Those of you that haven't cooked or baked with healthy alternative flours are often intimidated because they do respond and cook differently. We, at our Anti-Inflammation Cooking Institute, did all the testing for you to bring you easy-to-cook delicious variations of your favorite foods that use conventional wheat flours that convert to sugar, feed yeast, play havoc with blood sugar and thyroid health, and cause or accelerate inflammation.
When patients and readers begin a healthy anti-inflammatory lifestyle, the FIRST question I'm often asked is, "What constituents in coconut flour make it anti-inflammatory?" The answer; coconut flour contains 4g of nourishing fats (coconut oil) - incredibly potent as it's not only anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, it's also high in metabolism-boosting medium-chain fatty acids.
The SECOND question I'm often asked is, "What other varieties of healthy flours do you use and recommend?" I always reply, "The Super Five" - flours that have the most health-enhancing benefits, do not induce inflammation, accelerate or cause any of the conditions mentioned above, they include:
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Buckwheat flour (especially good for those with Celiac Disease)
- Teff flour
- Quinoa flour
The THIRD question I'm asked is, "What is Coconut Flour and how is it made?"
Producers of coconut flour originally sold the nutritious coconut milk by-product to farmers in the form of coconut meal. Farmers (particularly those practicing healthy farming and livestock) understood that coconut meal was an excellent source of organic fertilizer and animal feed supplement. As more research emerged supporting the numerous health benefits of coconut flour, human consumption of the valuable superfood also increased in the past few decades and continues to do so.
Coconut flour is derived from grating the meat of fresh coconuts - it is then dehydrated and de-fatted (the oil is extracted). The result is a fine powder that looks and feels similar to wheat or other grain flours. The most pure and organic form may even fool a seasoned foodie because of its lack of coconut flavor.
A Functional Super Food
Coconut flour has various health benefits from those of other coconut products - such as the oil for instance - and it offers a great gluten-free and very low carbohydrate alternative to conventional flour. Considered a functional food, coconut flour exhibits properties that significantly benefit health and is a valuable source of nutrition. Many people are beginning to learn how to bake with coconut flour and we at the Cooking Institute have made it easy for you with our recipes and cooking videos.
As a functional food, it's a great source of dietary fiber, high in protein, does not contain gluten and has a low glycemic index (GI). If you haven't considered baking or cooking with coconut flour, I'll take you by the hand (so to speak) into Dr. Gloria's Kitchen and make it easy via our upcoming cooking videos.
As a functional and super food, coconut flour is especially recommended for those with inflammatory issues as a result of consuming wheat or gluten. Coconut flour is safe for consumption in individuals with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, leaky gut syndrome, as well as those with diabetes - the reason I recommend its use for my patients and those seeking proactive measures to insure wellness.
Coconut Flour Nutrition
Ongoing research is being conducted regarding the many health benefits coconut flour promotes…AND…studies support that the nutrition in the coconut meat is not lost in the process of converting it into flour nor in its baking or cooking - one more reason to bake with coconut flour!
In subsequent articles, I'll be detailing the "Super Five" flours, their health-enhancing properties and some historical perspective of the individual grains.
In the next issue of Total Health Magazine, I'll outline the specific vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes and minerals in coconut flour and their health benefits…stay tuned.
Making these healthy lifestyle modifications is what enables us to "Age Without Feeling or Looking Old" because we're avoiding inflammatory foods and ingredients that age us prematurely while robbing us of quality of life and then propel disorders and diseases that shorten our life-span.