For thousands of years, this organic superfood has been highly praised for its medicinal qualities and have been extensively used as a reliable food source, especially during times of drought due to its ability to thrive even in harsh condition.
Carob is native to Eastern Mediterranean where it has been grown for more than 4000 years. It is said that women in ancient Babylonia include carob in their diet in order to enhance their beauty. Carob seeds were also used by ancient Egyptians in their mummification process due to the gummy properties.
Carob tree is a robust evergreen tree that can grow to a height of 15 meters in 50 years. It is also hardy and can be found growing in many parts of the world. They are the only member of the genus Ceratonia under the Legume family. They fruit so well in their mature age that a large tree can yield a ton of beans in one harvest… and they can produce carob pods for up to 100 years!
Carob, also known as the other chocolate, is a powerful organic superfood that is jam-packed with nutrition and health benefits. Let’s uncover some of them… Carob has an excellent amount of minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamins (A, D, B, B2 and B3). This wonderful pod is also a good source of fiber and protein.
The calcium it holds is three times richer than real chocolates, but much lesser in calories… the more reason to enjoy without the guilt. It is also caffeine free. Theobromine in chocolate can give you that lift, but too much can make you a little twitchy and may even cause nausea and even anorexia, the good news is carob is also theobromine free! If you are one those chocolate lovers, but prone to kidney stone, carob can be your best friend because it does not contain oxalate acids. It is also rich in pectin and tannins to normalize bowel movement and treat diarrhea. Carob holds a good amount of gallic acid, which makes it antibacterial, antiviral, anti-allergic and antiseptic.
Raw, organic carobs are faintly sweet and not at all bitter in taste. In fact, it almost tastes like caramel and a very good substitute to organic cacao. Another amazing thing about this organic superfood is its ability to improve soil fertility due to its nitrogen fixing properties. They are also highly resistant to soil borne diseases, fungus, and pest.
Some safety precaution: Although extremely nutritious, carob is also high in saturated fat and must therefore be consumed in moderation. It is generally safe for most individuals, including pregnant and nursing mothers as long as it is taken in food quantity.
So whether it’s chocolate or carob, the bottom line is how much fat, sugar and calories are riding along.
Stay Fit. Eat clean.
Photo by: Australian Carobs