Many millions of people have either food allergies or food intolerance. To take one type of intolerance as an example to show the extent of the problem, it is estimated that 15% of people in the USA have gluten intolerance.
One theory for this significant number of allergies and intolerance is that man formed his original eating habits millions of years ago when he was a hunter-gatherer. Agriculture domesticated certain strains of food and developed them because of their ability to produce high volumes of food. Little did those early agriculturists know that wheat, barley, oats and dairy products would eventually make many people in the future sick.
Many of the safe alternatives to foods that cause allergies are called ‘ancient grains’ because they are foods that were used before modern mass cultivation. These ancient staples include tapioca, cassava, millet, quinoa and coconut.
The coconut is a fast growing resource that thrives in tropical and South Pacific locations. It is a plant that is at the commercial heart of many island communities. Some people in the South Pacific have diets that consist of up to 60% coconut.
From the coconut palm it is possible to make a number of food and drink products – coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water and coconut flour. Two of these products – coconut milk and coconut flour – are of particular relevance to this post.
Coconut milk is rich in calcium and other minerals. Drinking coconut milk also stops vitamin E deficiency. Coconut milk can be used as a substitute for milk in shakes and smoothies. Thick coconut milk can also be used as substitute for yoghurt. This makes coconut milk ideal for people who have lactose intolerance.
Coconut flour is made from coconut meat that is defatted and ground up. It is low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fiber. It is also 100% gluten free and wheat free. Coconut flour can be used to make short breads and cakes. It can also be used to thicken sauces. Coconut flour is thus good for people with gluten intolerance.
The benefit of all coconut food and drink products is that it contains lauric acid that protects the body against viral infection. Also coconut products improve the metabolism and strengthen the immunity system. Coconut milk in particular is used in Ayurveda medicine to treat a number of conditions.
So not only is coconut milk and coconut flour great for those people suffering from lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance, it is also great ingredients to promote health.