According to USDA, tamarind provides energy and sugar along with essential nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C. It also contains iron, sodium, zinc, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, folate, and vitamin A and K. There are also a number of organic compounds that make it a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Tamarind has long been considered a natural laxative and its dietary fiber content is a major reason for this property. Eating it as a fruit or as a spice can increase the efficiency of your digestive system, as the fiber can bulk up your stool, making it move through the smooth muscles of the intestinal tract easily. It is also a bilious substance, meaning that it stimulates the activity of bile, which can help dissolve food faster, and the fiber stimulates gastric juices to speed up digestion.
All of this together means that things run through your digestive tract faster, making it a powerful laxative if you are suffering from chronic constipation. Oddly enough, the fiber can also reduce loose stools, and studies have shown tamarind to be effective against chronic diarrhea as well!
Protects Heart Health
A study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal on tamarind have shown it to be effective in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. The fiber content in tamarind certainly has something to do with the reduction in cholesterol, since it is known to scrap excess LDL cholesterol from the veins and arteries. The potassium in tamarind may be responsible for a reduction in blood pressure since it is known as a vasodilator that reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system.
Tamarind is a very good source of iron and a single serving can provide more than 10% of your daily requirement. A healthy supply of iron in the body guarantees proper red blood cell count in the body, which can ensure appropriate oxygenation of different muscles and organs to function properly. Also, iron deficiency results in anemia, which is characterized by weakness, fatigue, headaches, cognitive disorders, and stomach issues. So, eat plenty of tamarinds to keep anemia at bay!
Improves Nerve Function
One of the most significant vitamins in tamarind is the B complex. Thiamine, an important part of the vitamin B family, is found in high quantities within tamarind. Thiamine is responsible for improving nerve function, as well as muscle development, which can help you remain active, maintain your reflexes, and stay strong.
One of the unique compounds that can be extracted from tamarind or gained as a benefit from it when used as a spice is called hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is connected to weight loss because it has been shown to inhibit an enzyme in the body that specifically helps to store fat. Furthermore, it has been known to suppress the appetite by increasing the neurotransmitter serotonin. Research is still ongoing in these respective areas, but it shows promising signs as a weight loss supplement!
Along with its ability to stop weight gain, it also inhibits the enzyme alpha-amylase, which mainly stops carbohydrates from being absorbed. A carbohydrate-heavy diet can increase the chances of uncontrolled glucose and insulin levels, which is the biggest problem for people suffering from diabetes. Tamarind can help to monitor and control these fluctuations.
Lupeol found in tamarind possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, according to a study done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison. The essential oil of tamarind has been connected to a number of anti-inflammatory abilities, including the reduction of joint pain and inflammation, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and gout. It also reduces 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, used in many herbal remedies for inflammation.
Enormous antioxidants, as well as high levels of vitamin C, make tamarind a wonderful way to boost your immune system, keeping you away from microbial and fungal infections. It also reduces the occurrence of parasites in the body due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial effects. Tamarind has specifically been linked to eliminating stomach worms in children in tropical areas where it is cultivated.
Word of Caution: The main concern is that tamarind lowers blood pressure and is a blood thinner, so it can be difficult to reduce bleeding in case something happens. If you are taking aspirin or other blood thinners, be careful while ingesting an excessive amount of tamarind.
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