Six Properties and Benefits of Carob Flour
Carob flour helps lower cholesterol levels, among other health benefits. It's also low in fat, which is why it's very helpful for weight management. Read on to learn all about it!
Carob Flour is a type of flour that’s obtained from a legume. Carob is very nutritious and healthy. For this reason, it’s used as a cocoa substitute in multiple recipes such as cakes, cookies, or drinks.
Are you aware of its interesting properties? Discover them in this article!
Carob, or Ceratonia siliqua, is a flowering evergreen tree. It’s a tree native to the Mediterranean Basin and belongs to the Fabaceae family. Therefore, it’s found as pods with seeds inside. Carob is a pod of about 4 to 8 inches long. When it reaches maturity in late summer, it turns brown and has a sweet taste.
To make carob flour, you must remove the seeds and then dehydrate them. Then, the seeds are roasted and ground to obtain a fine powder. You can use this powder to cook or add it to smoothies, yogurt, or any other food.
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The nutritional composition of carob flour
Carob is rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber. In addition, it also provides protein and healthy fats.
Carob flour is rich in carbohydrates and contains approximately 40-50% of sugar, primarily sucrose, glucose, maltose, and fructose. However, despite being rich in sugars, due to its fiber content, these sugars are absorbed more slowly. Additionally, it contains much less sugar than cocoa.
It also contains a good percentage of protein. Also, it’s low in fat and the fat it does contain is healthy, such as linoleic acid and oleic acid. This flour also contains B vitamins, iron, calcium, and potassium.
Carob flour is brown and has a naturally sweet and very peculiar taste. Preparations made with carob flour combined with cinnamon, vanilla extract, or citrus peel are both delicious and healthy.
The health properties of carob flour
Carob flour is very low in fats, while cocoa is rich in saturated fats, which are harmful to heart health. Also, many of the benefits associated with the consumption of carob flour are due to the presence of soluble fiber. This type of fiber helps to regulate bowel function and significantly lowers blood cholesterol levels. It’s also gluten-free, meaning it’s suitable for people who suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerant people.
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The main benefits of carob flour
1. It helps with weight control.
Using carob flour in recipes can help maintain a healthy and balanced weight.
Carob flour practically contains no fats and, therefore, the preparations made from it contain fewer calories than if they contained cocoa. This helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Moreover, this legume is also very rich in soluble fiber, which remains a long time in the stomach, prolonging the feeling of fullness and reducing appetite.
2. It’s a good source of iron.
Iron is an essential mineral for maintaining immune function, having good physical and mental performance, and producing normal red blood cells. To better absorb the iron in carob, it’s necessary to combine it with foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits.
3. It’s rich in calcium.
The calcium in carob flour is better used than the calcium of other plant sources. This is because carob doesn’t contain oxalates, compounds that inhibit the intestinal absorption of this mineral.
4. It lowers blood cholesterol levels.
Due to its high fiber content, this food can be a good ally for controlling high cholesterol levels.
The soluble fiber of this legume captures cholesterol and inhibits its absorption. As a result, cholesterol doesn’t go into the blood and is eliminated. Also, it doesn’t contain tyramine. However, cacao does contain this substance, which is related to the onset of headaches and the worsening of migraines.
5. It has a prebiotic effect.
The fibers in this plant helps improve the fermentative intestinal flora. Although it’s been used as an antidiarrheal, it’s also laxative and facilitates proper peristalsis. It also promotes the healing of infections and gastrointestinal problems.
Overall, the dietary fiber present in carob forms gels in the intestine, which favors bowel movements. In turn, it also has an astringent effect due to its tannin content.
6. It’s a great source of antioxidants.
Carob flour contains polyphenols, which help reduce oxidative damage and keep cells healthy. Therefore, among other things, it helps prevent the effects of premature aging.
Did you know all these properties of carob flour? Now that you know how good it is for your health, prepare your favorite recipes with it!