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Raw tamarind can provide energy (calories) along with essential minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, and zinc. It also contains vitamin C, B-vitamins (niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate), and vitamin A and K.
May Protect Heart Health- Tamarind may help in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. The fiber content in the sour fruit can help in scraping excess LDL cholesterol from the veins and arteries. The fruit pulp may exert its hypocholesterolemic effect by increasing cholesterol outflow, enhancing LDL cholesterol clearance, suppressing triglyceride accumulation, and inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, it can also project light on the potential antioxidative effects of tamarind which can protect against high cholesterol.
May Improve Digestion-The tamarind fruit has long been considered a natural laxative, given its dietary fiber content. Eating it as a fruit or as a spice can increase the efficiency of your digestive system, as the insoluble fiber can bulk up your stool, making it move through the smooth muscles of the intestinal tract easily. It can also act as a bilious substance, meaning that it can stimulate the activity of bile and bile acids, which may aid in the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in the small intestine. Studies have shown the tropical fruit can be effective against chronic diarrhea as well.
May Aid In Weight Loss- A study published in the Scientia Pharmaceutica journal suggests that tamarind water extract can help reduce obesity. One of the unique compounds called trypsin inhibitors, found in tamarind, may help in reducing your hunger. This protein has been known to suppress the appetite by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Research is still ongoing in these respective areas, but the extracts of this fruit might show promising signs as a weight-loss supplement!
May Help Manage Diabetes- A carbohydrate-heavy diet can increase the chances of uncontrolled glucose and insulin levels, which is a significant concern for those suffering from diabetes. Tamarind can inhibit the enzyme alpha-amylase, which mainly stops carbohydrates from being absorbed in the body. It may help control these fluctuations as per a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The possibly high content of magnesium in tamarind may further help to prevent or alleviate diabetes.
May Have Potentially Anti-inflammatory Capacity-Lupeol, found in tamarind leaves, possesses anti-inflammatory. The essential oil of tamarind can be connected to several anti-inflammatory capabilities, probably including the reduction of joint pain and inflammation, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout. It may also reduce eye irritation – one of the most common forms of which is conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. It has shown a definite soothing and anti-inflammatory ability and is, therefore, can be used in many herbal remedies for inflammation.
May Boost Immunity- Antioxidants can make tamarind a wonderful way to boost your immunity, which can help to stave off microbial and fungal infections. It may also reduce the occurrence of parasites in the body due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial effects. It can be specifically linked to eliminating stomach worms in children in tropical areas where it is cultivated.
Side Effects of Tamarind
A moderate amount of this sour fruit is likely safe. However, there are a few side effects it can cause.
Blood Pressure: Tamarind may have the potential to lowers blood pressure so if you are already on a blood pressure medication, do consult with your doctor.
Interaction with Medicines: Tamarind may have blood-thinning properties and it may also interact with medicines like aspirin. Do keep in mind to avoid using it in case you are on such medications.
Diabetes: If you are suffering from diabetes, monitor the blood sugar levels closely when you consume tamarind. The best thing would be to consult with your doctor so that you can avoid unnecessary spikes and falls.
Lead Poisoning: Many tamarind candy brands have been shown to contain more lead than specified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Level of Concern. So, we suggest you do research and educate yourself before buying these candies for yourself or your children (John Staughton, BASc, BFA- Organicfacts.net).