Tamarind (Imli) is one of the common fruits found in Indian households and is best known for its tart taste, but many of us are ignorant of its benefits. The benefits of Tamarind include keeping your heart and liver safe and is extensively used in Indian cuisines. It also helps treat snake bites, malaria, diabetes, constipation, and several acute and chronic conditions as tamarind extracts have been used in ancient medicine.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of Tamarind and how you can use it in your day-to-day life. Read on to know more!
Tamarind Nutritional Value:
Tamarind is a rich source of several nutrients such as Vitamin B. B3, Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Iron. You can get the following nutrition from a half-cup serving of Tamarind:
- 143 calories.
- Two grams of protein.
- 0 grams of fat.
- 38 grams of carbohydrate.
- 3 grams of fiber.
- 3 grams of sugar.
Benefits of Eating Tamarind:
Health Benefits of Tamarind:
1. Tamarind Benefits for Liver:
The liver is indirectly affected when there is chronic inflammation in your body. According to a study on rats with arthritis, Tamarind extracts have active procyanidins that reduce oxidative stress in the liver by depleting inflammatory markers like total thiols, glutathione peroxidase, reductase, and glutathione (1).
Tamarind helps improve your body’s defense against oxidative stress as it has minerals like copper, nickel, manganese, selenium, and iron. It may also protect the lipid content in the livers from free radical attack because of Vitamin E and selenium (2).
2. Tamarind for Weight Loss:
Obesity is one of the commonly found health issues among people of all ages, irrespective of gender, and it leads to several metabolic disorders, heart, liver, and kidney issues. Tamarind has a positive effect on weight management as it might increase the good cholesterol and decrease the bad cholesterol content in the plasma as per rat studies (3).
Tamarind extract was given to the rats on a high-fat diet orally for ten weeks, and it has resulted in weight loss with its anti-obesity effects. In addition, it reduces an enzyme called Fatty acid synthase that promotes the formation of adipose tissue, and his extract is shown to have antioxidant properties as per this study.
There is a need for further studies to understand the beneficial effects of Tamarind on weight loss on the human body.
3. Tamarind Maintains Healthy Blood Pressure:
The benefits of eating Tamarind include the maintenance of healthy blood pressure. In addition, it helps reduce LDL or bad cholesterol in your body with its high fiber content. Furthermore, Tamarind has a good amount of potassium that is helpful in initially decreasing blood pressure and maintaining healthy blood pressure consistently (4).
4. Tamarind Improves Digestive Health:
Tamarind or Imli helps treat digestive issues in Ayurvedic medicine. Regular consumption of Tamarind leads to quicker and efficient digestion because it stimulates bile production. It also adds bulk to your stool easing bowel movements as it is rich in fiber (5).
The juice extracted from Tamarind is good for health and helps treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Tamarind also has natural binding agents like gums and pectins that can be used as a natural laxative and interestingly works for some cases of diarrhea.
5. Tamarind Benefits for Brain:
Eight different B vitamins have a similar function in our body, and these vitamins are water-soluble. Since these B vitamins are especially essential for the better functioning of your nervous system and brain health, without resorting to supplements, you should be able to get enough B vitamins in your diet (6).
Although Tamarind especially has thiamine and folate and is a rich source of B vitamins except for vitamin B12, unlike other plants.
6. Tamarind Helps in Improving Immunity:
Tamarind juice is beneficial for good health and helps you treat health conditions like cold, flu, cough, etc. By strengthening your immune system because it has high amounts of Vitamin c and other antioxidants (7).
Consumption of Tamarind helps get rid of germs in the body because of its antiseptic properties.
7. Treats Cold and Fever:
Tamarind has several therapeutic properties, along with potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. These properties of Tamarind help you deal with fever, inflammation, wound healing, diarrhea, dysentery, abdominal pain, and cold naturally by using it as traditional medicine (8).
8. Tamarind Good for Diabetes:
The pulp of Tamarind helps your body absorb carbohydrates as it contains carb-blocking properties. This will help reduce the blood glucose levels for diabetic patients after food consumption (9).
The oxidative damage in the pancreas is directly linked to diabetes, and Tamarind juice prevents the damage, lowering blood sugar levels.
9. Protects Against Cancer:
Antioxidants play an essential role in maintaining a healthy body, and therefore scientists recommend a diet high in antioxidants. For example, Tamarind helps improve your immune system and lowers cancer risk by having high amounts of antioxidants.
According to scientists, these antioxidants reduce the damage to your cell DNA by reducing the effect of the free radicals. This is because the harm to the DNA is where many cancers begin.
Tamarind has high amounts of phytochemicals which include beta-carotene that has antioxidant qualities (10).
10. Great for Your Heart:
Tamarind juice helps stop the cholesterol from sticking to the artery walls and blocking them by preventing the oxidation process of cholesterol. This will helps lower the high cholesterol levels and thereby the risk of coronary heart condition, making it one of the best advantages of Tamarind (11).
Tamarind has vitamin C that neutralizes harmful free radicles, and potassium content lowers the blood pressure, which finally keeps your heart safe and healthy.
11. Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant:
Tamarind has high amounts of tartaric acid, a potent antioxidant that makes short work for free radicles, effectively reducing inflammation. It also helps you deal with a host of conditions as it has a high level of polyphenols and flavonoids.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Tamarind help you deal with the pain associated with sore throat or some inflammatory issues like pain in the joints (12).
12. Remedy for Arthritis:
The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties of Tamarind make it one of the traditional treatment ingredients to treat arthritis (13). In addition, tamarind seed powder protects your cartilage and bone by reducing the inflammation and oxidative stress in your joints, according to early research (14).
13. Helps to Treat Dry Eyes:
Eye drops prepared with Tamarind pulp are used to treat an eye condition called Conjunctivitis. Dry eye syndrome is yet another eye condition that can be treated by the traditional method using tamarind seeds.
Since eyes are sensitive organs, it is always better to consult a physician before trying anything new.
Skin benefits of Tamarind:
14. Soothe Skin Irritation:
Tamarind benefits for the skin include efficiently soothing irritation on your surface as it is filled with flavonoids, Vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. It also gives your skin deep and lasting hydration because of its molecular structure.
15. Lightens Skin Tone and Reduces Dark Spots:
If you are fed up with chemically loaded beauty products for your skin, Tamarind can be a natural bleaching agent which helps lighten your skin tone. Similar to Hyaluronic acid, Tamarind seed extract binds vital hydration keeping your skin moisturized and reducing the dark spots on the way.
16. Wound Healing:
Tamarind fruit paste increases epithelial migration and re-epithelialization, accelerating the wound closure. In addition, the antioxidant activity of the seeds is the base of the traditional healing power of the Tamarind.
Hair Benefits of Tamarind:
17. Strengthen Your Hair:
Tamarind, available in every Indian kitchen, can be an excellent option if you are looking for a natural way to strengthen your hair. Tamarind can improve your hair with regular application or consumption.
18. Controls Hair Fall:
We all have a bit of hair loss now and then. Tamarind comes to your aid to prevent hair loss by strengthening your hair locks naturally. All you have to do is apply the pulp extracted from soaking Tamarind and apply the paste to your hair and scalp. After a few minutes, use aaa shampoo to wash your hair, and don’t forget to use a conditioner.
How to Use Tamarind?
Here are some of the simple ways you can use Tamarind in your cooking.
- Pre-soaking Tamarind is the simple way to extract the juice from the Tamarind.
- Soak the Tamarind for ten minutes in warm water and extract pulp by squeezing the pulp with fingers.
- Discard the pulp after you strain the juice.
- A cast for broken bones is prepared by using the thick paste of tamarind seeds.
- Eye drops for dry eyes are prepared with the extract of Tamarind.
- Indian cuisine has Tamarind as an integral part. It is used in curries, chutneys, and beverages.
Side Effects of Tamarind:
Tamarind fruit is considered safe and non-toxic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Even after administering 5000mg/kg and 3000mg/kg doses of tamarind extracts, there is no morality or toxicity shown in the rat studies (15).
- However, there might be mineral overload in your kidneys. Therefore it is best to decide on the upper limit of tamarind intake by consulting a nutritionist or a healthcare provider.
- The safety of consuming Tamarind for pregnant and nursing women doesn’t have sufficient data.
- It is best to consume small amounts of tamarind fruit extract if you are on anti-diabetic or anti-hypertensive medications. However, more research is needed to prove these claims.
Whether you know it or no, Tamarind is one of the central ingredients in several Indian cuisines. It is also used as a remedy for a host of conditions in traditional medicine. In addition, almost every part of the fruit has high therapeutic value, whether it is leaves, fruit, seeds, bark, stems, branches, and flowers. Tamarind is an ingredient you cannot miss with its essential nutrients. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in this article are for informational purposes and not a replacement for professional medical advice. It is always safe to consult a doctor or dietician before trying out anything new.
1. Is it safe to consume Tamarind every day?
Ans: Tamarind is filled with all the essential nutrients making it a perfect addition to your daily cooking practice. Along with nutrients, its unique taste is the reason why Tamarind is used in many Indian dishes.
2. Can you treat kidney stones with the help of Tamarind?
Ans: The effect of Tamarind on kidney stones has no supporting research. However, the minerals present in Tamarind might make it an overload on your kidneys if taken in excess.
3. Can Tamarind have a positive effect on sleep?
Ans: The high amounts of magnesium might promote sleep by relaxing nerves, according to anecdotal evidence. But there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim.