Tamarind is a hardwood tree widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries and scientifically known as Tamarindus indica. It is a native fruit from Africa, but it is now available in different countries worldwide. Tamarind is a process as sweets or candies used in diverse traditional cuisines, especially in Asia. The fruit looks like bean pods with seed covered by fibrous pulp. The young pulp is green and has a sour taste, but once ripened, it will turn into a brown color with a sweet and sour taste. The pulp is where most health benefits of tamarind come from.
1. Different Purposes of Tamarind
Tamarind benefits make it a good addition in cooking, and this is widely utilized as an ingredient in South and Southeast Asian countries. Both the leaves and the seeds are edible and used for sauces, drinks, marinades, desserts, and chutneys. This ingredient is an essential and popular condiment, which is the Worcestershire sauce.
Thousands of years ago, tamarind has been used for traditional medicine to treat several ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, peptic ulcers, and fever. Its bark and the leaves are also proven to treat wounds because of its antibacterial properties. Today, researches are being done to collect important data for conclusive evidence. Studies have found out that the fruit is filled with polyphenols, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming foods with polyphenols can decrease the risk of acquiring illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases brought about by positive tamarind side effects.
The pulp from tamarind is now being used as metal polish as it contains tartaric acid that is very effective in eliminating tarnish from bronze and copper.
2. Nutrient Dense
A cup of 120 grams of fruit pulp can offer many tamarind nutrition vitamins like C, B1, B2, B3, trace minerals like copper and selenium, and other plant compounds. The pulp is indeed high in sugar and carbohydrates, but moderate consumption will not give a lot of calories. It is a good source of polyphenols or plant compounds from nature, which is good for overall health.
3. Optimum Heart Health
Consumption of this fruit can help your heart in many ways as health benefits of tamarind, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. These are antioxidants that are responsible for regulating the cholesterol level in the body. A study in hamsters concerning cholesterol levels found that extract from tamarind pulp lowers the LDL or bad cholesterol and triglyceride in hamsters. Oxidation of LDL is detrimental to health, and antioxidants can reduce the oxidative damage in the heart.
4. Good Source of Magnesium
Vital tamarind nutrition is its magnesium content that is 6 percent of RDI per 28 grams. Magnesium is an essential trace mineral that is vital for almost 600 bodily processes. Magnesium is effective in lowering blood pressure, has anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Antimicrobial Effect
Other good tamarind side effects are the fact that it has antimicrobial properties. Several studies found out that the plant or leaves of tamarind are packed with antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial activity. During ancient times, the leaves are being utilized in traditional medicine as an effective treatment for malaria. The main component for its antibacterial activity is the compound known as lupeol. Today, medical professionals are looking for methods to solve antibiotic resistance, which is a growing concern, and one of the possible solutions is the use of medicinal plants.
6. Protection to Liver Diseases
One of the most overused organs is our liver, as it is responsible for the detoxification and digestion of everything you intake inside the body, whether good or bad. It is imperative to take good care of your liver by getting the most out of tamarind benefits. In liver toxicity from alcohol and other conditions like fatty liver, it is essential to take unprocessed tamarind and not mix it with refined sugar.
Avoid Tamarind Candy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are reported lead poisoning cases in 1999. Lead is hazardous for children and pregnant women, so it is crucial to be very cautious in consuming processed products. Tamarind side effects related to lead poisoning are only seen with candy products that are not FDA approved.