Within the world of flours, we can obtain it from various cereals, seeds and fruits. Although the most common worldwide is that which comes from cereals (wheat, for example), there are viable alternatives that even improve the beneficial properties for health.
To study this, the nutritional composition has been analyzed based on what it gives us, its level of carbohydrates and sugars and its flavor.
In addition, there are several clinical trials where they see the advantages it offers over flours of different origin.
This article reviews the benefits to the body of the almond flour and evaluates if it is one of the best options compared to other types of flour.
How is almond flour obtained?
The simple grinding of almonds offers us the product known as almond flour.
The methodology of obtaining consists of bleaching the almonds with boiling water, so that the skin is easily removed from them, something similar to the process before frying or cleaning them. From here, they are ground or crushed to form a fine-textured flour.
In the market we can find almond flour with skin or previously peeled, whose nutritional composition varies slightly. In general, the skin usually contains quite a few minerals and more fiber concentration.
The alternative to traditional cereal flour comes from a lower contribution of carbohydrates, more concentration in minerals and a sweeter flavor, typical of the almond.
There are no differences between the nutritional composition of natural almond and flour, as it does not undergo chemical modifications.
Content for 28 grams
|Composition||Concentration||Recommended daily allowance|
|Total energy||163 kcal||8%|
Almonds stand out nutritionally for their vitamin E content with 7.4 mg per serving (37% RDA), riboflavins (17% RDA), niacins (5% RDA) and folates (4% RDA).
- Calcium: 75.6 mg (8% RDA)
- Hiero: 1 mg (6% RDA)
- Magnesium: 84.8 mg (21% RDA)
- Phosphorus: 146 mg (15% RDA)
- Potassium: 212 mg (6% RDA)
- Zinc: 0.9 mg (6% RDA)
- Copper: 0.3 mg (13% RDA)
- Manganese: 0.7 mg (33% RDA)
It also offers a high load of antioxidants, as you can see in the article on the properties of almonds.
Almond flour offers better glycemic index
Flours that come from cereals such as wheat are high in carbohydrates, but low in fiber.
This causes its consumption to raise sugar levels in the bloodstream considerably, with rapid rises and falls. Something that is not appropriate for patients with diabetes.
On the other hand, almond flour contains lower concentration in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats (unsaturated) and dietary fiber.
This gives it to be considered as a food with bgarlic glycemic index, so the sugar is released slowly, without sharp spikes.
Its high magnesium content offers advantages from the mineral point of view in many functions of our body. Among them, the regulation of blood sugar.
As mentioned above, almond flour contains a remarkably high amount of magnesium, a mineral that plays hundreds of functions in your body, including blood sugar control. [consulted source]
A very notable percentage of patients with type II diabetes (about 25%) have a clear deficiency of magnesium in their diet, so almond flour may be an acceptable alternative to wheat to increase this mineral.
Almond flour is gluten free
Modern food requires more and more products that do not contain gluten, due to intolerances or food allergies to this compound, (celiacs).
Wheat flours contain, and in quantity, this protein. Therefore, almond flour is an alternative source of carbohydrates and proteins.
It does not contain gluten, although we must check the brand we buy to avoid containing cereal derivatives and demonstrate that they have a 100% gluten-free content.
Activity against cholesterol and blood pressure
The consumption of foods high in fiber, minerals and vitamins favors the reduction of coronary heart disease, one of the causes of the highest number of deaths in the Western world.
The high blood pressure and the cholesterol levels considered bad (LDL) are the main causes of heart disease and heart attacks.
Scientific studies have shown how almonds are beneficial in counteracting LDL cholesterol, favoring the accumulation of good cholesterol (HDL). [See information]
Several studies with a large number of patients showed that almonds managed to reduce up to 5.8 mg/dl of LDL cholesterol. [Consult study]
In turn, high blood pressure is related to a low consumption of foods with magnesium, so it is interesting to look for alternatives of products that contain this mineral.
However, it is necessary to deepen the studies to draw more truthful conclusions about the importance of almond flour in cardiovascular health.
On the other hand, almond flour reduces the height to which cereal flour elaborations can reach, acquiring more plant and denser forms.
Flour from almonds contains more calories than cereal, something that usually happens because the Seeds contain a lot of energy.
Other alternatives: coconut flour
In the market we can find other alternatives to flours from cereals or even almonds. An example would be coconut flour, a fairly unknown product but also with notable advantages.
In the same way as wheat flours, the coconut flour contains more carbohydrates but less fat than almond flour.
It contains fewer calories for the same weight as almonds, but much lower content of vitamins and minerals.
Both are gluten-free, although the latter is much more complex to handle in pastries. It absorbs much more moisture and the final texture is different. This makes it necessary to add less water or milk to desserts.
Summary and conclusions
Flour from almonds is a very interesting alternative to wheat, especially for people who have gluten intolerance.
It has many nutrients, more calories than wheat and higher concentration in minerals and vitamins.
It offers improved advantages in terms of lower risk of heart disease (hypertension) and better glycemic index.
In addition, it contains fewer carbohydrates and more healthy fats (HDL) and proteins than its cereal counterpart.
Buy almond flour
The price of almond flour it is much higher than that of wheat, since the almond is much more valued and fewer kilograms of production are obtained.
Here you can find some healthy options of flour from almonds.