What is a carob?
The carob tree, or Ceratonia siliqua, has fruit that looks like a dark brown pea pod, which carries pulp and seeds. Carob is a sweet and healthy substitute for chocolate. Using it for health benefits goes back 4,000 years to ancient Greece.
How is carob used?
You can still enjoy your favorite sweet treats like fudge, chocolate milkshakes, and brownies. The most common use for carob is in food. Carob tastes similar to chocolate and is a great alternative because it has:
- a lot of fiber
- low amounts of fat and sugar
- no caffeine
- no gluten
Because carob is naturally sweet, it can help satisfy your sugar cravings.
Carob is available to buy as:
You can eat carob pods when they’re fresh or dried, too. People who add carob to their diet have seen benefits like weight loss and decreased stomach issues.
Why eat carob?
Adding carob to your diet can provide you with many health benefits. Since carob is naturally high in fiber and has no caffeine, it’s ideal for people with high blood pressure. The low sugar and fat content also make it a great dietary addition or chocolate substitution for people looking to lose weight. The high levels of vitamins, such as vitamins A and B-2, are good for your skin and eye health.
Adding or substituting carob into your diet can help:
- lower your cholesterol
- reduce your risk of heart disease
- ease stomach issues
- treat diarrhea
Like cocoa, carob contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants known to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Does carob have side effects?
Carob is considered safe with low risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved carob for use in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
Carob is an excellent alternative to chocolate, especially if your body has digestive or dietary issues, such as gluten-intolerance. You can enjoy your favorite sweet treats with fewer calories, fat, and sugar.
The FDA has approved carob for consumption and as an additive in food, medications, and cosmetics. It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to carob, but this is rare.
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