Carob is naturally caffeine-free, which is good news for those of us who are sensitive to the caffeine in chocolate.
2. High in Vitamins and Minerals
Carob is particularly high in calcium and iron. It’s also a good source of riboflavin, folate, niacin, vitamin E, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as being very high in dietary fiber.
Carob syrup may be available in your local natural or imported foods store, typically imported from Greece. It’s reported to have even higher amounts of calcium and minerals due to its concentrated form.
3. Reduces Cholesterol
The high fiber content of carob has been linked to lower cholesterol levels. A 2010 study found that participants who ate specifically carob fiber twice a day reduced their blood cholesterol after a period of 4 weeks.
Various types of polyphenols are also found in carob. These plant-based compounds control cholesterol in similar ways to dietary fiber. Researchers felt this may also have played a role in the positive results of the study.
4. Prevents Cancer
The polyphenolic content of carob makes it an ideal antioxidant, and carob germ flour, another byproduct of this useful plant, has been directly associated with cytotoxic activity in the body. This means that it is toxic to some cells, but luckily, carob has shown a penchant for being toxic to cancer cells, particularly those related to cervical cancer. That, combined with the antioxidant activity of polyphenols which scavenge dangerous free radicals from throughout the body and prevent cancer and other disease, makes carob a very beneficial addition to your lines of defense against cancer!
5. Blood Glucose Regulation
Carob helps keep blood sugar at normal levels due to its high amount of fiber. The insoluble fiber helps to bind water and promote healthy functioning of the intestinal tract. This aids digestion and the natural maintenance of proper insulin levels.
As a rich source of dietary fiber, carob can help the digestive activities of the body. Fiber bulks up bowel movements and stimulates regularity, as well as the secretion of gastric juices and peristaltic motion. All of this combines into a healthier digestive system, while helping to prevent more serious gastrointestinal conditions. Furthermore, since the type of fiber is insoluble, it can absorb liquids, therefore reducing the amount of loose stool in the body and preventing diarrhea. Carob powder is actually a common prescription as a treatment against acute-onset diarrhea.
7. Reduces Risk of Cardiovasuclar Diseases
As already mentioned, carob fiber is a special thing, and it has been shown to be highly effective against high cholesterol. Studies have shown that people given carob fiber significantly reduce the presence of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in their system, and it reduced the amount of triglycerides in the body as well. Reducing dangerous forms of cholesterol can reduce the chances of various cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes!
Carob tannins contain Gallic acid that works as an analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic.
It is used for treating diarrhea in children and adults alike.
The vitamin E content in carob helps in treating cough, flu, anemia and osteoclasis.
The Gallic acid in carob helps in preventing and treating polio in children.
Carob fights against osteoporosis, due to its richness in phosphorus and calcium.
Carob pod husks are chewed by singers to clear the voice and throat.
Words of Caution
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved carob as safe for cooking and eating. Carob gum is approved as an additive in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
However, as a dietary supplement, carob is not under the same FDA guidelines. Using high levels of carob may not be safe, particularly for pregnant women. Check with your doctor if you plan to take carob as a supplement.
Carob is quite high in saturated fats, so eat it in moderation, but other than that, it is an extremely healthy addition to your diet! Enjoy!
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