Tamarind is a tart tropical fruit typically found in South Asian and Indian cooking. It has a unique pungent flavour that is used in chutneys and curries. Although tamarind is a seed pod, it is soaked and pureed for cooking. In fact, the word tamarind is translated as Indian date. Tamarind also has some surprising health benefits.
Tamarind has been typically used to help aid digestion due to the natural gums and pectins have good dietary fibre.
Tamarind is a good source of thiamine, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Tamarind also contains tartaric acid, giving the tart flavour, whilst providing your body with niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, and pyridoxine.
Tamarind has been used as a traditional medicine for studies into diabetes. The high levels of polyphenols and flavonoids was tested to see if it increase the glucose uptake in patients of the study. During this study, there was a positive trend showing an anti-diabetic effect for the participants of the study.
Studies have also found that tamarind can protect heart health by reducing blood pressure and bad cholesterol. The fibre content in this unique fruit can help rid of excess LDL cholesterol from veins and arteries. Furthermore, the high levels of potassium in tamarind can help reduce bloody pressure as it is a vasodilator, which essentially means it reduces stress on the cardiovascular system.
The essential oil of tamardin has been connected to a number of anti-inflammatory capabilities which can particularly help joint pain, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout. The soothing ability of tamarind is often found in many herbal remedies.
Tamarind has many antioxidant properties, alongside high levels of vitamin C. Together, this can help boost your immune system by fighting off microbial and fungal infections.
If you are looking to improve your health in any of these areas, we encourage you to see your doctor; however, adding more tamarind to your diet and trying something new can always help!
What’s you favourite recipe with tamarind? Tell us in the comments below and we’ll publish it on our website.