Carob and cocoa are very similar. They can be substituted for each other in baking recipes or drinks. They are both dried and ground into a brown powder. However, they do have some major differences as can be seen on this link.
Carob is less well known. It has a sweeter flavor and is very nutritious, being full of B vitamins and many minerals. It comes from a tree called St. Johns. Legend has it that this is the type of tree where John the Baptist got nourishment in the desert.
The carob bean is also called a locust bean. Another word for locust is a certain type of insect. Thats why people think John the Baptist was eating grasshoppers and honey because the bible says he ate locusts and honey. However, if he truly lived off the locust bean, then he would have been getting excellent nutrition from the locust bean and not an insect.
Carob comes from a Tree in Israel
Some people are allergic to cocoa, also known as chocolate, because it is a little too stimulating. The results are severe migraine headaches for those whose nerves are sensitive. There are some detrimental effects on this link, possibly from the theobromine and caffeine content in cocoa.
Recently though, there have been many studies as can be seen on this link about the beneficial and antioxidant effects of bitter cocoa. This inspires a lot of people to continue their indulgence for chocolate without guilt.
However, considering all the wonderful antioxidant effects of dark chocolate, recommendations are to only have one or two small squares a day.
There is a substance in the bean that promotes the feelings of well being and love. So, people end up wanting it even more. Regular beans of any kind, such as pinto and black beans also have this same effect. You could just eat more beans for the same feel-good effect and then enjoy all the nutritional benefits they have to offer.
Dark chocolate has become a health food. However, natural enthusiasts are also learning about an even better source of chocolate being cacao or raw cocoa. Cacao is being used in many candies and treats as the new health food. Some say that the antioxidant properties are not accessible to the health of an individual unless it is in the raw form. So, you might be eating a lot of candy bars for nothing.
Candy bars tend to have a lot of sugar and fat leading to weight gain. There are some healthier alternatives at the health food store for whatever flavoring you choose.
If the stimulating effects of extra caffeine or other detrimental chemicals in cocoa dont bother you, you can be glad for the antioxidant properties and enjoy the cacao or dark chocolate goodies. They say there are possible dried and powdered cockroaches that tend to be mixed in the chocolate powders. This may because the original bean has to be laid on the ground to ferment awhile.
If you just want to enjoy a naturally sweeter flavor of carob without the usual addition of a lot of added sweeteners, then go for the carob. Many people want the added nutritional benefits of the carob or raw carob and prefer to avoid stimulants. Its a product that will keep you calm and benefit your nerves.