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What is carob? Benefits, uses, side effects and molasses

Carob is a very healthy nutrient that may prevent many diseases. It has antioxidant, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Carob strengthens the immune system, fights cancer and protects cardiovascular health. It is rich in calcium and contributes to bone development and prevents osteoporosis. It helps weight loss because it gives a feeling of satiety. Carob balances blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It enhances sexual performance through an aphrodisiac effect. Carob can be eaten as a fruit or consumed as a syrup. Carob powder comes from grinding its beans and can be used instead of cocoa or coffee. What’s more, its molasses syrup can be easily made at home.

What is Carob?

Carob is part of the legume family. It is the fruit of a tree that grows naturally in the Mediterranean climate. In its raw form, the fruit is bright green.  It turns brown when it dries, matures and hardens. It is surrounded by a sweet, edible fruit flesh and contains 5-15 hard brown seeds. Carob is harvested in autumn and is used in many foods and pharmaceutical products. (1)

Vitamins and minerals in Carob

Carob is a natural antioxidant and a very high source of energy. (1)

  • Vitamins include: A, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, K,
  • Sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, phosphorus, selenium and calcium minerals,
  • Tannin (tannic acid), gallic acid
  • Polyphenols
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • High natural sugar content
  • High in fiber.

Benefits of Carob

Supports cardiovascular health

With its high fiber content, it lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, arterial blockage, heart attacks and stroke. It also helps to reduce the amount of triglycerides (type of fat) in the blood. (2)

Protection against cancer

Carob (especially the seed extract) can prevent certain types of cancer such as cervical cancer and lung cancer due to the polyphenols it contains. (3)

Prevents infection

Carob is a rich source of antioxidants that prevent viruses and harmful bacteria. In particular, it reduces the risks of gastrointestinal infection and speeds up the healing process of existing infections. It is also effective in the treatment of allergic asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu. (4)

Helps digestion

It is high in fiber and protects the digestive system. It can promote the release of stomach fluids, aid bowel movement and prevent severe gastrointestinal disorders. Carob is effective against diarrhea and in the treatment of acute diarrhea. (5)

Balances blood sugars

The amount of sugar and calories in carob is low. It regulates blood sugar levels and prevents them from rising. It is a safe food especially in its use against fatigue in diabetic patients. However, you should always consult a doctor. (6)

Strengthens bones

Carob contains three times more calcium than milk and contributes to healthy bone development and prevents osteoporosis. As there is no oxalate in the calcium it contains, it does not cause kidney stones.

Helps weight loss

Being rich in fiber, it prevents the secretion of hunger hormone ghrelin and provides a feeling of satiety which can help with weight loss. (7)

Increases sexual performance

This aphrodisiac fruit keeps people fit and energetic and increases sexual performance. It also helps in solving the problem of infertility as it increases sperm count. However, if consumed more than necessary, saturated fatty acid may cause harm rather than good.

Carob home cure to improve sexual performance

  • Boil 1 liter of water in a pot.
  • Divide 12-14 pieces of carob into 2-3 pieces and put into boiling water.
  • Cover the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes over a low heat.
  • Wait 20-25 minutes and allow water to cool.

Drink this water for 1 week on an empty stomach in the morning and 1 cup before going to bed at night. From the second week onwards consume only at night for three months. Repeat occasionally in the following months.

Benefits of carob powder

Carob powder (flour) is made from dried carob kernels. It is mostly used as an alternative to cocoa and as a natural sweetener in bakery products. (8)

The main benefits to health are: 

  • It is a good option for dieters as it is low in fat and increases the feeling of satiety.
  • Reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis and kidney disorders due to low sodium content.
  • Helps the heart, nerves and muscles to work in good condition. There is no risk of developing kidney stones because it does not contain oxalate.
  • Prevents constipation, protects intestines, regulates blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol.(9)
  • Can be easily consumed by people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • It is rich in tannin and can replace oral rehydration fluid for diarrhea treatment. It is very effective in the treatment of diarrhea that develops suddenly in infants.
  • Does not cause insomnia, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, tremors, irritability and anger caused by excessive caffeine use.
  • It has effects such as delaying aging, eliminating inflammation and fighting cancer. It also helps the nervous system, relaxes the nerves.
  • People with chronic migraines can easily use it because it does not contain tyramine.

What is Carob Extract?

Carob extract is a liquid concentrated form of carob fruit through various processes. Since it is not boiled like molasses, minerals and amino acids that are beneficial for the human body do not decrease.  It is usually drunk on an empty stomach in the morning. For breakfast you can use it as a honey or jam substitute. You can add it to a variety of foods such as yogurt, cream cheese and ice cream, and use it to get a chocolate aroma in desserts.

What are the benefits of carob extract?

  • It opens the bronchi, softens the chest and reduces chest pain.
  • It is a natural expectorant (for cough treatment)
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Increases sexual performance and sperm count.
  • It is good for anemia.
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis; supports bone development in children.
  • Strengthens memory and increases attention; relaxes the nerves.
  • Provides strengthening of teeth and protects gums.

Benefits of carob molasses

  • Natural expectorant.
  • Good for lung, liver, intestinal disorders, gastritis and high blood pressure.
  • It helps to remove intestinal parasites from the body such as intestinal worms.
  • Reduces the aging effects of the skin and provides a healthy glow.
  • Increases sperm count in males and eggs in females. (9)

Carob molasses recipe

  • Wash the dried carobs thoroughly, divide and crush them.
  • Put the ingredients in pot and fill with water until covered and leave for 1-2 days.
  • Boil for 1 hour after the soaking time.
  • Separate the water and pulp from each other by wringing with the help of a cheesecloth.
  • Add the same amount of sugar and lemon in weight to the carob, cook for 7-8 hours on medium heat. This process is very important as high heat causes the nutritional value to decrease.
  • Allow molasses to cool and transfer to jars and keep in a cool place.

How to eat carob?

When buying carob, choose fresh, slightly cracked and not overly large or small pods. Since the shell is hard, soak in warm water to soften. Do not eat the seeds. The Carob should brew in boiled water for 5-10 minutes, then you can drink as tea. Or roast the seeds and consume them as decaf coffee.

Side effects of carob

Carob is a low-risk category food. Although there are not many, there are still some side effects if over consumed.

  • May cause nausea and dizziness.
  • Can have a laxative effect because it is a fibrous food.
  • Excessive use during pregnancy is not advised.

Who should not consume carob?

  • Diabetic patients and people who use blood thinner drugs should consult their physician before consuming carob.
  • Since the skin and defense systems of infants are in the developmental stage, children in the 0-10 age group should not be fed carob without consulting a doctor.
  • People who are allergic to nuts and legumes should not consume products especially from carob seeds.

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