Tamarind is a hardwood tree known scientifically as Tamarindus indica. It’a native to Africa but also grows in India, Pakistan and many other tropical regions.
The tree produces bean-like pods filled with seeds surrounded by a fibrous pulp. The pulp of the young fruit is green and sour. As it ripens, the juicy pulp becomes paste-like and more sweet-sour.
Interistingly, tamarind is sometimes referred to as the “date of India.”
Tamarind is a tropical tree that grows in several regions around the world. It produces pods filled with paste-like, sweet-sour fruit.
IT’S HIGH IN BENEFICIAL MAGNESIUM
Tamarind is also relatively high in magnesium.
Once ounce (28 grams), or a little less than 1/4 cup of pulp, delivers 6% of the RDI.
Magnesium has many health benefits and plays a role in more than 600 body functions. It can also help lower blood pressure and Has anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects.
However, 48% of people in the US do not get enough magnesium
Tamarind good amount of magnesium, an important mineral that plays a role in over 600 function in the body.
IT MAY HAVE ANTI-FUNGAL, ANTIVIRAL AND ANTIBACTERIAL EFFECTS
Tamarind extract contains natural compounds that have antimicrobial effects.
In fact, studies show that this plant may have anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity.
It has also been used in traditional medicine to treat dieseases like, malaria.
A compound called lupeol is credited with tamarind’s antibacterial effects.
Because antibiotic resistance is increasing these days, researchers are particularly interested in using medicinal plants to fight bacteria.
Several studies show that tamarind can combat many different microbes. It may help kill bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
IT IS HIGH IN NUTRIENTS
Tamarind is high in many nutrients, a single cup (120 grams) of the pulp contains:
●Magnesium: 28% of the RDI
●Potassium: 22% of the RDI
●Iron: 19% of the RDI
●Calcium: 9% of the RDI
●Phosphorus: 14% of the RDI
●Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 34% of the RDI
●Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 11% of the RDI
●Vitamin B3 (niacin): 12% of the RDI
●Trace amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), copper and selenium.
It also contain 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat. This comes with a total of 287 calories , almost all of which are from sugar. In fact, a single cup of tamarind contains 69 grams of carbs in the form of sugar, which us equivalent to 17.5 teaspoon of sugar.
Despite its sugar content, tamarind pulp is considered a fruit, not an added sugar – the kind that’s linked to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
However, tamarind is pretty high in calories compared to many other fruit, which may be a problem for people who are trying to control calorie intake.
It also contains polyphenols, which are naturally occurring plant compounds that have health benefits. Many of them act as antioxidants in the body.
Tamarind contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and beneficial plant compounds. It also has a lot of sugar.
HOW IS IT USED?
This fruit has many uses, it’s used for cooking, health and household purposes.
Tamarind pulp is widely used for cooking in South and Southeast Asia, Mexico, the Middle East and Caribbean. The seeds and leaves are also edible.
It is used in sauces, marinades, chutneys, drinks and desserts. It’s also one of the infredients of Worcestershire sauce.
Tamarind has played an important role in traditional medicine. In beverage form, it was commonly used to treat diarrhea, constipation, fever and peptic ulcers. The bark and leaves were also used to promote wound healing.
Modern researchers are now studying this plant for potential medicinal uses.
The polyphenols in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The seed extrac may also help lower blood sugar, while the pulp extract may help you lose body weight and reverse fatty liver disease.
Tamarind pulp can also be used as a metal polish. It contain tartaric acid, which help remove tarnish from copper and bronze.
Tamarind is used as a flavoring in many dishes. It also has medicinal properties and can be used as a tarnish remover.