Tapioca is arguably one of the healthiest flour alternatives and is widely used on various weight loss and healthy diets. But is tapioca the best option for those who are allergic to gluten or want to avoid gluten in their diet? Is tapioca gluten free?
To get straight to the point, tapioca is not only healthy but, without any doubt, one of the best gluten free substances that you can add to your diet.
It is made directly from starch, and there is no trace of gluten in it, even though it works as an alternative to some of the most gluten high food components.
So, how good is tapioca as a gluten free substance? That’s what we will break down in this article.
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What Is Gluten?
Before we can dive into what tapioca is and how it is made, we need to understand what gluten is and why it negatively influences people’s health.
To start off, gluten is the standard name for proteins or prolamins that are found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. The main purpose of it is to maintain or hold the shape of foods; this is due to the fact that gluten has high elasticity. For this reason, they are often used in bread and cakes.
Gluten offers quite a few benefits to our health. It is rich in proteins making it a perfect option for vegetarians, and it also protects you from heart diseases and colorectal cancers. Gluten lowers the risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Is Gluten Bad?
Well, many have to avoid gluten due to certain health conditions and allergies like celiac disease and such. But medical experts have supported the fact that you should avoid gluten-based food if you can.
While gluten has a few positive impacts on your health and body, most of it can be gained through other healthier diet options.
You will also end up facing bloating and fatigue issues if you start to eat too much gluten. And even for those who aren’t affected by celiac disease, consuming gluten can trigger gastrointestinal irritation.
But does this mean you will have to quit foods that require gluten to be made, like bread and cakes? No, and that is where tapioca comes in.
What Is Tapioca?
Tapioca or tapioca starch is originated from cassava roots located in South America. It is a starch extract of the cassava root that can be a great alternative to gluten. And because of that, it doesn’t have the drawbacks of gluten but can provide the necessary elasticity support that gluten offers.
Generally, tapioca is used as a thickening agent in foods like puddings, cakes, bread, sauces. It provides a soft, fluffy, and light texture to your baked goods. And as it doesn’t contain any sort of gluten, it can be a great addition to a healthy diet.
How Tapioca Is Made?
Unlike flours that are made from wheat, tapioca flour or powder is made through a different process. Generally, tapioca is made from grinding and squeezing out the liquid of the cassava roots.
Once all the liquid is extracted, the starch is left to dry out. After the drying process is complete, you will be left with tapioca powder.
Why Is Tapioca Gluten Free?
Now, you might be wondering if tapioca acts similar to gluten, then how come it can be gluten free at the same time? Well, gluten, as mentioned before, comes from grains such as wheat, where tapioca is a starch extracted from cassava roots.
What’s more, gluten is made of protein, whereas tapioca is starch, meaning it is made of carbohydrates.
While both protein and carbohydrates are base nutrients that are required for the body, their structures and usage are entirely different. And have no similarities between them.
Thus, we can come to the conclusion that tapioca is completely gluten free because the base components of tapioca and gluten are entirely different.
Benefits of Tapioca
There is no doubt that tapioca can be an excellent replacement for gluten in your diet. But this is not the only reason you should consider adding tapioca to your meals. Tapioca has a few more positive impacts on your body that you might not know of.
Here are the benefits that you will enjoy after adding tapioca to your diet:
- Tapioca comes with a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps the body to digest food smoothly.
- It offers a rich amount of healthy carbs, an excellent option for those who want to gain some weight.
- As it is made of starch, tapioca feeds the gut bacteria, which helps our intestinal functions and strengthens the digestive system.
- Due to tapioca being gluten free, you won’t have to worry about allergies that are associated with flours.
- Tapioca is also very low in fats, so you won’t have to worry about your cholesterols getting high if you plan a tapioca-based diet.
- Some studies have shown that tapioca can act as a cure for headaches and migraines.
- Tapioca is also regarded as a remedy to skin-related issues like scars, dark spots, dullness, dehydration, hair problems, and more.
So, not only will you be enjoying a gluten free meal with tapioca you will also have a lot of additional benefits that can help you to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are tapioca pearls GF?
Yes, they are completely gluten-free.
Can celiacs eat tapioca?
Since it’s gluten-free, you can eat it even if you have celiac disease.
Can Vegans eat tapioca?
Yes, they can as it’s a vegan item.
Get the Best Gluten Free Experience with Tapioca!
Tapioca, without any doubt, will be a great addition to your diet and will help you to lead a healthy life. We are confident that if you have come this far in the article, then you already know how good tapioca is and how it can affect your health.
Hopefully, this answers all your concerns regarding the question— is tapioca gluten free?
So, start adding tapioca to your diet and experience the effects of a gluten free diet right away!