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22 Aug 2019, Edition - 1500, Thursday

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Health Matters

Banana Flour: The Gluten-Free Weight Loss-Friendly Flour That May Also Regulate Blood Sugar

ndtv.com

An increasing number of ‘diet-friendly’ products are labeled with ‘gluten-free’ labels. While it may be hip nowadays to go gluten-free, research has suggested those who are not suffering from celiac disease may derive no benefit from a gluten-free diet. Nevertheless, the demand and availability of gluten-free flours and products has increased. A relatively lesser known gluten-free flour is banana flour. Yes, you read that right! It’s flour made from bananas and it may sound bizarre, but it has been used in parts of Africa and Jamaica, as a cheaper alternative for wheat flour for years now. The flour has been promoted for use by ‘trendy diets’ like paleo and primal diets. It also comes with a unique flavour and a number of health benefits, which you might like to know about.

Banana flour is made from green bananas and has a mild flavour of raw bananas. When cooked, banana flour loses that fruit flavour and hence, can be used as a healthier alternative to white or processed wheat flours.

Benefits Of Banana Flour

Besides being a great alternative for those suffering from celiac disease, banana flour may also offer some benefits even for those who don’t have gluten sensitivity. Take a look:

1. Rich in prebiotic fibre

Green bananas are known to be rich in prebiotic fibre, which is important for promoting gut health, as well as for reducing belly fat. Prebiotic fibre also improves digestion.

2. Rich in potassium

Potassium is one nutrient with multiple benefits including maintaining heart health and helping one deal with anxiety and stress. It also enhances muscle strength and boosts metabolism.

3. Rich in resistant starch

Banana flour is extremely rich in resistant starch, which is why it may help diabetics improve insulin sensitivity and maintain blood sugar levels. This is because it is not rapidly digested in the small intestine, but it reaches the large intestine where it is used as fermentable dietary fibre.

Because of the fact that banana flour is so rich in starch, you can use a much smaller volume of the flour, as compared to other flours. It is for the same reason that banana flour has amazing characteristics for cooking and baking purposes. So you can try using banana flour in your next batch of brownies to reap its benefits.

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