Coconut flour is a special alternative to wheat flour. You can make it from dried coconut meat. Low-carb diet lovers and those with gluten intolerance are familiar with it. Coconut flour is thicker and holds more liquid than wheat flour and contains more fat, protein, and fibre. Coconut flour can provide several health benefits in relation to its remarkable nutrition profile.
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 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 percent of the fiber daily value. The fiber content in coconut flour is 3 to 10 times better than the all-purpose flour. Experts believe that fiber-rich foods can reduce blood sugar by slowing down the absorption of sugar entering your bloodstream. In addition, the carb in coconut flour has a low GI (glycemic index), making it less likely to spike the insulin. (2)
Summary: The fiber content in coconut flour may help with blood sugar regulation. Coconut flour has a low GI (glycemic index), hence it is less likely to cause an insulin spike.
Does Not Contain Gluten
Coconut flour does not contain gluten, which makes it an excellent choice for people with celiac disease or 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)
Summary: Gluten intolerance can cause symptoms such as flatulence, cramps, and diarrhoea. Coconut flour contains no gluten, which makes it an excellent choice for people with gluten intolerance.
Improves Heart Health
Research shows that consuming 15 to 25 grams of coconut fiber daily can help reduced complete blood cholesterol. Coconut flour provides lauric acid, a fat that is believed to help destroy the plaque buildup in your arteries. The 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 it may increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, so the influence of lauric acid on cholesterol may differ from person to person. (4)
Summary: The fiber in coconut flour can aid in the reduction of total blood cholesterol. The effect of lauric acid on cholesterol is not clear.
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 probable to be preserved as fat in the body because they move straight, where they are used to generating 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 bigger quantities. (5)
Summary: Coconut flour can help in weight loss since it contains both fibre and protein. MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) in coconut flour can reduce hunger, which can help you eat fewer calories.
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)
Summary: Coconut flour contains trace amounts of soluble and fermentable fibres, which can feed the good bacteria in the gut. Most of its fibre is insoluble, giving bulk to stools and aiding in the effective passage of food through your colon.
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 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 (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.
Q & A
Q: How does coconut flour taste like?
A: Coconut flour is much sweeter, more common flavor. It has a mild coconut taste and smell.
Q: What should I look for when I’m buying coconut flour?
A: Read the label to ensure that the only coconut is the primary ingredient of the parcel you buy. No sugar, no aromas, no fillers added. If gluten is a problem, ensure that the sign says that it was produced in a gluten-free plant.
Coconut flour is a white or off-white flour made from the pulp of coconut. It’s made during the coconut milk making process. Before being ground into flour, bake the waste material of coconut milk at a low temperature until it is dry and ground the dry pulp into this powdery flour. Coconut flour is a gluten-free food. Rich in fiber and MCTs. It may also help stabilize blood sugar, improve digestion, and heart health.
- Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011.
- Glycaemic index of different coconut (Cocos nucifera)-flour products in normal and diabetic subjects. Br J Nutr. 2003.
- Properties of Gluten Intolerance: Gluten Structure, Evolution, Pathogenicity and Detoxification Capabilities. Nutrients. 2016.
- Mechanisms mediating lipoprotein responses to diets with medium-chain triglyceride and lauric acid. Lipids. 1999.
- The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil. Chem Soc. 2015.
- Effects of medium-chain triglycerides on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015.
- Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev. 2009.
- Dietary fiber from coconut flour: A functional food. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies. 2006.