The Best Vegan Chocolate Substitute Carob: Your Questions Answered
When it comes to finding plant-based and natural alternatives to already existing high processed foods the vegan community is at the top of their game in finding healthy and nutritious solutions within a more ethical manner. On today’s menu, the item newly brought to the market, although long-existing is none other than carob.
The multitude of health benefits of carob is what has really sparked the interest of many within the veggie community and is now trending as a great chocolate and cacao alternative.
In this article, we will be taking a deeper look into what exactly carob vegan is, as well as its multiple health benefits, side effects, and nutritional information so that together we can make smarter and healthier choices when it comes to what we choose to put into our bodies.
What Is Carob?
Before we go ahead into the details behind the chocolate substitute carob and its nutritional information, let’s learn a little more about what it actually is. Carob actually has a fascinating history dating back all the way back to about 4000 years ago when it was first discovered in Ancient Greece and used as a healing food as a result of its highly beneficial properties. So where does carob come from? Carob funny enough comes from a tree known scientifically as Ceratonia Siliqua or Carob Tree in more modern times. These trees produce a fruit that appears as a dark brown pea pop carrying both pulp and seeds, this is the carob. While carob trees were first announced in Ancient Greece they now grow in many counties all over the world including Australia and India. Carob is great because it has a naturally sweet yet slightly bitter taste and can be eaten both fresh and raw or in a dried out or powdered form.
Carob Nutrition Facts and Information
What we really are all dying to know when it comes to this vegan, natural chocolate substitute is, is carob healthier than chocolate? Well, the simple and blunt is yes, carob and chocolate are two completely different things and have vastly different nutritional information and health benefits. To make this a bit more clear and understand about the calories in carob here are the typical nutritional information one can find in a 2 tablespoon serving of carob:
- Calories – 70Kcal;
- Fat – 3.5 grams;
- Sugar – 7 grams;
- Sodium – 50 grams;
- Carbohydrates – 8 grams;
- Fiber – 2 grams;
- Protein – 2 grams.
Not only is carobs nutritional information pretty good and well balanced it also contains a variety of important vitamins and minerals such as :
- Vitamin A;
- Vitamin B 2, 3, and 6;
Carob Health Benefits and Side Effects
So is carob good for you and what really is the difference between carob and cacao? Incorporating carob into your diet comes with a multitude of health benefits that can not only impact your overall health and well-being but also aid weight loss and help cure problems such as high cholesterol. Carob is naturally low in both sugar and fats which is an ideal combination for someone wanting to shed a few extra kilos. It is also high in fiber which is ideal for digestive issues and good gut health and is a much healthier alternative to chocolate with vitamins and minerals that have been proven to aid both eyesight and skin health. Substituting chocolate for carob within a well-balanced diet has also proven to :
- Lower cholesterol;
- Reduce your risk of heart disease;
- Ease and control stomach issues;
- Treat diarrhea naturally.
As you can see carob’s health benefits are immaculate and something you definitely don’t want to miss out on, but what about carob’s side effects? Well, the truth is there aren’t any, carob has actually been classified as a low-risk and safe food that has been approved for its use in both food products and many pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.
Carob vs Cocoa
After all of this, you may still be wondering exactly what the difference between carob and cocoa actually is and why to bother making changes within your diet if there are none. Carob is a lot harder to source than cocoa and is really only available in health food stores, although it is regaining its popularity since the 19th century. Saying this there are a few key differences between the two products that make carb the healthier option for anyone looking for a rich chocolate-like treat.
- Contains oxalic acid which is known to cause interference with calcium absorption in the body.
- Can trigger migraines and cause severe headaches in some people.
- Has a high fat and sodium content.
- Has double the amount of calcium as cocoa.
- Does not contain any compound ingredients that could trigger migraines or severe headaches of any kind.
- Is naturally caffeine and fat-free.
Frequently Asked Carob Questions
To further your knowledge about carob even more, before making any rash changes to your diet and avoiding chocolate altogether of course, here are a few of the most asked questions when it comes to plant-based chocolate like fruit, carob.
Is Carob Vegan?
Yes, there is no doubt about it carob is as natural as it comes, 100 percent plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Does Carob Have Caffeine?
If you are sensitive to caffeine, don’t enjoy the taste, or are just not a fan of its side effects in general then carob is definitely the option for you. Carob s naturally caffeine-free and thus doesn’t come with any of the weird side effects which also means you can it more of it if you like.
Can Diabetics Eat Carob?
We know that traditional chocolate in any shape, size, and form contains a lot of sugar, which is definitely not the ideal snack of choice when it comes to someone suffering from either type 1 or 2 diabetes. Carob is not sugar-free by any means, however, the sugar that is found in the product is 100 percent natural just like fruit, it also contains less fat and more protein and thus is a more ideal option for those with diabetes.
Is Carob Gluten-free?
Yes or all those suffering from a gluten allergy or intolerance, carob is definitely the way to go. It is naturally gluten-free and does not contain any traces of the product either, so you don’t have to worry about the after-effects and can just simply enjoy the delicious chocolatey taste it has to offer.
So what can you take away from this carob-filled article? Well to sum it all up carob is a great and natural alternative to chocolate or cocoa and not only does it have a similar resemblance and taste but on top of that it has a multitude of health benefits too. The vitamins and minerals it contains do only mean you can enjoy the taste but also reap the rewards within both your external and internal body. There is no harm in giving carob a fair shot, trying it out for yourself, and establishing your own opinion, bear in mind that there are many other uses for it too, including in baking, cooking, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products.
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