Tamarind, benefits of a tropical fruit

Tamarind is a very peculiar tropical fruit with a characteristic flavor. It has nutritional properties that make this acidic fruit a beneficial food for our health.

What is tamarind?

It is the fruit of a tropical tree that receives the name of tamarind (Tamarindus indica). It is a very common food in Asian, African and Central American countries, although in Spain it is not yet well known.

It looks similar in size to peas or beans, but with a very characteristic dark brown color in these foods.

According to the classification of the types of fruits , these foods are classified within the group of acidic fruits , although acidity varies according to the degree of ripeness.

Origin of tamarind

According to different historical references, the origin of these acidic fruits is located in the African region , where the country of Sudan is now and where it was born wild. There are other data that place the origin of this tree in regions of India.

First, its cultivation spread to different areas of Asia. Later and thanks to the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors, the cultivation expanded to the American continent where it is grown in the most tropical areas like other varieties of fruits.

Tamarind cultivation

It is grown in tropical and subtropical areas around the planet , with Mexico being the main producer of this fruit.

The tamarind (Tamarindus indica) can grow up to 20 meters high, from which several kilos of the fruit come out. It does not require special care because its production is very profitable.

It is a very common food in India, Thailand, Africa and Latin American countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica.

How do you eat tamarind?

These foods are consumed in a number of different ways depending on the area where they are grown. In India it is used as a condiment and in other countries it is eaten candied.

As I always recommend, the fruit should always be consumed fresh and raw in order to take advantage of all its properties and benefits. In the case of tamarind, the outer layer should be removed and the berries washed well before eating.

It can be consumed as a dessert in the main meals but it is more recommended to eat it as a snack due to its high caloric content.

In Latin America it is consumed sweetly. Tamarind sweets are made especially in Mexico, which, in addition to being very tasty, are an important source of income for local producers.

In addition, it is used in various recipes of traditional cuisine with chicken, red meat, or fish. In addition, it is also used to prepare sweet and sour sauce. The consumption of this type of sauce, in addition to obtaining an ideal recipe, we manage to add a food with benefits for our health to our kitchen.

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Tamarind water

Tamarind water is a refreshing and natural drink. In addition, it is very common to take it in Central American countries and specifically it is a very popular recipe in Mexico.

Learn how to make tamarind water , it is a very refreshing drink and it is very simple to make.

Tamarind infusion

Another way to take tamarind mixed with infused water. The tamarind infusion is very easy to make , you just have to boil a glass of water (approximately 200 ml of water) in a saucepan and as soon as the water starts to boil, add a tablespoon of tamarind pulp and leave it boiling for about 5 minutes.

Later, we turn off the heat and let the tamarind pulp mixed with the water rest for another 5 minutes. It can be taken warm or at room temperature.

Thanks to its properties and benefits, I recommend its regular consumption, whether in sauce, juice, infusion, as a spice, raw or in any other uses that we can give it in our kitchen.

Tamarind flavor

Its flavor is acidic, since it is an acidic fruit. This acid flavor can be found when the tamarind is not ripe. When it is allowed to ripen, its sweet flavor increases, the more mature, the sweeter and at this point of sweetness it is when it is used in the preparation of desserts, compotes, jams, syrups and drinks.

Where to buy tamarind?

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) can be found raw wrapped naturally in its pod or in an elaborate way such as tamarind pulp, tamarind sour candies or tamarind sauce.

You can buy it in your trusted supermarket on various online sales pages.

Tamarind properties

As I have already mentioned, tamarind has some nutrients that make this food a fruit rich in nutritional properties that are beneficial for our health.

It is a fruit very rich in carbohydrates, natural fiber, in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus and in vitamins such as vitamins B and E. The amount of vitamin C that this fruit has is also remarkable. , which, as in guava , carambola , lemon or orange , is characteristic of all acidic fruits.

It also stands out for its high content of thiamine (vitamin B1) which is one of the B complex vitamins and which, among other functions, helps the body’s cells to convert carbohydrates into energy. The main role of carbohydrates is to supply energy to the body, especially the brain and nervous system.

In addition, in a food without cholesterol, so it is recommended for people who have cholesterol or high blood pressure problems.

Average nutritional value per 100 grams of tamarind

Energy296 Kcal
Protein2,4 g
Fats0,60 g
Carbohydrates73,7 g
Sugar57,1 g
Fiber5,1 g
Football73 mg
Match79 mg
Potassium570 mg
Iron1,3 mg
Vitamin A2 µg
C vitamin3,50 mg
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Tamarind benefits

The benefits that tamarind brings to our health are different. It is a very caloric fruit, but thanks to its nutritional properties it is widely used in natural medicine.

In addition, it is a fruit traditionally used in traditional medicine. Among its benefits we can highlight the following:

1. Natural depurative

It helps purify the body and eliminate excess toxins naturally.

2. Antibacterial effects

Naturally, this fruit contains elements that have antibacterial effects, as this report shows. [1]

In addition, the same studies show that the plant can also have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity. [2]

Therefore, tamarinds can help kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

3. Natural laxative

The consumption of this fruit is very beneficial as an intestinal regulator, thanks mainly to the fiber content it provides.

4. Helps against gases

It is a food that helps us with gas problems in the stomach, reducing stomach bloating problems.

Thanks to the fact that it is a fruit rich in magnesium, it helps us reduce tension and has anti-inflammatory effects.

5. Antinflamatorio natural

It helps us to relieve muscle and joint pain, since it is a natural anti-inflammatory.

6. Helps regulate blood pressure

It is a cholesterol-free fruit , so it is an ally for people who suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure problems. In addition, it contains flavonoids which is a type of polyphenols that can help regulate blood cholesterol levels. 

As demonstrated by this animal study, tamarind extract reduces total cholesterol, DHL, and triglycerides after continued intake. [3]

It also contains high levels of magnesium. Consequently, it can help lower blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects.

7. Satisfying food

Thanks to its high fiber content, it is a food that does not give a feeling of satiety and helps us not to snack between meals .

Conclusions

To conclude, this fruit, in addition to being a novelty for many of us, is a new complement to our kitchen and to prepare new recipes. Therefore, tamarind is an ideal food to include in our diet thanks to the benefits it brings to our health.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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