What is Tamarind?
Tamarind is a very large tree with long, heavy loose branches, and dense foliage. They were found originally in Africa. They are now grown throughout tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, South Asia, South America and Caribbean islands for their fruits. When grown ,the tree might reach up to 80 feet in height. The leafs are bright green, elliptical ovular and less than 5 cm (2.0 in) in length. The fruit is sometimes called a pod, 12 to 15 cm (4.7 to 5.9 in) in length, with a hard, brown shell..Each pod has hard outer shell encasing deep brown soft pulp enveloping around 2-10 hard dark-brown seeds. Its pulp and seeds held together by extensive fiber network. The fruit has a fleshy, juicy, acidulous pulp. It is mature when the flesh is colored brown or reddish brown.
Health Benefits of Tamarind
Anti-Inflammatory Capacity: The essential oils of tamarind have been connected to a number of anti-inflammatory abilities, including the reduction of joint pain and inflammation, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout. It also reduces eye irritation. One of the most common forms of this is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Tamarind has shown a definite soothing and anti-inflammatory ability, and is therefore used in many herbal remedies for inflammation.
Immune System: High levels of vitamin C, as well as other antioxidant effects in the essential oils make tamarind a wonderful way to boost your immune system and ensure long-term health from microbial and fungal infections. It also reduces the occurrence of parasites in the body due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial effects. It has specifically been linked to eliminating stomach worms in children in tropical areas where tamarind in cultivated.
Heart Health:. The fiber content in tamarind certainly has something to do with the reduction in cholesterol, since it is known to scrap excess LDL cholesterol from the veins and arteries. The potassium in tamarind may be responsible for the reduction in blood pressure, since it is known as a vasodilator that reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system. The impressive level of vitamin C in tamarind also may have something to do with it as well, since vitamin C is an antioxidant compound that can reduce the impact of free radicals, those pesky byproducts of cellular metabolism that have been linked to heart disease and a number of other health conditions.
Circulation: A healthy supply of iron in the body guarantees the proper red blood cell count in the body, which can ensure appropriate oxygenation of different muscles and organs that need oxygen to function properly. Also, iron deficiency results in anemia, which is characterized by weakness, fatigue, headaches, cognitive disorders, and stomach issues. So, eat plenty of tamarind to keep anemia at bay!
Nerve Function: One of the most significant vitamin elements of tamarind is the B complex. Thiamine, one of the most important parts of that vitamin family, is found in high quantities within tamarind. Thiamine is responsible for improving nerve function, as well as muscle development, which can help you remain active, maintain your reflexive, and stay strong.
Weight Loss: One of the unique compounds that can be extracted from tamarinds or gained as a benefit from it when used as a spice is called hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is connected to weight loss because it has been shown to inhibit an enzyme in the body that specifically helps store fat. Furthermore, tamarind has been known to suppress the appetite by increasing the serotonin neurotransmitter. Research is still ongoing in these respective areas, but it shows promising signs as a weight loss supplement!
Manage Diabetes: Along with its ability to stop weight gain, inhibiting that enzyme, alpha-amylase mainly stops carbohydrates from being absorbed, which are easily converted to simple sugars or fats. A carbohydrate-heavy diet can increase the chances of uncontrolled glucose and insulin levels, which is the biggest problems for people suffering from diabetes. Tamarind can help monitor and control these fluctuations.
Uses of Tamarind
- Its pulp has been used in many traditional medicines as a laxative, digestive, and as a remedy for biliousness and bile disorders.
- This spice condiment is also used as emulsifying agent in syrups, decoctions, etc., in different pharmaceutical products.
- Tamarind is a common ingredient all over India and South-East Asia in curries, “rasam”, chutneys, as well as in vegetable and lentil recipes.
- The pulp is also favored in “hot and sour” soups as well in marinades.
- The juice made of tamarind pulp with addition of dates, sugar, honey, cardamom, cloves, and coriander seeds are a refreshing drink marketed in different parts of the world.
- Its pulp is also used in confectionaries as solidifying agent.