Nutrition and Health Benefits of Carob
NUTRITION AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAROB
Carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua) have been farmed in the Middle East for at least 4,000 years. Their edible pods are traditionally eaten on Tu B’shevat, a Jewish holiday celebrating trees. The seeds inside the pods were also traditionally used to weigh diamonds, which is where we get the word carat from.
Carob is an evergreen flowering shrub, belonging to the pea family. Native to the Mediterranean region especially in the eastern and southern area of Spain, carob is cultivated for its edible seeds. It is found in its natural form in Southern Anatolia, Cyprus, Syria, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Israel.
Carob was eaten since ancient Egypt. It is also known as Saint John’s Bread or locust bean. The dried carob fruit is traditionally consumed on Jewish holidays and the juice is taken by Muslims, during the Islamic month of Ramadan. In Cyprus the carob syrup is known as Cyprus's black gold, and is widely exported. On the islands of Malta and Gozo syrup (?ulepp tal-?arrub) is made out of carob pods. This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat. A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday, is also made from carob pods in Malta. However, carob pods were mainly used as animal fodder in the Maltese Islands, apart from times of famine or war when they formed part of the diet of many Maltese.
Carob pods were an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available. It is used as a substitute in making various products such as baked goods, bars, snacks, cereal, dairy products, cocoa-containing products and beverages.
Amount of Carob Flour: 1 cup
Total Weight of Carob Flour: 103 g
- Protein 4.8 g
- Water 3.7 g
- Ash 2.3 g
- Calories - Total Calories-229 calories from Carbohydrates 204, from Fat 6, from Protein 6, Carbohydrates - Total Carbohydrates-91.6 g, Dietary Fiber 41 g, Sugar 50.5 g,
- Fat & Fatty Acid - Total Fat-0.7 g, Saturated Fat 0.1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g, Total Omega-3 Fatty acids 4.1 mg, Total Omega-6 Fatty Acid 218 mg, Vitamins - Vitamin A 14.4 IU, Vitamin C 0.2 mg, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 0.6 mg, Thiamin 0.1 mg, Riboflavin 0.5 mg, Niacin 2 mg, Vitamin B6 0.4 mg, Folate 29.9 mg, Choline 12.3 mg,
- Minerals - Calcium 358 mg, Iron 3 mg, magnesium 55.6 mg, Phosphorus 81.4 mg, Potassium 852 mg, Sodium 36.1 mg, Zinc 0.9 mg, Copper 0.6 mg, Manganese 0.5 mg, Selenium 5.5 mg.
Health Benefits of Eating Carob
• Carob tannins contain Gallic acid that works as an analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic.
• Carob improves digestion and lowers cholesterol level in the blood.
• It is used for treating diarrhea in children and adults alike.
• Since it does not contain caffeine, carob benefits people with high blood pressure.
• Regular use of carob helps in preventing lung cancer.
• 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.
• Carob forms an important commercial stabilizer and thickener in bakery goods, ice cream, jelly, salad dressings, cheese, bologna, sauces, salami, canned meats, fish, mustard and other food products.
• The carob powder is used as a substitute for cocoa powder or chocolate in cakes, cookies and candies.
• Hot beverages are made using carob powder, instead of coffee.
• For making cookies and muffins, carob chips are used in place of chocolate chips.