Tamarind is a sweet and sour fruit that has been in use both for medicinal and culinary purposes, since a very long time in history. It belongs to the Fabaceae family and its scientific name is Tamarindus indica. It was earlier limited to tropical regions of Africa, especially Sudan, but its cultivation has now expanded commercially and spread to other parts of the world. It is a useful source of nutrition and adds a unique flavor to dishes.
The health benefits of tamarind are listed below:
Tamarind is a natural laxative and a source of dietary fibre. Consumption of tamarind in any form can improve your digestion. The fiber can add bulk to your stool, making it pass through the intestinal tract easily and smoothly. Tamarind also stimulates the activity of bile, which can help dissolve food faster, and the fiber stimulates gastric juices both of which lead to quicker digestion. This would be of great help if you suffer from chronic constipation.
Studies on tamarind show that it can be effective in lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The fiber content in tamarind is one of the factors contributing to the reduction in bad cholesterol. The potassium in tamarind may contribute to a reduction in blood pressure because of its action as a vasodilator.
Tamarind’s single serving can provide almost 10% of your daily requirement of IRON. This improves the count of red blood cells in the body, which ensures appropriate oxygenation of muscles and keeps organs working properly. Also it can prevent iron deficiency, also called anaemia, characterized by weakness, fatigue, headaches, cognitive disorders, and stomach issues. Make sure to include lots of tamarind in your diet.
Tamarind is a good source of B-complex vitamins as well. Thiamine, which is an important part of this group of vitamins and is found in tamarind, is responsible for enhancing the nerve function and muscle development.
One of the unique compounds found in tamarind is called hydroxycitric acid, which is connected to weight loss. This compound has been found to inhibit an enzyme in the body that particularly helps in storing fat. Moreover, It is able to suppress the appetite by increasing the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Tamarind not only prevents weight gain, but also stops carbohydrates from being absorbed. A carbohydrate-rich diet can increase the risk of uncontrolled glucose and insulin levels, which poses a threat for people suffering from diabetes. Tamarind can help to monitor and control these fluctuating levels.
The essential oil of tamarind has anti-inflammatory abilities which help in the reduction and treatment of of joint pains, joint inflammation, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout. It also reduces eye irritation thus preventing some forms of conjunctivitis.for this property, it is widely used in medical formulations and herbal remedies.
High levels of vitamin C make tamarind a great substance to boost your immunity and ensure good health, by fighting off microbial and fungal infections. It also reduces parasitic attacks in the body because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It has also been linked to deworming.