Carob, the amazing non-cacao cacao
If you have any gastrointestinal issues, and therefore involving the stomach, small and large intestine, rectum, and the accessory organs of digestion (the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas) and as a consequence, been told to avoid chocolate, this one is you.
Chocolate and cacao can irritate the stomach lining, and can also cause your lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows the stomach acids to travel back up, giving you heartburn or add to acid reflux problems. Do not forget that chocolate and cacao contain a fair amount of caffeine, and therefore can give your heart palpitations, tremors, sleep problems, and nausea.
Before being diagnosed with gastrointestinal problems, I used to use organic, raw cacao powder, which is the unprocessed version of cocoa powder and therefore the healthier version you can get. However, I was widely advised by medical specialists not to consume any chocolate, or cacao at that time as it would have aggravated my situation.
If you experience adverse reactions, or you know that you have to avoid eating chocolate and cacao look no further than the delicious plant called CAROB.
Carob is a tree, also known as the locust bean. Its ripe, dried pods can be grounded to carob powder, which you can find in health stores and online. It is high in fibre, low in fat, contains antioxidants, has no caffeine, and it is naturally sweet. Amongst its important nutritional values are calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and selenium, not to mention vitamins A, C, E, and B6. Carob has a mildly sweet taste, sweeter than cacao, so you won’t need to add extra sweeteners, as you might do when using raw cacao in your recipes, and also you won’t require a lot. The chocolate lovers might not find carob so satisfying initially, but in my view, if you have to avoid cacao and chocolate for any health reasons, then carob works wonders, and believe me, your taste buds will fall in love with it.
I am so glad I discovered the wonderful carob, it satisfies my chocolate cravings brilliantly without messing with my gastrointestinal tract. I really wanted to share this information with you, as I know that it is quite upsetting being told to strictly avoid foods which are usually what w love. I hope it helps, and now enjoy this amazing non-cacao cacao!