Ditch The Wheat Flour And Choose These Healthy Alternatives Instead
Healthy eating should be a concern for each individual person. Proper nutrition should be studied and taken very seriously. One way you can help yourself out is by picking out a certain flour for yourself. The most common variety is wheat flour, but there are alternatives that are just as good and even a little healthier:
1. Almond Flour
As the name states, this flour is made with almonds. But this is after the nuts have been blanched and ‘finely ground’ to the consistency of traditional wheat flour. This particular flour is known to be high in vitamin E, which acts as antioxidants in the body.
There have even been studies that suggest regular consumption can help lower the rate of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
It also contains a high concentration of magnesium which helps improve blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance and even out blood pressure.
This is a great alternative to wheat flour as it has gluten, a protein that helps bread stretch as it bakes. If you have celiac disease, almond flour can help you to enjoy the things that others get to eat so regularly.
2. Coconut Flour
Coconuts are famous for being part of fruit salads or the pina colada drink. But did you know you can actually buy flour made from coconut? How it’s made is pretty simple: coconut pulp is dried out and then ground to a flour-y consistency. And yes, this one is also gluten-free.
Coconut flour is a great alternative for diabetics because the low glycemic index allowing it to convert to sugar slower in the blood, helping prevent blood sugar spikes. It also contains lauric acid, a fat that aids in maintaining the thyroid and keeping a healthy look about your skin.
3. Quinoa Flour
Not many people know that flour is also made from Quinoa. Known as a ‘pseudo cereal’, it is not actually a grain but is eaten like one. Interestingly enough, there are three types: red, white, and black.
A ¼ cup of Quinoa flour has 4 grams of protein, making it an excellent alternative for other things. It is considered a ‘complete protein’, meaning it contains all the amino acids that are necessary for maintaining optimal human health.
Also high in B vitamins, vitamin E, and magnesium, a single serving of this ‘pseudo cereal’ contains just as much or maybe more calcium than a quart of milk. If your diet requires more calcium and you are lactose intolerant, this is a great way to avoid milk completely.
Interestingly enough, the Inca people saw Quinoa as a holy grain. That’s no surprise, considering its power. Studies have shown it can aid in preventing atherosclerosis, diabetes, strokes, obesity and insulin resistance.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition “at least 3 servings of whole grains like Quinoa should be eaten daily.”
4. Chickpea Flour
Chickpea, or garbanzo beans, are another food that can be used to create another alternative to wheat flour. Also gluten-free, it is high in fiber which can help regulate digestion. It has been suggested that high fiber diets may aid in lowering the effects of type 2 diabetes and even cure it naturally.
This particular flour is great if heart health is a major concern. It can help to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol, protect against heart disease, and reduce high blood pressure caused by weight.
Chickpea flour, according to studies, is considered an ‘anti-inflammatory food.’ It has been found in previous studies that consuming beans can lower inflammation, and even protect against cancer. Specifically, the high fiber contained in chickpea can help draw toxins from the digestive tract, lowering the risk of developing colon cancer.
5. Oat Flour
Traditionally, oats are eaten in what is famously known as ‘oatmeal.’ But, somewhere along the line, an individual decided we needed another form of flour. Here is another alternative to wheat flour that is also gluten-free.
It is cheaper than almond flour and is a nutrient dense source of carbohydrates, making it a good source of natural energy. It can also lower your cholesterol.
While this may be a good alternative to wheat flour, Oat Flour always has the chance to be contaminated by grains. Anyone with celiac disease should avoid this flour simply as a precautionary measure.