Food

Health Benefits of Flour

The flour is a dehydrated powder, abundant starch obtained usually ground cereals such as wheat or roots such as cassava. Although the most common flours are these, there are several types of flour, such as corn, almonds, coconut and chickpeas. Usually, when it is just called flour, it refers to wheat flour. In this article, we will only talk about wheat flour.

Wheat flour has many varieties, each of which has a specific function. We’ll explain more about types and their functions in a topic below. Wheat flour is the main ingredient in many recipes, being the core for the preparation of breads, noodles, cakes, porridges, pies, pancakes and snacks.

The origin of wheat is very old and unknown. Each people attributed their appearance to a different deity: the Egyptians to the goddess Isis, the Hindus to Brahma, the Arabs to Saint Michael and the Christians to God.

Studies indicate that the human race has been cultivating a species of wheat (Triticum vulgare) for at least 6,000 years. Wheat grains have also been found in the tombs of mummies in Egypt, in ruins of lake dwellings in Switzerland and in bricks in the pyramid of Dashur.

In the 16th century, with the arrival of the first settlers, wheat arrived in Brazil and was soon taken to the south, where the climate and soil were more suitable. The Azoreans were the protagonists in the history of wheat in the country and, despite arriving only in the 18th century, they were the ones who gave great strength to the prosperity of this cereal. After several epidemics, wars and opening of ports, wheat almost disappeared. With the proclamation of independence, a new wheat cycle began, which has had its ups and downs since then.

Currently, the country is not self-sufficient in wheat. Most of the wheat consumed in the country comes from other countries. The biggest flour producer is Germany, followed by Turkey and Argentina. In the country, most of the wheat is still grown in the south, where weather conditions are more favorable for its planting.

In Brazil, as determined by the government, since 2002 all flour sold must be enriched in folic acid and iron. As wheat flour is one of the most consumed foods in the country, it was the way the government found to prevent neonatal defects caused by the insufficiency of these nutrients.

FLOUR BENEFITS

Wheat is the second most produced cereal in the world. For some people, it can improve mood, fight cholesterol, and aid muscle recovery.

One of the benefits of this ingredient is that it quickly produces energy after ingestion. The glucose generated by wheat serves as fuel for all vital body functions, tissue growth and repair.

As it is very rich in carbohydrates, that is, glucose, it helps to improve mood, as it makes the body produce serotonin. This hormone is related to the feeling of well-being, reducing irritation. Glucose also helps control sleep.

Wheat flour is also a great source of fiber. These fibers help in the correct functioning of digestive and intestinal functions. It also helps control cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

Whole wheat also has the ability to delay the absorption of carbohydrates (because it is rich in soluble fiber), helping to control diabetes.

FLOUR PROPERTIES

Wheat flour is a great source of carbohydrates. Although the white type is poor in nutrients, the whole type (with white) contains B vitamins, zinc and potassium. Zinc helps strengthen the immune system and potassium in hydrating body tissues.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION ON FLOUR

Wheat flour is high in carbohydrates, low in protein and very low in fat. For every 100g of this ingredient there are 75.1g of carbohydrates; 9.8g of protein; 0.3g of saturated fat; 0.2g of monounsaturated fat; 0.5g of polyunsaturated fat and 0.2g of dietary fiber.

The nutrients in flour are many. Every 100g of this food contains 17.9mg of calcium; 114.7mg of phosphorus; 0.5mg of manganese; 31mg of magnesium; 1.4g of lipids; 1mg of iron; 151.4 mg of potassium; 0.8mg of zinc; 0.9mg of niacin; 0.3mg of thiamine (B1) and 0.7 of sodium.

FLOWER HARM

According to recent studies, consumption of this food is related to lack of appetite control (binge eating), imbalance in blood sugar levels, weight gain, pH changes, increased inflammatory processes, allergies, skin rashes, loss of hair, forgetfulness, headache, loss of bone mass, non-absorption of nutrients and increased levels of bad cholesterol.

Normally, wheat flour mainly attacks the intestine, generating inflammation that, with its continued ingestion, causes holes in the wall of this organ, leaving it permeable. These holes leave the passage free for substances that should not be absorbed by the blood. In this way, viruses and bacteria are able to walk and spread freely throughout the body, causing generalized infections and allergies.

EAT FLOUR WITHOUT GETTING FAT

Like any other food, flour can make you fat. However, it is not the flour that makes you fat, but the amount of this food ingested. If consumed in moderation, there will be no problems with the scale. It’s all about balance.

TYPES OF FLOUR

There are several types of wheat flour, one for each purpose. Below we will explain a little about each type.

  1. White flour type 00

This type of flour is super-refined but 100% natural. It is made from the weaker grains of wheat, having less gluten, yet absorbing more water. This type of flour is perfect for light and aerated doughs, with easy digestion. In Brazil, this type of flour is not produced, being imported from Canada, Italy and Argentina.

  • White flour type 0

Type 0 flour contains more gluten than type 00. It also has more iron, making the dough with more texture and volume. This type is ideal for bread, pizza and pasta.

  • Type 1 flour

Type 1 flour, also known as special, is the most versatile type. It is produced by mixing strong and weak wheat grains. It can be used in any type of preparation.

  • Wholemeal flour

This type of flour comes from the milling of the whole wheat grain, and is used in recipes that require a higher fiber content, such as wholegrain recipes.

FLOUR RECIPES

There are several recipes that can be found on the internet. The most famous recipes that use wheat are breads, cakes and pizzas. However, there is a wide range of foods that carry this ingredient such as pancakes, pastries, cookies, donuts and pies.

A very famous recipe that uses mostly wheat flour is pizza dough. Below, we leave an easy and delicious recipe for this dough.

Ingredients :

  • 500g of wheat flour;
  • 5g of biological yeast;
  • 325ml of warm water and
  • 5g of salt.

The preparation mode is very simple. Mix all the ingredients until you form a uniform dough. Knead it for a few minutes to activate the gluten well and knead the dough to make it very soft.

Afterwards, let it rest for an hour covered with film so as not to lose moisture. Then divide the dough in two and open it in the shape you want (this dough yields two pizzas of approximately 30 centimeters in diameter). Finally, brush a little oil and add the filling you want, place in the oven and bake until the edge is golden.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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