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Almond Flour: Can too much of a good thing be bad for you?

Almond Flour: Can too much of a good thing be bad for you? | Mr Vitamins
An alternative to traditional grain-based flour, almond flour has emerged as a popular ingredient in many healthy recipes. But unfortunately, consuming excess amounts of almond flour can produce the same if not worse effects as grain-based flour. Now, although almond flour is made from almonds, almonds still provide several benefits that your body needs. So, moderation is key.

Whole Almonds promote health

As you may have learned before, almonds are very good for you and make a great substitute for junk food when it comes to snacking. Just one to two handfuls of almonds per day can help:
  • Build muscle
  • Boost brain health
  • Fight cancer
  • Improve skin health
  • Maintain body weight
  • Slow ageing
  • Strengthen bones
Nevertheless, the processing that creates almond flour ruins many of these benefits.

Almond Flour—another processed food?

In the case of whole foods like almonds, processing can be as simple as removing the almond’s outer shell, exposing its contents to heat, light, and oxygen, and grinding them down to make almond flour. Those contents that become exposed and ground up are actually fats and antioxidants that give almonds all their nutritional qualities. After such rigorous processing, those fats and antioxidants are no longer able to prevent oxidation and actually become free radicals themselves.

Eat Almonds, but don’t overindulge!

With so many people turning to the Paleo diet and other grain-free diets, almond flour is eaten in abundance. Then, in an effort to eat healthy, a lot of those people also snack on almonds. However, this combination of almonds and almond flour can quickly develop into a dangerous overindulgence. Almonds, as well as other nuts, contain a number of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and lechtin that your body cannot digest. And as their name indicates, anti-nutrients also prevent your body from absorbing essential nutrients and minerals. One suggestion solution is to soak your almonds in spring or filtered water for 12-24 hours. This process is called activation and hleps to remove at least some (about 10 - 30% of the phytic acid). Then you can either keep the nuts in the fridge - they will last about a week; or put them into a dehydrator and dehydrate for 16-24 hours on a low setting.  Once dry you can grind them for flour or eat just as they are. Finally, almonds are loaded with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-6 is essential for sustaining a healthy lifestyle, but only in small quantities. Too much omega-6 in your diet can cause:
  • Limited thyroid function—leading to hormonal imbalance
  • Reduced antioxidants—leading to more free radicals
  • Sluggish metabolism—leading to weight gain
  • Increased inflammation—leading to chronic stress on your body

More advice for maximising your Almond intake

As much as possible, eat raw almonds just removed from their shell. Limit oxidation by storing your almonds or almond flour in a tightly closed container in a dark place like your refrigerator or freezer. Finish consuming almonds or almond flour within one week of opening them. Also, avoid heating, roasting, or baking your almonds. Additionally, ‘Ask a Naturopath’ to examine you and confirm that you do not suffer from autoimmune disease, bone loss, tooth decay, or leaky gut syndrome. Individuals with one of these conditions or another serious illness should not consume nuts or flours made from nutss.

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