Apart from the sweet and sour flavor of tamarind, there are numerous health benefits of tamarind too and this article will help you increase your knowledge on tamarinds like what is tamarind, what are its benefits, and its nutritional value.
People who love curries, sauces, soup, and candies know what tamarind is, and for those who don’t here’s and simple summary…
What is tamarind?
Tamarind is a hardwood tree and the scientific name for it is “Tamarindus indica” which is a leguminous tree (family Fabaceae). Tamarind occurs naturally in tropical Africa, India, and Pakistan. This tamarind tree produced brown or dark brown pod-like fruits that contain its sweet and sour taste and sometimes it can go to tangy flavor. These fruits can be eaten raw or they can be used in cooking.
Tamarind is used around the world as an ingredient for their cuisine and the pulp is also used to make medicines due to this fact as tamarind has multiple uses now it cultivated around the world in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Tamarind is also knowns as “dates of India” around the globe.
Nutritional Value of tamarind
The following nutritional value is for 1 cup (120 grams) serving. (1)
- Calories: 287
- Fat: 0.7g
- Sodium: 34 mg
- Carbohydrates: 75g
- Fiber: 6.1g
- Sugars: 46.6g
- Protein: 3.4g
- Potassium: 754mg
- Vitamin C: 4.2mg
Tamarind is high in carbohydrates and a major proportion of that carbohydrates is made out of sugar but the tamarind fruit’s GI (glycemic load) is low so upon being eaten there won’t be any spike in your blood sugar level. Pure tamarind doesn’t contain added sugar but be sure to check the label.
Apart from its sugar content tamarind is also a good source of many vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Tamarind is high in calories when compared to other fruits so it won’t be an ideal choice for someone trying to reduce his/her calorie intake but for people trying to gain weight it won’t be a problem and people suffering from diabetes should also avoid eating tamarind.
Health benefits of tamarind
Tamarind comes packed with many vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants help cleaning your body of pollutants internally and externally too. Anti-oxidants prevent free radical from damaging cells DNA many studies shows that many cancers begin by harming DNA. They also aid in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart attack, diabetes, and cancer.
While it boosts your immunity it also reduces the occurrences of parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial effect. tamarind has also been linked to eliminating stomach worms.
2. Helps in weight loss
Tamarind is rich in fiber and comes with low-fat content, It also has flavonoids and polyphenols that can help you in losing weight. Fiber-rich food takes time to digest thus making your feel full for longer and eliminating intake of unwanted calories.
The unique compound that can be extracted from tamarind is Hydroxycitric acid. Hydroxycitric has been linked to helping you lose weight as it inhabits enzyme in your body that helps store fat.
3. Stronger bones
To have good bone health magnesium is necessary, may people especially teens and people older than 65 have weak bone health because they do not get enough magnesium. Tamarind is a rich source of magnesium and calcium. The combination of these two minerals will lead you to strong bone health and will help you avoid bone fractures. For better absorption of calcium, your body requires vitamin D but tamarind lacks vitamin D so you have to make up for it from other meals.
4. Heart health
Flavonoids present in tamarind lowers LDL (Bad cholesterol) and raises good cholesterol and it helps in preventing the build-up of triglycerides (type of fat). Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are essential for good heart health. Magnesium helps to maintain blood pressure and keep your muscles relaxed. Calcium prevents risks of the hypertension. Potassium helps to balance the fluids in your body and lower the risk that can be caused by high sodium levels.
5. Helps in digestion
Tamarind has been a traditional remedy for some digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation. Tamarind has the ability to relax your abdominal muscle to cure diarrhea and fruits is used to relieve constipation. Being rich in dietary fiber its serves as a natural laxative that can help add bulk to your stool making a smooth passage through the intestine.
6. Brain health
Vitamin B has been linked to improving your brain health like B6, B9, and B12. They can help you with the easier breakdown of homocysteine and having a high level of homocysteine has been associated with various brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Vitamin B also provides the energy that is required to develop new brain cells. Tamarind is a good source of vitamin B epically of thiamine and folate.
7. Liver health
The liver plays an important role in detoxification and digestion so it is essential to keep your liver healthy. Most people have a diet that is rich in calories and this diet can lead to fatty liver. Having a small amount of fat in your liver is normal but more than that can lead you to health problems and studies have shown that one of the benefits of tamarind is that it can reverse this condition by just including tamarind in your daily diet.
8. Eye health
Inflammation in the eye is a problem that everyone should be worried about but tamarind got it covered. Tamarind is a good source of vitamin A and It does support the function of conjunctival membranes and cornea. Vitamin A also helps you by maintaining a clear cornea (Outside covering of the eye). It also a part of rhodopsin (A type of protein). rhodopsin helps you to see in the low light condition. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of macular degeneration and other age-related cataracts
Next time you see tamarind just don’t think of it as a sweet and sour fruit but look at the packed benefits of tamarind. Do remember it’s high in sugar so try to control and just eating tamarind won’t help you instead of following a diet try to create a healthy lifestyle by eating good food and fruits, working out like jumping rope, cycling, or try different types of walking that will torch the calories. All these packed together will work for the betterment of your health.
This sums up the article for benefits of tamarind, healthiest way and the best way to enjoy benefits of tamarind would be to eat it raw without added sugar.