Mesquite Flour– Nutritious, Gluten-Free Grain Substitute
Mesquite flour is a nutritious, gluten-free substitute to grains. Mesquite is a tree that is native to the Americas, especially the desert regions of northern Mexico, western South America, and southern United States. It is sturdy and drought-tolerant, and survives well in arid and semi-arid regions that receive little rainfall. Although it is considered a nuisance by ranchers because its roots often steal moisture from neighboring flora, the mesquite tree does have a saving grace: it produces highly nutritious seed pods which, in turn, make a flavorful flour that provides us with numerous health benefits.
- Gluten-free – Like buckwheat flour and coconut flour, mesquite flour (also called mesquite powder and mesquite meal) is gluten-free. This is a big plus for everyone, not just for people with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, because gluten consumption has been linked to brain fog, fatigue, headaches, depression, bloating and gas, and much more. Indeed, in his popular 2011 book, Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis shows that the gliadin protein contained in gluten polymers is a leading cause of weight gain. Therefore, we should welcome any substitutes to processed white flour, which is high in gluten.
- Diabetic-friendly – Mesquite flour has a low glycemic index score of 25, which is in the same league as most fruits and vegetables. This means that it has less impact on blood sugar levels. For this reason, mesquite flour may be suitable for some diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals. [see our comments below for Health-e-Solutions lifestyle suitability]
- High in protein – Mesquite flour is comprised of between 13 and 17 percent protein (depending on the quality), which is comparable to many famously protein-rich seeds such as sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Moreover, it is a ‘complete’ protein, since it contains all eight essential amino acids. This makes the flour an excellent choice for bodybuilders, athletes, vegetarians, vegans, and anyone else who is seeking high-quality natural energy but doesn’t want to resort to refined carbohydrates.
- Weight loss food – You can incorporate mesquite flour into a weight loss plan because, aside from being gluten-free and low in carbohydrates, it is also low in fat (three percent) and high in dietary fiber. Although fiber is best-known for improving regularity and treating constipation, it also encourages weight loss since it absorbs water from the large intestine, which helps us feel fuller for longer and discourages overeating.
- Trace mineral content – Mesquite flour contains respectable levels of calcium, which is vital for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and magnesium, which boosts hormone health and helps us to absorb calcium better. Additionally, it is rich in essential minerals like potassium, zinc, and iron, which keep our bodies functioning optimally.
Health-e-Solutions comment: We have a mesquite tree in our front yard that produces an abundance of seed pods. We have collected them and ground them into flour – free food! It has a strong taste, so we use only small amounts mixed into our almond meal and flaxseed tortilla recipe to give the tortillas a unique taste. Since the glycemic index is 25, it is higher than the typical 15 or lower threshold we have set. However, the amount we use would place the glycemic load comfortably under our glycemic load threshold of 3 or lower.
If you use it, use it as a flavoring more than a complete flour replacement.
The core of the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle uses food as natural means by which to #MasterDiabetes and keep #DiabetesMastered in the healthiest way possible. In this downloadable, printable e-publication, we have compiled answers to 87 questions that we either received from people about nutrition in general, about the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle specifically, or that we have encountered in our studies.
Most of these questions have not been addressed elsewhere. Our goal in answering these questions is to provide you with a deeper look into what we do for success and why we do it, equipping you with the answers you need for the #PracticalLivableSustainable application of the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle to nutrition.