Most biologists know this thingamajig by the name of Tamarindus indica, under Fabaceae. Most homemakers and elders know this miracle pod as the quick fix when one needs a good laxative, digestive, a solution for bile disorders; or in the kitchen, as a condiment or an emulsifying agent in syrups, decoctions, dips and chutneys of many varieties.
So why you should use tamarind after all?
Some researchers know tamarind as the latest advancement for therapies spanning across abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, inflammation, asthma, gonorrhea, parasitic infections, fevers, etc.; as an effective antimicrobial, anti-venom, antioxidant, wound healing agent.
And most of us know this as a spice or condiment that simply transports our taste buds into a wonderland, a riot of flavours with a lingering after-taste.
Tamarind is basically a tree of a large size that has thick foliage, and heavy drooping branches that dish out curved fruit pods in generous numbers across all its branches. The pods are enclosed in hard outer shells, thus, protecting the delicious, powerful deep brown soft pulp inside, draped around dark brown seeds.
Wait, it has more in store.
It has been famous since historical times for its wide and impactful medicinal value. It is perceived to quickly alleviate stomach discomfort, problems with digestion, for fevers, sore throat, rheumatism, inflammation, or even sunstroke. People have been using it in various forms – some use it dried, some boil tamarind leaves and flowers to treat swollen joints, sprains, boils, hemorrhoids, and conjunctivitis and some make it into a concoction.
Its health repertoire comes from the presence of many elements inside. To start with, it is incredibly rich in tartaric acid that apart from endowing this pulp with a signature sour taste also works as a powerful antioxidant and protects the human body from harmful free radicals.
Tamarind fruit is brimming with essential volatile chemical compounds, minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre while its sticky pulp provides a ready torrent of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), gums, hemicelluloses, mucilage, pectin, and tannins. Besides, helping with bowel movements, this dimension also empowers it to combat toxins in the food and guard the colon mucus membrane from cancer-inducing chemicals.
And some happy news for your stomach.
The fibre also binds to bile salts to control their re-absorption in the colon; to ensure LDL cholesterol levels are kept low in the body. There is an impressive amount of considerable thiamin, iron, magnesium and phosphorus as well as niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, and pyridoxine which add to the nutrition quotient of this delicious food. The variety of natural gums and pectins as well as non-starch polysaccharides, take its dietary fibre content a notch higher and helps bind with the bile to help flush waste through the colon.
The presence of phytochemicals limonene, geraniol, safrole, natural oils, cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate, pyrazine, and alkylthiazoles add to the flavor and healing powers of this pod. Vitamins, especially vitamin-A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C help as important antioxidants and for co-factor functions for enzyme metabolism in a major way.
Organic Tamarind is a good option to pick here because processed tamarind products not only have too many additives, but they also dilute the nutritional profile of this otherwise powerful health choice. In fact, it is used to clear the toxins laden on the surface of vegetables and fruits, simply by dipping them in tamarind water.
With an organic choice, you not only enjoy the good and authentic taste of tamarind but also absorb minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium in their good form.
So, enjoy this yummy pod of power, health, and nutrition in a guilt-free way. There are not many food items that let your palate and body lick happiness together, but tamarind is an exception for sure.
Source by Karthik Guduru