Carob powder, also called carob flour, is a cocoa powder alternative.

It’s made from dried, roasted carob tree pods and looks a lot like cocoa powder. Carob powder is often used as a natural sweetener in baked goods. It’s sweet and has a unique taste.

"Zdravnitza" offers you to learn more about the health benefits and nutritional facts of the carob flour.

1. Naturally low-fat

Carob powder contains virtually no fat. If you’re on a low-fat diet, carob powder is a good option. Just keep in mind that it’s higher in sugar and carbs than cocoa powder.

Just 2 tablespoons of carob powder have 6 grams of sugar, about 1.5 teaspoons. Since most baking recipes call for up to 1 cup of carob powder, the sugar grams can add up fast. Still, if you substitute carob powder for chocolate chips, you’ll save on fat and calories.

2. Low in sodium

According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American gets 3,400 mg of sodium daily. This is much more than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 2,300 mg. The American Heart Association recommends even less, just 1,500 mg daily.

Too much sodium in your diet may increase your risk of: high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, kidney problems.

Carob powder contains no sodium. It’s a great option for people following a low-sodium diet.

3. Contains calcium, but no oxalates

Calcium is a mineral. It’s important for bone health. It also helps your heart, nerves, and muscles function well. Two tablespoons of carob powder have 42 mg of calcium, or 4 percent of the RDA.

Cocoa contains oxalates, compounds that reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium. A diet high in oxalates also increases your risk of developing kidney stones. Carob powder contains no oxalates.

4. High in fiber

Two tablespoons of carob powder have almost 5 grams of fiber, over 20 percent of the RDA. Fiber helps: you stay fuller longer to help you eat less, prevent constipation, maintain healthy bowels, control your blood sugar, lower your cholesterol.

In 2 tablespoons of carob powder, there is:

- Iron (0.35 mg)
- Magnesium (6 mg)
- Potassium (99 mg)
- Riboflavin (0.055 mg)
- Niacin (0.228 mg)

5. Gluten-free

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. In some people, gluten triggers their immune system to attack the small intestines. This condition is called celiac disease. If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, you must avoid gluten-containing foods. Carob powder is gluten-free.

6. Helps relieves diarrhea

Thanks to its tannin content, carob powder has been used as a natural remedy for diarrhea. Tannins are polyphenols found in some plants. Research suggests that administering tannin-rich carob powder with an oral rehydration fluid is safe and effective for treating acute-onset diarrhea in infants aged 3 to 21 months.

7. Caffeine-free

Caffeine is a great pick-me-up, but too much may cause unpleasant side effects, such as: insomnia, fast heart rate, nervousness, irritability, upset stomach, muscle tremor.

Carob powder contains no caffeine. This is good news for caffeine-sensitive people looking for a chocolate substitute.

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