Are you a fan of almond flour?
It’s a popular ingredient in many keto and gluten-free recipes, but have you ever experienced stomach pain after consuming it?
You’re not alone.
Many people have reported digestive issues after consuming almond flour, and it’s important to understand why.
In this article, we’ll explore the potential causes of stomach pain from almond flour and what you can do to alleviate the discomfort.
So, let’s dive in and find out if almond flour is causing your stomach pain.
Can Almond Flour Cause Stomach Pain?
Almond flour is a great source of fat and fiber, but excessive intake of these nutrients can lead to stomach pain. This is because high fiber foods like almond flour can worsen the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is a common cause of stomach pain.
Moreover, studies have shown that high-fat foods can promote dyspeptic symptoms like stomach pain. As almond flour is a rich source of fat, it may exacerbate the symptoms of dyspepsia, leading to stomach pain.
Additionally, almond flour contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which can cause digestive issues by impairing the action of certain digestive enzymes. PUFAs also slow down thyroid function and inhibit detoxification enzymes, leading to inflammation in the body.
Furthermore, some people may have an intolerance to almond flour, which can cause digestive discomfort and stomach pain. This intolerance may be due to the presence of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid in almonds that make them hard to digest.
What Is Almond Flour And Why Is It Popular?
Almond flour, also known as almond meal, has gained popularity in recent years as a grain-free, low-carb alternative to regular flour. Despite the name, almonds are actually seeds from almond trees. Almonds are an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Many studies have found that eating nuts, particularly almonds, can lower cholesterol and reduce heart health-related problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even issued a statement promoting the consumption of almonds for their heart health benefits.
To make almond flour, blanched almonds are ground into a fine powder or meal. However, because of their tiny size, more almonds are needed to make a small amount of flour than what you would normally consume on a healthy diet. This means that instead of being a healthy replacement for flour, almond flour tends to be much more calorie-dense.
While almonds lower cholesterol, the additional eggs required to bind ingredients in baked goods with almond flour may be counteracting the heart benefits of the almond. Additionally, almond flour is high in PUFAs, which can cause the possible oxidation of fats when baking. This oxidation of fats can lead to the consumption of free radicals, which can cause cell damage to the body.
Almond flour is also high in enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which can cause indigestion and stomach pains. These short-term side effects may not affect everyone, but almond flour should not become part of a regular diet.
The Link Between Almond Flour And Stomach Pain
There are several ways in which almond flour can lead to stomach pain. One of the main reasons is due to the high fiber content in almond flour. While fiber is essential for digestion, excessive intake of fiber can worsen IBS symptoms, leading to stomach pain.
Another reason is due to the high-fat content in almond flour. Studies have shown that high-fat foods can promote dyspeptic symptoms like stomach pain. As almond flour is a rich source of fat, it may exacerbate the symptoms of dyspepsia, leading to stomach pain.
Moreover, almond flour contains PUFAs, which can impair the action of certain digestive enzymes and slow down thyroid function. This can lead to inflammation in the body and digestive discomfort.
Finally, some people may have an intolerance to almond flour due to the presence of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid in almonds. These compounds make them hard to digest and can cause digestive discomfort and stomach pain.
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience stomach pain from consuming almond flour. However, if you do experience digestive discomfort after consuming almond flour, it may be worth considering other alternatives or reducing your intake.
How To Alleviate Stomach Pain From Almond Flour
If you experience stomach pain after consuming almond flour, there are several steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort.
Firstly, try reducing your intake of almond flour and gradually increasing it over time. This will allow your body to adjust to the high fat and fiber content of almond flour without causing digestive distress.
Secondly, try soaking the almonds before using them to make almond flour. Soaking the almonds can denature most of the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, making them easier to digest.
Thirdly, consider using alternative flours like coconut flour or oat flour, which are easier to digest and less likely to cause stomach pain.
Lastly, if you have a food sensitivity or allergy to almonds, it is best to avoid almond flour altogether and opt for other gluten-free flours like rice flour or potato flour.
Alternatives To Almond Flour For Those With Digestive Issues
If you’re experiencing stomach pain or digestive issues after consuming almond flour, there are several alternatives that you can try. One such alternative is coconut flour. It is naturally low in carbs and contains more fiber than almond flour, making it a great option for those on a low-carb or keto diet. Coconut flour is also gentler on the digestive system and less likely to cause constipation than almond flour.
Another alternative is cassava flour, which is great for gut health due to its high resistant starch content. Tiger nut flour is also a good option, but it can be more expensive and harder to find recipes for. Plantain flour is another alternative that is high in resistant starch, but it can be difficult to find recipes for as well.
For those who are open to trying something new, cricket flour is an option. Although it may sound strange, cricket flour is made from ground-up crickets and can be used in baking. However, it is expensive and not widely available.
Lastly, beans such as navy beans and black beans can be used as a base for brownies, cakes, and other baked goods. While they are not paleo-friendly, they are grain-free and easy to find recipes for. Soaking them beforehand can also help reduce their phytic acid content.