Deliciously tangy and one of the most highly prized natural foods in South Asia, the tamarind – the melodic name of which comes from the Persian “tamar-I-hind,” meaning “date of India” – is gaining recognition and appreciation throughout the world. Said to be native to Africa, this exotic fruit grows on exceptionally tall trees of the fabaceae family, such as peas, beans, and other legumes, mostly in the warmer, dryer areas of Asia, Mexico, and India.
Tamarind trees produce an abundance of long, curved, brown pods filled with small brown seeds, surrounded by a sticky pulp that dehydrates naturally to a sticky paste. The pods look a bit like huge, brown, overly mature green beans. After harvest, tamarinds are sometimes shelled in preparation for export. From there, they’re often pressed into balls and layered with sugary water or syrup; sometimes they’re salted.
Processed tamarind products can be found in supermarkets, but remember that additives can alter the nutritional profile. It’s better to purchase them fresh while still in the pod. Refrigeration is the best way to preserve the freshness for up to several months.
Check out these amazing health benefits they offer:
Helps in weight loss
Tamarind has HCA( hydroxycitric acid) that is widely known to help in weight loss. Tamarind reduces a person’s appetite and that’s how weight is lost. If you want to lose weight gradually, just include more tamarind to your diet.
Tamarind has been considered as a natural product to help digestion. If you eat tamarind as a spice then your digestive system gets better and the fiber in it makes your stool smooth. It helps in dissolving your food faster and you can consider eating tamarind even if you have diarrhea.
Tamarind has a good amount of Vitamin C and also other anti oxidants that helps a person’s immune system to improve. Because of tamarind’s antiseptic effects, it gets rid of germs in the body.
Deals with diabetes effectively
Along with all the benefits that we mentioned above, another great health benefit of tamarind is that is help in monitoring fluctuating sugar or insulin levels. Usually a person who has a carb-rich diet, his/her glucose levels are uncontrolled. This is one of the biggest causes of diabetes. Including tamarind in your diet can help manage your blood sugar levels.