What Is Tamarind? – Health Benefits, Side Effects And More
Last Updated on January 20, 2021 by Ephraim Iyodo
Tamarind is a tropical fruit, and its trees grow in tropical regions of Africa, particularly Sudan.
It grows in many regions such as India and Pakistan. It is a member of the Fabaceae family, and its scientific name is Tamarindus indica.
What is Tamarind?
Tamarind is a medium shrubby tree with evergreen leaves and a fruit that develops in pods.
Its pods are characterized by long brown shells. Inside the pods is sticky, fleshy and juicy flesh, which is the fruit of the tamarind. This is where the nutrition and flavor resides!
The taste of tamarind ranges from sweet to sour to tawny to tangy.
According to the USDA, raw tamarind provides energy (calories) along with essential minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium and zinc.
It also contains vitamin C, B vitamins (niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate), and vitamins A and K.
The tamarind fruit has long been considered a natural laxative, given its dietary fiber content.
Eating it as a fruit or spice can increase the efficiency of the digestive system because the insoluble fiber can accumulate stool, causing it to move easily through the smooth muscles of the intestinal tract.
It is also an abdominal substance, meaning it stimulates the activity of bile and bile acids, which promotes the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine.
Helps control diabetes
A high-carbohydrate diet can increase the likelihood of uncontrolled glucose and insulin levels, which is a serious problem for people with diabetes.
Tamarind can suppress the enzyme alpha-amylase, which basically stops the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. It may help control these fluctuations according to a study published in the journal Ethnopharmacology.
Tamarind contains powerful antioxidant properties.
These antioxidants make tamarind an excellent immune booster that helps prevent microbial and fungal infections.
In addition, tamarind reduces the appearance of parasites in the body due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial effects.
It is specifically linked to killing stomach worms in children in tropical areas where it is grown.
Studies suggests that tamarind water extract may help reduce obesity.
One unique compound called trypsin inhibitors found in tamarind may help reduce your hunger.
This protein is known to suppress appetite by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Research in these areas is still ongoing, but extracts of this fruit show promising signs as a weight loss supplement!
Tamarind is safe when used in food amounts. There isn’t enough information available to know if tamarind is safe for use as a medicine.