Here are some powerful tamarind benefits you should know about.
Tamarind is a traditional must-have staple in every Indian/Sri-Lankan household. We use it to add its beautiful tangy taste to various dishes. We also use it to minimize the spiciness of curries at times.
The scientific name of Tamarind is Tamarindus Indica.
It can be eaten raw and that’s how me and my sister like it the best. Most people in the Europe and America only use bottled Tamarind which tastes nothing like the delicious tart taste of fresh Tamarind pulp.
If you ever want to taste it, always go for the fresh ones and you won’t regret.
What does Tamarind taste like?
Tamarind usually has a tart sour taste. The sweet tamarind has a hint of sweet tangy taste. You can eat them both raw or in tea/ juice, however, the tamarind we usually use for curries has a super strong sour taste that you won’t be able to handle on its own which is probably why it’s used to spice up curries.
The sweet one, you can just crack open its brown shell and enjoy its tangy deliciousness on the spot. You can also sprinkle some salt and chilli powder on it too if you like a mix of sweet, tangy and spicy all together.
10 Tamarind Benefits
NO 1: Tamarind helps lower cholesterol in the blood.
An animal food and chemical research study carried out in 2006 has found out that Tamarind reduced Cholesterol level by 50% and Triglyceride by 60% for the hamsters that were fed with the Tamarind extract for 10 weeks .
NO 2: Sore throat remedy
Tamarind is packed with antibacterial properties that help fight off fever, flu and sore throat . Mix a teaspoon of tamarind pulp into warm water and gargle to get fast relief from a sore throat.
NO 3: Tamarind is known as a mild laxative.
The polysaccharides (dietary fiber) in Tamarind helps to soften the feces in your body so you can have an easy bowel movement. In plain and easy to understand English that would be, Tamarind helps you get rid of constipation and allows your intestinal muscles to contract easily so you can poop without pain or any difficulties.
If you’re looking to treat constipation with Tamarind, mix a cup and half of Tamarind pulp, some lemon juice, honey in warm water and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Strain the pulp and drink it first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed.
NO 4: It is Carminative.
What the heck is that?
It means Tamarind acts as a natural medicine to get rid of waste poisonous gases from your body through the anal opening. I guess that will be a polite way of saying, Tamarind helps you fart out the waste gases from your body.
NO 5: Immune Boost
Tamarind is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that will strengthen your immune system.
NO 6: Anti-Cancer Properties
The tartaric acid and carotene present in Tamarind are said to have the ability to fight cancer cells . For instance, a 2012 research study has found out that Polysaccharide PS TOO1 from the Tamarind seed kernel has immunomodulatory and tumor inhibitory activities .
They also concluded that it has the potential to be developed as a sole or as an adjuvant anticancer agent to be used in chemotherapeutic drugs.
NO 7: Natural morning sickness relief for pregnant women.
Some compounds present in Tamarind make it a treat for pregnant women to get rid of morning sickness. The laxative effect of Tamarind can help ease the symptoms of morning sickness in pregnant women.
NO 8: Great for the skin
Antioxidants help prevent and repair skin cell damage by preventing the free radicals from oxidizing. Along with vitamins C and E, Tamarind acts as a superfood for the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which help prevent skin conditions like eczema and acne.
NO 9: Relief from dry eyes.
Another great health benefit of Tamarind is, the polysaccharides present in Tamarind seeds are known to help treat and prevent dry eye symptoms. It’s available in liquid form to be used as eye drops but you must consult with your doctor before using it.
NO 10: Helps control blood sugar and appetite.
Studies have found out that carbohydrates present in Tamarind help lower blood sugar level and control appetite. It has been known to be used in large amounts for diabetic medications every year.
Here’s how you eat fresh Tamarind
Does Tamarind have any side effects?
Yes. You know how they say too much of anything is bad for you, it applies for Tamarind too.
- Avoid taking Tamarind if you’re already taking other medicines like Aspirin and Ibuprofen. It has been known to increase blood loss if taken with other medications.
- Tamarind is not recommended for breastfeeding women.
- The fact that it helps lower blood sugar is a good thing for some people and bad for others.
How to Make Tamarind Juice
The lady in the video above is adding White sugar to the Tamarind juice but that’s not good for the health conscious individuals. If you want to enjoy the full health benefits of Tamarind, replace white sugar with honey or other healthy sweeteners of your choice.
The first step is to peel off the tamarind shells as demonstrated in the video and then cover the tamarind with water. You want to let it soak for a couple of hours or overnight and then use your hands to squeeze the juice out of the Tamarind pulp as demonstrated.
Strain the juice from the pulp and then throw away the pulp. Add water and your choice of a healthy sweetener like honey and you’re good to go!
Optional: Throw in some ice cubes for a cool refreshing drink.
SEE ALSO: Baobab fruit benefits, another superfood you probably haven’t discovered yet!
Where can you buy Tamarind?
You can buy fresh Tamarind at your local Indian/Srilankan grocery stores. You can also buy it from Amazon here. Tamarind is also available Tamarind puree and also as a powder to suit your cooking needs.
Have you ever tasted fresh Tamarind?
Share your experience with us in the comments below.