of gut diseases, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) (6, 7).

Coconut flour uses

Coconut flour has a variety of uses in sweet recipes. When making bread, pancakes, cookies, or other baked foods, you can mix coconut flour with all-purpose flour.

Keep in mind that coconut flour appears to absorb more water compared to an all-purpose flour. You cannot use coconut flour alone in baking recipes because it appears to be denser than other flours and is not as easy to bind.

Therefore, mix 1/4 cup (30 grams) of coconut flour with each cup (120 grams) of all-purpose flour for the best results. Bakers also consider combining it with other flours or adding eggs to give it a fluffy feel.

Conclusion

Coconut flour is a white or off-white flour made from the pulp of coconuts. It’s made during the coconut milk making process.

Before being ground into flour, bake the waste material from coconut milk at a low temperature until it is dry, and then grind the dry pulp into this powdery flour.

Coconut flour is gluten-free. It may also help stabilize blood sugar, improve digestion, and improve heart health.

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