Health Benefits of Tamarinds

The tamarind is a fruit which is used both as vegetable and fruit. It can be added into soups, made into jams and jellies and also made into snacks by drying and salting or made into candies. It can even be used in juices, sorbets and ice creams. Worcestershire sauce and HP sauce wouldn’t be complete without this sour, acidic fruit.

Among fruits, the tamarind is the highest source of iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorous, protein and potassium. But if you’re concerned about sugar and calories, you might want to shun this fruit as it also contains the highest in both.

1. Helps the nervous system to work properly (Thiamin – 29%)
Do you constantly feel numbness in your legs? How about sensation of “pins and needles”? And muscle tenderness in your calf muscles? You may be deficient in thiamine, a B vitamin which plays an important role in several body functions including the activity of nerves and muscles. Without this nutrient, the myelin sheaths of the nerves can become damaged giving you that painful, prickly sensation. Tamarind is an excellent source of thiamin.


2. Keeps bones strong (Magnesium – 23%)
Add a natural supply of magnesium to your diet by snacking on tamarinds. Study participants have shown that individuals with high potassium and magnesium intake had higher bone density and stronger bones than those who didn’t.

3. Eases constipation (Fiber – 20%)
It is one of the highest sources of fiber among fruits, no wonder it is being used as a natural laxative. Dietary fiber is known for its role in regulating bowel movement.

4. Constrols blood pressure levels (Potassium – 18%)
Tamarind is packed with twice the potassium in bananas. Potassium controls blood pressure by controlling the effects of sodium in the body.

5. Prevents anemia (Iron – 16%)
With its rich iron content, consuming tamarinds helps combat iron-deficiency anemia.

6. Regulates cholesterol levels (Niacin – 10%)
It is a good source of niacin, a very important B vitamin which may help lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol in the body.

7. Helps the body produce energy (Riboflavin – 9%)
Feeling a little tired? Try to enjoy the sweetness or sourness of this fruit. Its riboflavin content will help release energy from carbohydrates.

8. Assists in normal blood clotting (Calcium – 7%)
Tamarind is one of the calcium-rich fruits. Calcium (with the help of vitamin K) plays a very important part in blood clotting.

9. Promotes healthy teeth and gums (Vitamin C – 6%)
Loose teeth and bleeding gums may be a sign of lack of vitamin C in the body. Eating this brown-skinned fruit can add to your dietary intake of vitamin C.

10. Strengthens the immune system (Protein – 6%)
Protein is not a common nutrient among fruits or vegetables. But among fruits, tamarinds contain the highest in protein, a nutrient which produces antibodies to help combat viruses and bacteria.

* Nutrient data source: USDA

© K Kristie