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Health Benefits Of Tamarind Fruit

Try adding tamarind fruit to your daily diet because of the many health benefits tamarind offers for overall general health.  Tamarind seeds are widely used in tropical Asia, Latin America and in the Caribbean areas as part of food or a light snack. The pulp derived from tamarind fruit contains all the nutritional and health benefits of the fruit. Tamarind health benefits are due to the abundant supply off antioxidants carotenes, vitamin C, phytochemicals and the B-vitamins found in tamarind juice.

Tamarind Health Benefits

In many tropical countries, tamarind is blended with sugar and eaten as a sweet or a tangy snack. Due to the rich source of potassium, magnesium, fiber and vitamins found in tamarind, food becomes not only healthier but also tastier.  One of the many benefits of tamarind if that it fights against vitamin C deficiency and helps in reducing fevers while fighting against cold infections.

The ingredients in tamarind help in lowering blood cholesterol and promoting a healthy heart. Tamarind juice can be gargled to relieve sore throats and throat infections.

A concoction made by steeping dried tamarind pulp is used in various preparations during cooking. It is also useful for patients with diabetes as it helps in controlling blood sugar levels. Tamarind seed eye drops and used as an herbal treatment for dry eye syndrome due to a polysaccharide found in the seed. Some studies revealed that the polysaccharide in tamarind scenes with a far better job of something dry eye symptoms than conventional eye drops. Rolled tamarind sweets are delicacy in many parts of India and can be used to relieve cough and cold.  

The tamarind juice when blended with lemon, milk, honey and dates is believed to be a offer digestive aid and as a remedy for biliousness and bile conditions. Given the rich source of vitamin C in tamarind, it can also being used to prevent scurvy and as an antiscorbutic agent.  Tamarind juice is also a good source of iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Tamarind juice can be very sour and acidic to taste and hence when tempered with sugar is easier on the palate.

Tamarind pods on the other hand contained active chemical compounds and when used with the fresh shoots and leaves of the tamarind plant can be used as a poultice on external applications. Some herbalists also believe that the bark of the tamarind tree can be prepared into an infusion as an effective astringent and tonic for chest disorders.

Tamarind Nutrition Facts

A reddish-brown long bean pod-like fruit that grows on the tree Tamarindus Indica, tamarind is found to be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Nevertheless, while tamarind may be good for you, it is equally important to know tamarind’s pros and cons. The tamarind tree is cultivated in the tropical belts of Asia and Africa for the nutritious pulp and juice extracted from the pod. Apart from the use of tamarind pulp in food preparation, indigenous medical practitioners also use the benefits of tamarind, its leaves, fruit, juice, paste, and flowers to treat various digestive disorders. 

Before it ripens, the flesh of the tamarind is green in color and has a sharp acidic taste. It is rich in vitamin C. As the fruit becomes ripe, the pulp turns brown and four to five shiny black seeds appear in each pod. The pulp gets sweetened as it matures, and blended with sugar, it can be made into a tangy snack. The health benefits of tamarind extend to its juice, which is loaded with vitamins C and B, antioxidants, carotenes, and minerals like potassium and magnesium, so a cocktail of tamarind juice would be extremely beneficial.

Traditional cuisine in Africa and Asia as well as in the Caribbean incorporates tamarind juice in various sea-food and meat dishes, because the locals are aware of the nutrition that can be obtained from tamarind as well as its health benefits. Including tamarind in food preparations helps to regulate the cholesterol levels in the body and aids in the process of digestion. Tamarind has been found to be effective in treating bile disorders and constipation. The brittle reddish brown outer shell of the pod is used to treat diarrhea. 

Most important among tamarind nutrition facts is that it is an important source of vitamin C in the tropics. Tamarind is thus used to fight colds and to prevent scurvy. A decoction of tamarind pulp mixed with honey is used to treat fevers.  A mild decoction of the pulp, when fed to young children, helps to get rid of worms and other intestinal parasites. Gargling with tamarind juice helps relieve a sore throat. You can also dilute the juice of tamarind and drink it to ease the effects of sunstroke.

Is tamarind good for health? Traditional medicine has several tamarind benefits to list. and both the tamarind fruit and leaves are used.  Apart from the medicinal uses of the pulp and the outer shell of the pod described above, the leaves, bark, and flowers of the tamarind tree are also used to treat various diseases. A poultice made of the leaves, flowers, and the pulp is applied to heal swollen joints. The juice extracted from crushed tamarind flowers is consumed as a remedy to treat bleeding piles. An herbal tea made from tamarind leaves is used to treat malaria. Among various tamarind seed uses, eye drops made with extracts from these seeds are said to be very effective against dry eye syndrome.

The benefits of tamarind fruit, tamarind juice, and tamarind leaves include the role of tamarind in the prevention of cancer. The presence of antioxidants and vitamins in tamarind makes it an ideal food additive that serves to boost the body’s immunity levels.  Consuming tamarind also delays the progress of fluorosis caused the excessive presence of fluorides.  In the tropics, a tamarind juice cocktail is served to cool the body temperature by several degrees. The health benefits of tamarind fruit and juice are available to people around the world thanks to tamarind paste and tamarind juice concentrate, which are available in stores worldwide. Tamarind juice in the form of paste or concentrated can be used in cooking as well as for making a tamarind juice cocktail to get all the tamarind juice benefits.

In the West, tamarind has been used in the preparation of Worcestershire sauce and in jellies and jams and for making tamarind candy, particularly under the influence of Caribbean cuisine. In Thai cuisine, tamarind’s health benefits are fully utilized by including tamarind in the preparation of various dishes including jams and preserves. Whether it is Indonesian cuisine or native Australian bush tucker, tamarind juice nutrition plays a vital role in making simple food healthy and tasty.
Tamarind seeds can be roasted and added to some other roasted ingredients make for an excellent coffee substitute. Tamarind pulp can be beneficial in treating fevers. Take 30 grams tamarind pulp and boil it in half liter milk. Add a few cloves, little sugar, some cardamoms, dates, and camphor to this. This should be consumed in doses of 15 grams, and it is quite effective in treating fevers. This concoction can also help treat dysentery.

Tamarind benefits extend to our skin as well; tamarind leaves can be used effectively to cure burns. Put the leaves in a pot, cover them, and warm them over the fire. Leaves that get burnt are powdered finely and sieved to get rid of any gritty particles. This powder is then mixed with some gingelly oil and thinly spread over the area that is burnt. While tamarind helps heal the wound, the oil ensures that the affected part gets protection from moisture and also ensures that harmful germs do not enter the wound. Tamarind leaves are also beneficial in preventing edema. In general, benefits of tamarind include a healthy and glowing skin.

Tamarind, however, has a few cons as well. Those who consume aspirin or ibuprofen regularly should be aware of tamarind’s side effects. Consuming tamarind increases the amount of aspirin or ibuprofen absorbed by the body, and therefore, the side effects of aspirin use may be manifested. Tamarind disadvantages may include higher acidity in those who have digestive problems associated with acid reflux.

Apart from health benefits and side-effects, tamarind has other uses as well. Tamarind can be used as a silver polisher, and it can give your silver jewelry and silver bowls an impeccable sheen.

To sum up, tamarind has more pros than cons or disadvantages. Thus, unless you have a specific medical condition or are on any particular type of drugs, eating tamarind can only beneficial for you.

Submitted on January 16, 2014