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On the Body Ecology Facebook fan page, we recently talked about flour products:
Flour is never a gut healthy food — gluten free or not. It still feeds Candida and it’s so gummy that it clogs our intestines little by little over the years. Most of us started our early years of life with cereals, sandwiches, cookies, pancakes etc. So enough is enough if you want a healthy gut...
Many fans commented, asking about coconut flour and almond flour, which have become quite popular over the last few years.
Anyone with heartburn, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Candida overgrowth, irregular bowel movements, acne, mood swings, or leaky gut must be extremely observant of their body when eating almond flour, coconut flour, or nut butters.
The biggest problem we see with many gluten-free flour products is that they tend to become a gummy sludge within the intestine. This can clog up the elimination channels and slow movement within the intestine—linking them to constipation, leaky gut, and Candida overgrowth.
Another issue with gluten-free flour products is that many tend to be full of sugar. Please make sure to read labels carefully.
Gluten-free flour products still leave a gummy, sticky residue in the gut. These processed flours could be holding you back from full restoration on the Body Ecology Diet.
Almond and coconut flour are not just gummy, they are also dry.
Much of what originally surrounded the pulp (which we call flour) has been stripped away, including the naturally occurring fats found in almonds or coconut meat. Almond flour is also difficult to digest. It, like other flours, can ferment in the digestive tract, leading to discomfort and inflammation.
Coconut flour is high in fiber and absorbs a great deal of moisture. The fiber in coconut flour leaves residue behind for microbes in the intestine to feed on. This can make an infection in the gut worse. It can also inflame the lining of the gut and contribute to constipation. Those with diverticulitis (inflamed pockets of the large intestine) are cautioned to stay away from coconut flour.
Like any other flour, both almond flour and coconut flour are processed to the point that they can mimic wheat flour in recipes. While this may seem like you can get away with eating modified versions of your favorite foods, we suggest that you proceed with caution. This processing does no favors for your digestive tract.
As a rule, nuts are difficult to digest. Almonds are no exception. The problem with almond meal or almond flour is that people tend to eat far more than they would if they were nibbling on a handful of almonds as a snack. The same goes for coconut flour.
The thing about all nuts, including almonds, is that they contain anti-nutrients. Phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are anti-nutrients that make almonds difficult to digest and drain your mineral reserves.
For example, phytic acid binds to iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. Standard processing and heat only minimally reduce levels of phytic acid in almond flour and nut butters.
In order to get rid of anti-nutrients, we suggest that you soak almonds 12- 24 hours, rinsing every 8 hours. If you would like to occasionally enjoy a treat made with almond flour, you can then dehydrate the soaked almonds and grind them into flour.
While almond and coconut flour can be fun substitutes for wheat flour when transitioning from the Standard American Diet, they are not for anyone on the first stage of the Body Ecology Diet.
Just because these flours are gluten-free does not make them harmless.
If you regularly use almond flour, coconut flour, or nut butters and haven’t seen an improvement in your health—this could be the one thing holding you back.
Flours are acidifying and gummy; they can easily inflame the gut. Even after healing your digestive tract and getting rid of Candida overgrowth, we suggest that you only occasionally enjoy foods made from almond flour and coconut flour.
Coconut flour and almond flour are popular alternatives to gluten-rich flour, but they aren’t so easy on the gut. Those with Candida overgrowth, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, heartburn, acne, or leaky gut must be especially careful of how their body reacts to coconut flour, almond flour, or nut butter.
Gluten-free flours may seem innocent, but they are often full of sugar and become gummy in the intestine. These flours are processed to mimic wheat flour, meaning that they don’t support a healthy inner ecology. What’s more, processed almond flour is not made from soaked almonds. Almonds must be soaked for 12-24 hours before eating to get rid of anti-nutrients that can inhibit digestion and drain mineral reserves.
The bottom line is this: Gluten-free flour alternatives may be enticing, but they are not harmless. These flours are acidifying and gummy. They are not beneficial on the first stage of the Body Ecology Diet.