Chocolate, we love you and we hate you at the same time. I can go on and on about how much chocolate can easily make my day and at the same time, ruin my day as well. While we at least know that eating them in generous amounts is not going to be good for our health, there are just days when it is so hard to resist a KitKat whenever a packet of these sweet delights make the rounds in the office. Ever since I have made it a point to enforce a no-chocolate rule during office hours, I have since fallen by my own sword and those intensifying cravings are now three times as strong as I am on the train ride home. What happens when I pass by the grocery store on the way home? You guessed it. I am slipping inside for a quick purchase, even if it is a bar of chocolate or even some chocolate-coated nuts, I am munching on them like a deprived child.
It might seem like there is no hope for those who love their chocolates like they love their own spouse, but what if there is something out there just as tasty as chocolates yet doesn’t throw your entire diet off-course? That is carob and it could just be your next favourite thing.
What Is Carob?
As an introduction, carob is actually a tree found in Mediterranean countries that grows pod-like fruits. Inside these fruits is pulp that is high in sugar (sucrose, fructose or glucose, you name it). To put things into perspective, the pulp contains around 50% sugar and 18% cellulose and hemicellulose. More than just something to satisfy your craving for the sweets, carob is actually extremely rich when it comes to bioactive ingredients and the list of phytochemicals like tannins, dietary fibres, cyclitols and polyphenols runs long. These phytochemicals are extremely well-liked by our body since they are what provides us with benefits like anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and even anti-lipolytic. Perhaps what would get you excited is the fact that carob has an extremely low-fat percentage and that would mean it is great for those who are on a weight loss journey.
Benefits Of Carob
Now that we know a little more about this miraculous fruit, find out more about how they can benefit you.
Protects Your GI Tract
If you didn’t already know, pathogenic invasions can actually lead to the production of more free radicals in our body and when that happens, our guts are what seems to be the most affected when that happens and it could bring about damage to the inner linings of our GI tract organs. That is no small feat and it even has the potential to lead to several gastrointestinal disorders like gastritis, ulcers and even gastric cancer. Carob extracts are what would rescue you from all those potentially scary disorders as they have compounds in them that search out these free radical and eliminate them.
Diarrhoea is something that is no laughing matter, especially when you are outside and there is no toilet in sight. What you should take note of diarrhoea is that it is a common side effect each time a bacterial or viral attack happens. If you have little ones in the home, you would know that diarrhoea is twice or even thrice as hard to manage. What you can do to help them recover is to supplement your little one with carob powder. Because of its tannin-rich content, your little ones would recover faster with fewer vomiting incidents and preserve a normal body temperature and defecation.
Controls Body Weight Effectively
It has been found in laboratory studies that carob can actually help with the normal functioning of your heart and kidneys and it is the phytochemicals in carob that would prevent the chronic disorders like atherosclerosis especially for those who weight a little heavier on the scales. The study also detailed how insoluble carob fibres also would affect your lipid metabolism and that would ultimately lead to a boost in your cholesterol metabolising enzymes.
It is no open secret that carob fruit is steadily rising up the ranks as one of the popular food for health enthusiasts. Because of how they are great as a replacement for cocoa and coffee, it has been used to replace chocolate chips in our usual sweet treats like cookies, muffins, cakes and even in candies. How that is done is usually by grinding the carob pods up into powder for it to be mixed in smoothly with the other ingredients. We understand how you might be a sceptic when it comes to giving up chocolate, but really, carob is a worthy alternative that deserves to be in the limelight. Give it a go and you might see how having your desserts can be a healthy thing as well.