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Coconut CookiesCoconut flour is a delicious, high fiber and gluten free healthy alternative to wheat and other grain flours. In addition, coconut flour is low in digestible carbohydrates, which is an excellent choice for those who have diabetes. Coconut flour has a slightly sweet taste with a pleasant and inviting smell.

Health benefits of coconut flour

Gluten free
Two-thirds of the body’s defenses reside in the digestive tract, not surprisingly that the major cause of chronic inflammation starts with the gut. Gluten is a common allergen, it is a protein composite found in certain grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestine of people with celiac disease. A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Coconut flour comes from the dried meat of coconuts which is then finely ground. It is gluten free and does not trigger an inflammatory response within the body. It can be used in baking and cooking. This is one of the biggest reasons why people choose coconut flour and make it so popular. Also, you could read How to Guard Your Gut and Improve Your Overall Health to learn more about how to guard your gut.

High in fiber
Coconut flour is very rich in fiber, it contains 58% dietary fiber, which is almost double the amount of fiber found in wheat bran. Fiber has many health benefits, it keeps you full longer and helps reduce food cravings, and this helps you achieve a healthy weight. It also improves your blood sugar profile especially for those who have diabetes. Furthermore, it lowers your cholesterol by removing excessive bad cholesterol from your body and reduces your risk of coronary heart disease. The daily recommendation of fiber for a healthy adult is 21 to 38 grams a day. However, according to surveys, very few people even come close to that amount. Except coconut flour, top sources of fiber are beans, artichokes, bran, berries and prunes, etc.

High in fiber
Coconut flour is very rich in fiber, it contains 58% dietary fiber, which is almost double the amount of fiber found in wheat bran. Fiber has many health benefits, it keeps you full longer and helps reduce food cravings, and this helps you achieve a healthy weight. It also improves your blood sugar profile especially for those who have diabetes. Furthermore, it lowers your cholesterol by removing excessive bad cholesterol from your body and reduces your risk of coronary heart disease. The daily recommendation of fiber for a healthy adult is 21 to 38 grams a day. However, according to surveys, very few people even come close to that amount. Except coconut flour, top sources of fiber are beans, artichokes, bran, berries and prunes, etc.

A source of protein
Because coconut flour comes from the meat of dried coconut, it is a good source of protein. Although coconut flour does not contain the gluten protein, it contains just as much protein as wheat flour, and it is beneficial in helping cell growth and rejuvenation.
Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of coconuts that are harvested from the coconut palm. It is very stable at room temperature due to its high saturate fat content and lasts up to two years without rancidity. It also has a high smoking point (450°F/232°C), which makes it an excellent choice for baking. The smoke point in cooking is the temperature of the oil begins to break down.

Health benefits of coconut oil

Coconut oil

Rich in lauric acid
Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid found mainly in coconut oil. Pure coconut oil contains about 50 % of lauric acid, which is the most abundant source of lauric acid available in nature. It is converted into monolaurin in the body, which is a monoglyceride compound that demonstrates antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Both lauric acid and monolaurin are an effective compound for the treatment of Candidiasis and fungal infections.[1],[2]

Reduce Seizures and Alzheimer’s disease
Coconut oil is known as brain food as it is rich in special fats that play an important role in the health of our brains. The best known therapeutic application is the ketogenic diet, which is a very low-carb and high-fat diet, used in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in children. Because of the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil, it is easy for the liver to breakdown and turn them into ketone bodies, and they are often used in seizure patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet.[3] Researchers have suggested that ketones may provide an alternative energy source for the malfunctioning cells in the brain and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.[4]

Weight management
Researchers have demonstrated that MCTs result in less body fat deposition and reduced abdominal fat.[5], [6] Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized more easily into energy in the liver, leads to sufficient burning off energy and helps boost the body’s metabolism.[7]

Other health benefits
Heart health: It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels. Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a precursor of many of the hormones that are needed in our body.[8]

Digestive health: MCT oil is often recommended for people with chronic pancreatitis because it is a fat that is more easily digested and often causes no symptoms in people with chronic pancreatitis.

In addition coconut, oil is also known to help promote healthy skin and hair. Coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin and works as a sunscreen.[9] It can also be very protective against hair damage.[10]

How to choose a coconut oil
Coconut oil that is labeled “virgin” or “extra-virgin” is extracted from coconut meat by using cold-pressing methods, which contains more antioxidants as well as a stronger coconut flavor.

Coconut Milk Mixed Drink

Other use of coconut oil

  • Adding coconut oil to green tea.
  • Adding coconut oil to a blend of herbs such as ginseng and ginkgo.
  • Applying directly to the skin as an amazing moisturizer.
  • Wound healing: Rub a bit on any scrapes or cuts to speed up the healing process.

Nutritional information of coconut flour

Ingredient: Coconut flour. Serving Size: 2 Tbsp (14g)

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value

Calories

60.00

 
Calories from Fat

20.00

 
Total Fat

2.00 g

3 %

     Saturated Fat

2.00 g

10 %

     Trans Fat

0 g

0 %

Cholesterol

0.00 mg

0 %

Sodium

30.00 mg

1 %

Potassium

0.00 mg

0 %

Total Carbohydrate

8.00 g

3 %

     Dietary Fiber

5.00 g

20 %

     Sugars

1.00 g

N/A

Protein

2.00 g

4 %

Phosphorus

0.00 mg

0 %

Vitamin A 

0.00 %

Vitamin C 

0.00 %

Calcium 

0.00 %

Iron 

2.00 %

* Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Coconut flour Recipes
Besides baking, the light coconut flour makes a wonderful coating for chicken, fish or other proteins to replace regular flour or cornmeal.

Coconut Biscuits
These delicious flaky biscuits and the rich chocolate cake won’t stop you from eating them!

Coconut biscuitIngredients (9 servings):

Coconut milk: ½ cup
Coconut oil: ¼ cup
Sea salt: ¼ tsp.
Baking powder: 1Tbsp.
Coconut sugar: 1 tsp.
Eggs: 2
Coconut flour: 1 cup
Coconut flakes: 1 tbsp

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F and combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Beat the eggs with a whisk in a small bowl, and melt the coconut oil in the microwave.
  • Spread the liquid coconut oil to the dry mixture first and make sure it is evenly distributed, and then stir in liquid eggs and coconut milk to the mixture to form a soft dough.
  • Place the dough on top of wax paper and press to 1-inch thickness.  Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate Cake

Coconut chocolate cakeIngredients:
Coconut oil: ½ cup
Eggs: 9
Coconut milk: ¼ cup
Coconut sugar: 1/2 cup
Vanilla (liquid): 1 tsp.
Baking powder: ¾ tsp.
Coconut flour: ¾ cup
Sea salt: ½ tsp.
Cocoa powder: ¼ cup

Directions:

  • Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  • In an electric mixer, mix together eggs, coconut sugar, salt, cocoa powder and vanilla, and then stir in coconut oil into the mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour with baking powder, add coconut milk and whisk the mixture into batter. Beat the batter until there are no lumps.
  • Pour batter into greased 9 inches or 8-inch layer pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Place pans on wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool cakes completely before frosting. Use your favorite frosting to frost the cake.

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References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC444260/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10762277
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19049583
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2604900/
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17878693
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15329324
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094

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About the author: Lucy Liu
As a Registered Dietitian, Holistic Health Practitioner, Author and Speaker, Master Hypnotist, Master NLP Practitioner, Life Coach and Advanced Theta Healing Practitioner, Lucy Liu, the founder of optimalhealthsolutions.ca, has established a widely recognized reputation in holistic health. After many years of serving patients and clients as a Clinical Dietitian, Lucy has devoted herself to bringing a holistic approach, which combines Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, and Alternative Medicine together, to help others achieve optimal health by creating harmony between the mind and body, and maintain long-term success for healthy lifestyle changes.Read More.To connect:
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