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Use Mesquite Flour to Prevent Diabetes

Updated on January 27, 2013

Centuries Old Mesquite Flour

When we think of mesquite we tend to think of barbeques and the mesquite wood that goes with it. Mesquite hardwood has been used for barbeques to add a smoky sweetness to grilled food. From that same tree comes a flour; ground from the mesquite tree is mesquite flour.

Is mesquite flour new?

While mesquite has been on the American continent for centuries, the flour is just now making its way to the baking aisles of the supermarket. This news is beneficial to Americans who fill up on white flour products because mesquite flour helps to control diabetes and may prevent it all together - as it has for hundreds of years and maybe centuries.

What makes mesquite flour so different?

Mesquite flour is known to prevent the sugar spikes that occur when eating white flour food products. The flour also stabilizes glucose levels. Its natural sugars do not require insulin for the body to make use of them. According to research, it helps maintain steady blood-sugar levels.

Mesquite flour is also digested more slowly than other flours helping you feel full longer. Compare the 4 to 6 hours it takes for mesquite flour to digest to the 1 to 2 hours it takes wheat flour to digest.

It has a natural sweetness in the pods which comes from fructose; fructose does not require insulin to be metabolized. Mesquite flour also has a slightly nutty taste with a hint of molasses. It delivers quite a bit of nutrition. It is high in dietary fiber and protein (11% - 17%), including lysine, and is a good source of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. It is low in fat and carbohydrates.

Where does mesquite grow?

Mesquite flour is not new to parts of the US. The tree can be found from central Texas to southeastern California and in Utah. It is also grown in desert regions throughout the world; they require little cultivation. Despite the fact that this tree provides an astounding amount of nutrition, it is considered a weed by ranchers and is regularly eradicated.

How has diabetes increased?

For many of the First People in the Southwest and Mexico, mesquite was an integral part of the daily diet. For over 2,000 years the Native people in arid regions relied on mesquite as a food to regulate blood sugar; diabetes did not exist then in these communities where the diet consisted of native plants with mesquite meal playing a major role. Now in native communities, as with the rest of the US population, diabetes is epidemic with a 70% increase in young people between the ages of 18-22.

Truly, we are what we eat.

Recommendations for use:

It is recommended that when you first try mesquite flour to use about 25% in proportion to whatever else you are preparing - as the taste is strong and you may need to get used to it. It works well with cornmeal when making cornbread, as well as with other grains as when making pancakes. It can also be used for baking cookies and cakes, and used as a breading for seafood and meats. A bit can be added to the morning smoothie or used to sprinkle over food. You'll use much less of it than regular flour - follow package directions.

Any more benefits other than to our diet?

Mesquite trees support sustainable agriculture worldwide and has sustained people of desert areas for centuries.

While, I have not found it in my local supermarket, I have found it in so-called health food stores. It can also be ordered online.

More suggested reading about diet and diabetes:

Listed below is a link to Japanese Shirataki noodles which have been shown to control diabetes, and links to other healthy eating ideas, including probiotics in Korean Kimchi.

save our native trees
save our native trees

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