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Mesquite Powder: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

Mesquite powder, or mesquite flour, is made from the dried seed pods of the mesquite tree (Prosopis spp.). Because of its relatively high nutrient content, mesquite powder has been marketed as a health food, and some people have even touted it as a superfood. To learn more about the nutritional value and potential health benefits of mesquite powder, read on.

Healthy Mesquite Powder

Nutrition Facts

In terms of macronutrients, most of mesquite powder is made up of sugars, particularly sucrose and fructose, which is not surprising given the sweet taste of mesquite powder. To balance things out, mesquite powder is also loaded with fiber, and it contains a good amount of protein, too. The high fiber content and the relatively high protein content of mesquite powder help counteract some of the negative effects of the high sugar content of this sweet powder.

As far as micronutrients go, mesquite powder is an excellent source of potassium, with 100 grams of whole pod mesquite powder providing 29 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for this important mineral. Mesquite powder also provides 5.7 mg of iron, 253 mg of calcium, 69 mg of magnesium, and 2.7 mg of zinc per 100 grams. The following Mesquite Powder Nutrition Facts chart shows you how these amounts translate into Percent Daily Values (%DV) based on a 2,000-calorie reference diet, so you get a better idea of the real nutritional value of mesquite powder. Please note that the Mesquite Powder Nutrition Facts table below is not complete. Several vitamins and minerals are excluded due to unavailability of information.

Nutrients in Mesquite Powder (Prosopis alba) 1

Per 100 g (3.5 oz)
  • Protein: 5.81 g
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Sucrose: 41 g
  • Glucose: 10 g
  • Fructose: 12 g
  • Insoluble fiber: 21 g
  • Total fiber: 25 g
  • Moisture: 113 g
  • Calcium: 253 mg
  • Potassium: 998 mg
  • Magnesium: 69 mg
  • Iron: 5.7 mg
  • Zinc: 2.7 mg
% Daily Value
  • Protein: 12 %
  • Fat: n/a
  • Sucrose: n/a
  • Glucose: n/a
  • Fructose: n/a
  • Insoluble fiber: n/a
  • Total fiber: n/a
  • Moisture: 113 g
  • Calcium: 25 %
  • Potassium: 29 %
  • Magnesium: 17 %
  • Iron: 32 %
  • Zinc: 18 %

Health Benefits

Packed with fiber, minerals and polyphenols, mesquite powder has many potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes, protection against degenerative diseases, anti-inflammatory effects, constipation relief, and prevention of iron deficiency. Keep reading to get the details.

1. Mesquite ranks low on the Glycemic Index

Because of its mildly sweet taste, mesquite powder is sometimes used as a sweetener. However, despite its sweetness, mesquite powder has a low Glycemic Index (GI) rating, and researchers believe that the low GI of mesquite and other foods that were staples in the traditional diet of the Pima Indians may have protected this population against diabetes [2].

Foods with a low GI score, such as mesquite pods, are digested slowly, and they produce a gradual, relatively low rise in blood glucose levels. High GI foods, on the other hand, digest faster and cause your blood glucose and insulin levels to spike fast. Over time, a diet rich in high GI foods can lead to insulin resistance, which in turn increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

One of the main reasons why mesquite powder has a low GI rating is its extremely high fiber content. As shown in the Nutrition Facts chart (see above), mesquite powder contains a whopping 25 grams of fiber per 100 grams.

2. Mesquite powder is rich in antioxidants

Mesquite powder has been shown to contain high levels of polyphenols which have strong antioxidant properties [3]. Antioxidants in general, and polyphenols in particular, are thought to have all sorts of benefits, including slowing down aging in general and providing protection against the development of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases [4].

The positive effects of antioxidants on health are related to their ability to scavenge free radicals, unstable molecules that are created by environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and pesticides and by normal functions of the body's cells.

3. Mesquite powder has anti-inflammatory properties

A study published in the journal Food Research International found that mesquite powder made from the Prosopis alba variety as well as mesquite powder made from Prosopis nigra were able to inhibit the pro-inflammatory mediator COX 2 in a laboratory setting. The researchers concluded that this finding, together with the antioxidant activity of mesquite powder, suggests that mesquite powder may contribute to the reduction of inflammation, and that it could perhaps be used as a preventative treatment against inflammatory conditions. [3]

However, before you add mesquite powder to your anti-inflammatory diet, you should know that there has been some controversy over the anti-inflammatory properties of beans and other legumes, and some experts believe that legumes, like mesquite pods, may actually promote rather than curb inflammation in some people, particularly those who suffer from an autoimmune disease (for more on this, see Beans and Autoimmune Diseases).

4. Constipation relief due to high fiber content

A tablespoon of mesquite powder contains 2 grams of fiber, which corresponds to a whopping 8 percent of the Daily Value for fiber. Most of the fiber in mesquite powder in insoluble fiber which is thought to help fight constipation. It is important to keep in mind, however, that chronic constipation can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem, so if you frequently suffer from constipation, or if it is accompanied with severe pain and/or bleeding, you should talk to you doctor.

5. Mesquite powder may help prevent iron deficiency

Mesquite powder is packed with iron, with 100 grams of mesquite powder providing 5.7 milligrams of iron (or 32 percent of the Daily Value for iron). Adding mesquite powder to your diet may help reduce your risk of developing iron deficiency, which one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world and a leading cause of anemia, a condition characterized by low levels of red blood cells. Symptoms associated with inadequate iron levels and anemia include weakness and fatigue, but insufficient iron levels may also cause loss of appetite, brittle nails and hair loss.

However, before you add mesquite powder to your diet hoping that it will boost your iron levels, know this: like other plant-based sources of iron, the iron in mesquite is so-called non-heme iron which is not as readily absorbed in your digestive tract as heme iron which is found in meat and poultry. Vitamin C has been shown to improve the absorption of non-heme iron, so you may want to consume some vitamin C rich superfoods together with mesquite powder.

Where to Buy Mesquite Powder Made from Prosopis Alba

Can't wait to start using mesquite powder in recipes to reap the potential health benefits of this nutritious powder? Mesquite powder can be made from different varieties of the Prosopis tree, but in terms of nutritional value, one of the most researched varieties is Prosopis alba. Sellers of mesquite powder typically do not specify the variety used to make their powder—however, there are some exceptions. This mesquite powder (Amazon affiliate link) is made from the Prosopis alba variety, according to the description on the product page on Amazon.


1. The absolute amounts are based on data provided by L. Sciammaro et al (2015). Agregado de valor al fruto de Prosopis alba. Estudio de la composicion quimica y nutricional para su aplicacion en bocaditos dulces saludables. Revista de la Facultad de Agronomia, La Plata, 114 (1): 115-123; The Percent Daily Values (% DV) have been calculated by using the Daily Values for Nutrients provided by the USDA. The values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

2. J. Brand et al (1990). Plasma glucose and insulin responses to traditional Pima Indian meals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51(3):416-20.

3. M. Perez et al (2014). Polyphenolic compounds and anthocyanin content of Prosopis nigra and Prosopis alba pods flour and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities. Food Research International, 64: 762-771.

4. K. Pandey and S. Rizvi (2009). Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2(5): 270-278.