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The tamarind tree is much prized in many parts of the world for its beauty and its fruit. Tamarinds are leguminous trees because they produce fruit in the form of a bean-like pod. This bean contains a sour pulp that becomes very sweet as it ripens. People eat the fruit raw and also use its pulp in cooking.
The leaves, beans, bark, and wood of the tamarind tree have a wide variety of uses. Tamarind is an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce and is used in many dishes in Asia, South and Central America, Africa, and the Caribbean. It appears in many chutneys, sauces, candies, and drinks.
People use tamarind in traditional medicine, but its therapeutic uses need more exploration. Tamarind pulp contains a variety of nutrients that can boost your health.
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are necessary for the body to grow and repair tissues. Some amino acids are essential, meaning that the body can’t synthesize them, so people must get them from food. Tamarind contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids except tryptophan. It meets the standards of the World Health Organisation for an ideal protein for the other amino acids. Researchers are unsure, however, how well the body can absorb all the nutrients found in tamarind.
Cancer Risk Reduction
Scientists recommend a diet high in antioxidants for many reasons, one of them being a reduction in the risk of cancer. Antioxidants can prevent free radicals from damaging cell DNA. Scientists believe that many cancers begin with harm to DNA. Phytochemicals found in plants have antioxidant qualities. Tamarind is rich in several phytochemicals, including beta-carotene.
The category of B vitamins contains eight different vitamins that function similarly. All are water-soluble so the body doesn’t store them. You should be able to get enough B vitamins in your diet without resorting to supplements. The entire range of B vitamins is essential for good health. They are especially necessary for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. Tamarind is rich in B vitamins, especially thiamine and folate. Like other plants, tamarind does not contain B12.
People who get enough magnesium in their diets have better bone density than those who are deficient. Many people, especially teens and those over 70, do not get adequate magnesium. Tamarind is a rich source of magnesium. It also contains more calcium than many plant foods. The combination of these two minerals, plus weight-bearing exercise, could help prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. The body requires vitamin D to use calcium. Tamarind is not a significant source of vitamin D, so you will need to get it from other sources.
Tamarind is very rich in nutrients, providing at least 10% of:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
(Wedmd. Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on September 20, 2022)