Introducing Carob & its Health Benefits
Carob is an evergreen flowering shrub, belonging to the pea family. Native to the Mediterranean region, 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 Palestine.
Consumed since ancient times, 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 popular in the Muslim community during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Carob is often times used as a substitute in making various products such as baked goods, bars, snacks, cereal, dairy products, cocoa-containing products and beverages.
Some of its health benefits include:
- orks 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.