The tamarind tree is popular in Asia for its unique and tasty fruit. However, its sweet-sour fruit is not the only thing that matters. Its blossoms, seeds, bark, and leaves are beneficial for cooking and medical purposes as well. The fruit has an exotic flavor that is different from other Asian fruits. These are long, brown-shell pods containing seeds enveloped with a fleshy, juicy, and sticky pulp. When mature, you can add the fruit to desserts, dried, and eaten as a snack. You can even use it in cooking, ground into a spice. During the fruit's peak season, you can make it into tamarind jams, candies or sauces for soups and other dishes. Asians and South Americans have an affinity to tamarind products, not only as a kitchen mainstay but also for its health benefits.
The oils derived from the tamarind gets frequently linked to several anti-inflammatory abilities. It can help reduce joint pains due to inflammations, rheumatic problems, gout, and arthritis. Furthermore, it has shown its potential in reducing eye irritations like pink eye or conjunctivitis. The results of its inflammatory abilities have been promising. Traditionally, people have used it as a herbal medicine for treating inflammations.
Asians have used the fruit for generations as a natural type of laxative. Studies that showed its high-fiber content made this possible. When you ingest tamarind, either as a spice or a fruit, it increases the effectiveness of the digestive system. The fiber content helps in bulking up the stool. This would make it easier for the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract to move the stool to the colon. It also happens to be a bilious substance. This means that it can stimulate bile production in the liver. Bile can assist in the faster digestion of food.
Furthermore, fiber can boost the production of gastric juices, and these will hasten digestion too. Metabolism becomes faster, as it gives bulk to stool, and this helps prevent constipation. Oddly though, some studies have shown that tamarind fiber can even help reduce the occurrence of loose stools. It can be effective in treating chronic diarrhea too. Talk about opposing effects!
Have you tried eating an unripe tamarind fruit or maybe the half-ripe one? It's strongly sour, and this means that it contains vitamin C and research have indicated that it indeed has high levels of the vitamin. The antioxidant levels are high as well and could be a great way to boost your immune system. This will ensure long-term health as a healthy immune system will stave off microbial and fungal infections. Aside from these, it also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
How about cardiovascular issues, can tamarind also elevate the heart's health? Conducted studies have indeed shown its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol build-up. The fiber found in tamarind can help lower high LDL cholesterol levels from the body's blood vessels. Blood pressure lowers because of the fruit's potassium content. This makes the fruit a vasodilator meaning it widens the walls of blood vessels, reducing stress on your circulatory system. The high levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant, will decrease the effect of free radicals. These are troublesome by-products of the metabolism of cells. They can cause various heart diseases as well as many other health issues.
Tamarind can serve as an exfoliating agent because of the fruit's alpha-hydroxy acid content. People have used it to get rid of dead skin cells and to clear out clogged pores. This will prevent or reduce the occurrence of acne on the face and other body parts. You can also use it to protect the skin from ultra-violet damage due to sun exposure. Tamarind has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Because of this, the leaves and bark of the tree are very beneficial in the healing of wounds. Researchers used tamarind seed extract on open wounds and in just ten days, the wound begins to heal.
Iron is responsible for the red color of your red blood cells, and a healthy supply of this element can ensure healthy red blood cells. RBCs are responsible for bringing nutrients and oxygen to body cells and tissues to make them function properly. A deficiency in iron can bring about anemia. This condition comes with more problems. These include chronic headaches, constant fatigue, stomach, and cognitive issues. Tamarinds in your diet can help hold-off anemia.
One of the most painful diseases is a peptic ulcer. These are sores that have formed in the stomach and the small intestines. Fortunately, there are polyphenolic compounds found in tamarind seed extracts too. They have some protective effects on peptic ulcers. The same compounds may also prevent the formation of such ulcers. In this case, the tamarind extract can be a proactive and a reactive agent.
A unique compound discovered in tamarind is Hydroxycitric acid or HCA. You can extract this from tamarind or use it as a spice. The great thing about this HCA is its ability to prevent a specific enzyme in your body that is responsible for storing fat. That means less fat stored, less weight gained. Tamarind can also suppress the craving for food. It does this by stimulating the production of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter. Research is still going on with tamarind as a promoter of weight loss, and all signs are turning out to be promising.
Tamarind has already shown its promise as a weight-loss agent. Now, it's also showing promise in the controlling of diabetes. A heavy diet of carbohydrates will increase the risk of uncontrolled insulin and glucose levels. This has always been a significant problem for people with diabetes. Luckily, the use of tamarind can help in the monitoring and control of these changes. Somehow, it could be the answer to the problems hounding people with diabetes. The fruit can stabilize levels of blood sugar and can even reserve the damage to pancreatic tissues caused by diabetes. Studies conducted have shown that an enzyme called alpha-amylase found in tamarind can reduce blood sugar levels.
B-complex vitamins are present in tamarind, and most prominent of the vitamins is Thiamine. This is vital for the improvement of nerve functions and the development of muscle tissues. Consuming tamarind fruit will give you a dose of thiamine which will maintain your reflexes, help you stay active, and become stronger.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.