Tamarind is one of those fruits that are common across the world and yet is still underappreciated in Western cuisine. It’s found mostly tropical regions around the globe.
Scientifically named Tamarindus Indica, it’s often referred to as “the date of India”. With America’s ever-worsening cholesterol, diabetes, weight, and cardiovascular problems, a fruit like Tamarind can be a real godsend to many of us.
The many health benefits of Tamarind
There’s quite a lot of research done on Tamarind and the conclusions seem pretty indisputable – Tamarind is very much “a superfood” given everything it has to offer. Here are a few of the main health benefits Tamarind brings to our tables.
Blood pressure management
Tamarind is a great fruit for lowering one’s blood pressure. That’s due mostly to its high magnesium content as well as generally high nutritional values. The magnesium, in particular, is also great for its anti-inflammatory anti-diabetic effects. Magnesium has long-ago been identified as one of the most lacking minerals in Western cuisine which seems to be at the root of a lot of our health problems.
High fiber count
When eaten as an un-cooked fruit Tamarind offers a great deal of fiber. This is great for a lot of different reasons. It improves the effectiveness of our digestive tracts, helps with chronic diarrhea, speeds up digestion, and more.
Another benefit of Tamarind’s high fiber count is that it helps lower our LDL “bad” cholesterol. The fiber in Tamarind and other fruits like it literally removes the cholesterol from our arteries.
Rich in potassium
Bananas may be famous for their potassium content but they are far from the only – or the best – sources of potassium. Tamarind is incredibly rich in it as well. And since potassium is a well-known vasodilator, it also helps with lowering our blood pressure.
An overabundance of vitamin C
Vitamin C is well-known for its many health benefits – from helping with the neutralization of free radicals to just being generally great for battling respiratory illnesses. Tamarind isn’t the only fruit rich in vitamin C but that’s still a major benefit nevertheless.
Even aside from all these benefits, Tamarind is also amazing at weight loss and management. Researchers have found that it contains hydroxycitric acid – an acid that inhibits the production of fat-storing enzymes in our bodies. Tamarind also increases serotonin neurotransmitters and has been shown to suppress appetite.
Nerve function benefits
Another beneficial content of Tamarind is Thiamine (vitamin B1) which is great for improving the nerves’ function. It also adds to our muscle buildup potential as well.
In addition to the cholesterol and blood pressure benefits above, Tamarind has also been found to inhibit an enzyme that’s known to stop the proper absorption of carbohydrates.
Other nutritional facts
In addition to being high in magnesium, potassium, and thiamin, Tamarind includes a lot of other precious contents as well. Iron, calcium, phosphorous, folate, niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2), copper and selenium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and more.
How to eat Tamarind?
This tropical fruit can be eaten either raw, pressed as a juice, or dried as a snack. Tamarind paste can also be used in cooking or for candies. Condiments like chutney can also be made with Tamarind paste.
Frozen Tamarind pulp can also be used for cooking as well as its sweetened syrup.
Tamarind is one of those incredible fruits that can transform our cuisine and our health. It’s not without its risks, of course, but nothing is. Eaten in moderation and with health-focused intent, Tamarind offers too many benefits to ignore. Just be careful with Tamarind-rich supplements, especially if you’re on other medications as well.