Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 226- Nutrition Bite

Say yes to carob and no to chocolate! Carob pods are free from caffeine and theobromine which can be addictive and cause allergies. Caffeine and theobromine are stimulants. Caffeine is the more active and works directly on the brain stimulating the senses, inspiration and alertness. It can be transmitted through breast milk, and pregnant women are advised to restrict their caffeine intake. Caffeine has analgesic properties but also has side-effects such as anxiety, nervousness, nausea, and palpitations. Caffeine not only stimulates the brain and other organs but also increases the heart rate. It also stimulates the gastric juices and acts as a diuretic and may cause excess loss of water soluble vitamins B & C. Caffeine stimulates release of the body's stored energy reserves, meaning that sugars are released into the blood. This can increase the risk of diabetes and possibly obesity and can cause mood swings. Carob is naturally sweet and a member of the legume family, which contain substantially less sugar than their chocolate counterparts. Carob powder can be substituted for cocoa powder in any recipe. Carob is a healthy alternative to chocolate with a vast amount of nutrients.

Sugar Preacher's Experience
Today, I was craving something sweet and wanted something other than fruit! Pineapple is a great natural sugar, but I was pineappled out!! In the Good Earth health food store, I bought some carob covered raisins. They hit the spot and were very sweet. Next time you are at a health store, pick up some carob covered raisins and satisfy the sweet tooth while reaping the vast health benefits.

1 comment:

The Rambler said...

Although carob is much better for you than chocolate, it doesn't taste the same so if you're trying to transition, don't try it straight (like eating a carob bar or carob chips- YUCCKKK!!!).

It also doesn't contain the mood enhancing "love chemical" that chocolate does, so initially you may find that it doesn't fulfill your craving if you eat a lot of chocolate normally.

Baking with it is great and although it is often substituted for cocoa, it's also considered a flour and can be added to about any recipe in place of part of the wheat flour (look for exact ratios- since it's probably gluten free it can't replace all the wheat flour in any baked goods).