For an interesting and in-depth study of carob, check this out: Carob research paper
For some easy reading, we’ve reprinted here some interesting info about the great health benefits of carob as found on Dr. Axe’s website.
5 Health Benefits of Carob Chips
- Diarrhea Relief
- Lower High Cholesterol
- Combat Obesity
- Blood Sugar Management
- Mineral Provider
1. Diarrhea Relief
One of carob’s most impressive benefits is its scientifically demonstrated ability to help with diarrhea. Diarrhea is an unpleasant yet common problem experienced by many people for various reasons. When you’re dealing with diarrhea, the food and liquid you take in ends up passing way too quickly through your system, resulting in an increased frequency and wateriness of your stools.
Carob powder has actually been used successfully to help treat cases of diarrhea in infants, children and adults. Why is carob helpful with this common digestive complaint? It appears to be carob’s high tannin content, which has an “astringent or binding effect on the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract.” What are tannins? Tannins are water-soluble polyphenols that are present in many foods and beverages, including tea, pomegranate juice and berries, to name a few.
A double-blind trial published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition looked at the effects of carob on infants between the ages of three months and 21 months with acute diarrhea due to a bacteria or virus. The infants were given oral rehydration fluids and randomly took either a placebo or a carob pod powder consisting of 40 percent tannins and 26.4 percent dietary fiber at a maximum of 15 grams per day for up to six days. What were the results? Normalized bowel movements and body temperature occurred more quickly in the infants who received the carob powder. They also stopped vomiting sooner. In addition, the young subjects accepted and tolerated the carob well.
2. Lower High Cholesterol
A study published in the international journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that carob’s insoluble fiber has positive effects on cholesterols levels. The study credits the carob insoluble fiber’s rich content of polyphenols with its ability to decrease both LDL (“bad”) cholesterol as well as overall cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
This 2010 study randomly divided 88 subjects with hypercholesterolemia to consume carob fiber or a placebo for four weeks. The results of the study reveal that carob consumers lowered their blood lipid levels in the following ways: overall cholesterol decreased by 6.1 percent; LDL cholesterol was reduced by 8.9 percent; LDL:HDL ratio went down by 14.3 percent; and triglycerides declined by 23.4 percent. Overall, the study concludes that consuming insoluble fiber rich in polyphenols (like the fiber found in carob) may be an effective natural way to both avoid and treat high cholesterol — making carob a cholesterol-lowering food.
3. Combat Obesity
Research has shown that the consuming carob fiber has positive metabolic properties. Since carob contains insoluble fiber, it can help improve digestion and fend off constipation. Carob fiber can also help consumers to feel fuller longer, which is very helpful when it comes avoiding overeating and trying to maintain or reach a healthy body weight.
Studies have even shown that eating carob fiber can decrease levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin after a meal and improve fat oxidation, which are both great news for people struggling with obesity. According to researchers, “Carob powder could be a potential candidate in [the] diet regimen of obese and overweight persons.”
4. Blood Sugar Management
Carob’s fiber content is also excellent for helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Carob does have a natural sugar content so you don’t want to overdo it, but in moderation, insoluble fiber from carob and other nutritious foods as part of an overall healthy diet may help to decrease the likelihood of becoming a type 2 diabetic.
5. Mineral Provider
You might already be familiar with how important minerals are to our health, but did you know that carob is a great source of minerals? It’s true! Carob contains significant amounts of key macrominerals (ones you need large amounts of daily) like potassium and calcium. In fact, when you compare 15 grams of carob powder to 15 grams of whole milk, the carob actually wins when it comes to calcium — the milk contains 16.9 milligrams of calcium while the carob powder contains 52 milligrams!
Other important macrominerals like magnesium and phosphorus are also found in carob fruit in lesser amounts. Plus, carob contains trace or microminerals, such as iron, copper, zinc and manganese.
Carob nutrition includes some protein, fiber as well as key nutrients like calcium, potassium and iron. Carob chips are made from carob powder. Just two tablespoons (12 grams) of carob powder contain roughly:
- 28 calories
- 10.4 grams carbohydrates
- 0.8 gram protein
- 0 grams fat
- 5.6 grams fiber
- 5.6 grams sugars
- 4 milligrams sodium
- 42 milligrams calcium (4.2 percent DV)
- 100 milligrams potassium (2.9 percent DV)
- 0.32 milligrams iron (1.8 percent DV)
Carob vs. Chocolate
Unlike chocolate’s main ingredient, cacao or cocoa (the name for cacao once it is roasted), carob pods have a natural sweetness. Carob taste is somewhat similar to chocolate but distinctly different at the same time.
Carob vs. chocolate, who wins? Well it’s more of a comparison between carob and cocoa, chocolate’s main ingredient. Let’s compare to see who wins in the carob chocolate duel:
- Carob naturally has no caffeine while the cocoa used to make chocolate naturally contains caffeine.
- Carob has no oxalic acid (a naturally occurring substance found in chocolate and other foods that inhibits calcium absorption) while chocolate definitely contains this organic compound.
- Cocoa powder has more iron than carob, but carob powder contains some iron as well as key electrolytes like calcium and potassium.
- Carob is higher in beneficial dietary fiber compared to cocoa.
- Carob does not contain theobromine, which is what makes cocoa and chocolate naturally bitter in flavor.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.