Have you heard about carob yet? Because this amazing chocolate alternative and a natural remedy together is going to sweep you off your feet.
What is it actually?
Carob is basically a fruit which grows on trees in Mediterranean area and looks a lot like pods of green beans or peas. They are vividly green but when they ripen, they turn brown. Interestingly, we don´t eat the seeds like we would with peas or beans, but let the pods dry, sometimes roast them, and grind them into a powder. It resembles cocoa or a chocolate powder by its structure and taste and was first used by Egyptians instead of sugar. And why is it so great?
Full of nutrients
One tablespoon of carob flour (approximately 15g), which is considered a portion, contains 26.5% of daily recommended amount of dietary fiber which was specifically proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL. Carob fiber in small dosage helps promote a healthy gut thanks to the insolubility which binds toxins and takes them away from the body. In higher dosages, it is frequently used as a diarrhea treatment. Vitamin-wise, carob in any form is also a great source of B vitamins, calcium, and potassium which protect the immune system and your heart.
Firstly, since carob has been found to contain large amounts of antioxidants, specifically phenolic compounds, which are capable of repairing cells damaged by free radicals, often referred to as cytotoxic activity, its most important use must be prevention of diseases, especially cancer. Besides the polyphenols, carob has many other amazing properties, such as anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and analgesic. That´s why it is often used as a flu or cold remedy by mixing the powder with milk and thus making a powerful and tasty treatment. In this form of chocolate milk it can be served to toddlers when they´re teething and cannot sleep, and what is even more calming, is that there has been no evidence for carob to cause allergies and intolerances so you can give it to your children and not have to worry about possible bad reactions. Now if you´re the one who´s allergic to cocoa, carob is a perfect substitute which not only sweetens your dish and adds this chocolaty feel to it, but it protects you from catching a cold or developing an allergy. So don´t hesitate anymore and go grab some carob powder in your local healthy store!
by Katarína Vicová
Medical Health Guide (2011). Carob herbal medicine. Retrieved from: http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/herb/carob.htm
Organic Facts (2016). Health benefits of carob. Retrieved from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-carob.html
Street Organics (n.d.). [picture]. Carob pods – and what to do with them. Retrieved from: http://streetorganics.com/carob-pods-and-what-to-do-with-them/