The carob is a fruit of the carob, which is a shrub, and has the same shape as a pod, having within it 8 to 12 seeds of brown color and sweet flavor.
This fruit is rich in antioxidants, mainly polyphenols, and can be used as an alternative to cocoa powder or chocolate, since it has a similar flavor. In addition, carob has few calories and is an excellent source of fiber and vitamins of the B complex, calcium and magnesium.
It is possible to find carob powder, gum or cream in supermarkets, health food stores or online stores, which can be mixed in milk or added to recipes traditionally made with chocolate such as cookies and cakes. In addition, there are also industrialized carob products such as cereal bars and jams, for example.
In addition to being used as a substitute for chocolate, locust beans can bring some health benefits, the main ones being:
Improves gastrointestinal health
Due to the fact that it contains fibers and tannins, carob helps to improve the functioning of the intestine by decreasing diarrhea, improving acidity, avoiding acidity, reducing vomiting and maintaining the health of the intestinal microbiota.
In addition, carob has an anti-reflux action and, therefore, is a good ingredient to be used in infant formulas.
Carob is rich in antioxidants, which helps to lower levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides and thus promotes the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, for example, since antioxidants prevent the deposition of fats in the arteries and the decrease in the absorption of fat by the body.
Because it is rich in fibers, such as pectin, it is possible to avoid glycemic spikes and decrease the amount of circulating sugar in the body. In addition, when foods are enriched with locust beans, it is possible to have a decrease in their glycemic index, which also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Promotes bone health
Carob is rich in calcium and magnesium, which helps to improve bone density and, consequently, strengthen bones and teeth, for example, and prevent fractures and osteoporosis.
Favors weight loss
Carob has few calories, is rich in fiber and has a high fat content, so when it is part of a healthy and balanced diet, it can favor the increased feeling of satiety, favoring weight loss.
It can improve the quality of sleep
Because it does not contain caffeine and has a sweet taste, carob can be used as a substitute for chocolate or cocoa, and can be consumed at night without interfering with sleep quality, in the case of people sensitive to caffeine.
May have anti-cancer action
Because it is rich in antioxidants, carob could protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, in addition to exerting anti-inflammatory action, which could help prevent cancer. However, further studies are needed before this effect of carob can be confirmed.
Carob powder information
The following table indicates the nutritional information for 100 grams of carob powder, also known as carob flour:
|energy||368 kcals||Vitamin B3||1,3 mg|
|Carbohydrates||85,6 g||Vitamin B6||0,37 mg|
|proteins||3,2 g||Vitamin B9||29 mcg|
|Fats||0,3 g||folic acid||29 mcg|
|fibres||5 g||potassium||830 mg|
|vitamin A||1 mcg||calcium||350 mg|
|Vitamin B1||0,05 mg||magnesium||54 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0,46 mg||iron||3 mg|
How to use carob
Carob can be used in powder form in the preparation of foods such as cakes, puddings, cookies and sweets as a substitute for cocoa powder or chocolate.
In addition, carob gum serves as a thickener, emulsifier and gelling agent in several industrialized products. The gum can also be used in some infant formulas as a thickener and in order to reduce reflux and vomiting.
carob gum for vomiting or reflux
Mix 1 tablespoon of the gum with 1 glass of water and then take it. For babies the measurement should be 1.2 to 2.4 g of gum for 120 ml of milk.
Carob flour for diarrhea
Mix 25g of flour in 1 cup of warm water or milk. Drink after each diarrhea. This recipe with carob flour when mixed with sunflower seed and rice flour can be used against diarrhea even for babies and pregnant women.
Sometimes we don’t value simple things like carob, but believe me, you may be surprised!