This amazing exotic fruit called tamarind (Tamarindus Indica), the name of which comes from the Persian “tamar-i-hind” meaning “date of India”, has been proven to abound in many health benefits.
Studies have shown that tamarind extracts are beneficial for dysentery, abdominal pain, fevers, diarrhea, gonorrhea, parasitic infections, constipation, inflammation, and eye diseases. In addition, tamarind extracts were also reported to be antioxidant, antimicrobial, wound-healing, anti-venom, and effective against malaria, asthma, and diabetes.The geraniol contained in tamarinds, has been reported by scientists as warranting further investigation for pancreatic cancer prevention and treatment.
Read further to find out more about tamarind and its benefits for your health.
What is tamarind:
Tamarind is an exotic fruit that grows on exceptionally tall trees of the fabaceae family (beans, peas and other legumes) mostly in warmer and dryer areas of India, Asia, Mexico, and North Africa.
Its trees produce long brown pods that are filled with small brown seeds, surrounded by a sticky pulp. When unripe, tamarinds have a sharp, tangy taste.
Here are some of the many benefits of tamarinds:
- A hundred grams of tamarind contain the following percentage of the recommended daily dose of these nutrients: 36% of thiamin; 35% of iron; 23%of magnesium; and 16% of phosphorus.
- Tamarinds have been traditionally used for aiding digestion, easing stomach discomfort, treating bile disorders, and they have also been used as a laxative.
- The non-starch polysaccharides contained in the tamarind’s pulp bind with bile in order to help flush waste through the colon.
- There are high levels of tartaric acid contained in tamarinds, which actually gives them their tangy taste, but more importantly functions as a powerful antioxidant that eliminates harmful free radicals from one’s organism.
- Tamarinds are used for the preparation of natural remedies for rheumatism, sunstroke, fever, inflammation, and sore throat. The leaves and flowers of tamarinds are either dried or boiled and made into poultices for sprains, conjunctivitis, boils, swollen joints, and hemorrhoids
- Besides non-starch polysaccharides, the tamarind’s pulp also contains pectin, mucilage, hemicelluloses, and tannins. Just a hundred grams of tamarind’s pulp can provide your organism with 13% of your daily dietary fiber needs. The pulp is also very useful for reduction and elimination of bad cholesterol from one’s body.
- Tamarinds are greatly valued due to their richness in minerals such as selenium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and copper. Potassium is very important for the blood pressure and heart rate, because it is a constituent part of both bodily and cell fluids that control one’s blood pressure and heart rate. On the other hand, iron is important for the production of red blood cells.
- This exotic fruit also abounds in many vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
- Other phytochemicals found in tamarinds include limonene, geraniol, safrole, cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate, pyrazine, and alkylthiazoles.
In conclusion, tamarinds have so far been proven to be beneficial for many health issues, which is why these exotic fruits are continuously used in Ayurvedic medicine for cardiovascular conditions as well as for gastric and digestive problems. Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned benefits of tamarinds, one can certainly realize how important it is to include this exotic fruit in one’s diet and thus improve one’s overall wellbeing.