10 Health Benefits Of Tamarind Powder You Don’t Know
Tamarind is a tropical fruit that has a sweet and tangy taste. It is widely used in various cuisines, especially in Asian, African, and Latin American dishes. Tamarind is also known for its many health benefits, as it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds.
Tamarind powder is a convenient and versatile form of tamarind that can be used to add flavor and nutrition to your food. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of tamarind powder and how to use it.
What is tamarind?
Tamarind is a fruit that comes from the tamarind tree ( Tamarindus indica ), which is native to Africa but now grows in other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The fruit is a pod-like legume that contains a pulp and seeds inside a hard shell. The pulp is the edible part of the fruit, which has a sweet and sour flavor and a sticky texture.
The pulp can be eaten raw or processed into various forms, such as paste, concentrate, candy, or powder. Tamarind powder is made by drying and grinding the pulp into a fine powder that can be stored for a long time and used as a spice or a supplement.
Tamarind Nutrition Facts
Tamarind powder is a rich source of nutrients that can benefit your health in various ways. According to the USDA, one tablespoon (9 grams) of tamarind powder provides the following nutrition facts:
- Calories: 26
- Carbohydrates: 6.4 grams
- Fiber: 0.6 grams
- Protein: 0.3 grams
- Vitamin C: 1.2 milligrams (2% of the Daily Value or DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.02 milligrams (1% of the DV)
- Folate: 2 micrograms (1% of the DV)
- Calcium: 12 milligrams (1% of the DV)
- Iron: 0.4 milligrams (2% of the DV)
- Magnesium: 15 milligrams (4% of the DV)
- Zinc: 0.1 milligrams (1% of the DV)
- Manganese: 0.1 milligrams (4% of the DV)
Health Benefits of Tamarind Powder
Tamarind powder has many health benefits thanks to its rich content of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the tamarind powder benefits are as below:
Packed with Antioxidants
Tamarind powder is packed with antioxidants, which are substances that can protect your cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and lead to various chronic diseases, such as cancer. Tamarind contains multiple antioxidants, such as vitamin C, selenium, phenolic and flavonoid compounds. These antioxidants can scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative damage.
Tamarind powder can also boost your body’s antioxidant defense system such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. A recent study found that taking tamarind powder can increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood and reduce oxidative stress markers.
High in Magnesium
Tamarind is high in magnesium, which is a mineral that is essential for many bodily functions. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions, such as energy production and muscle contraction. Magnesium deficiency can cause various symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, cramps, and headaches.
Tamarind can provide about 4% of the DV for magnesium per tablespoon, which can help prevent or treat magnesium deficiency.
Supports Heart Health
Tamarind powder can support your heart health and prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. It can also lower your cholesterol levels by reducing the cholesterol in your liver and intestines.
Not only this, but it can also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in your blood vessels and prevent blood clots. A meta-analysis from 2019 showed that taking tamarind supplements can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Tamarind powder can regulate your blood sugar levels and prevent or manage diabetes. It can improve your insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, which can lower your blood sugar levels. Tamarind can also inhibit the activity of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, which are enzymes that break down carbohydrates into glucose.
By reducing the absorption of glucose, tamarind can prevent postprandial hyperglycemia, which is a condition where your blood sugar levels rise after a meal. A 2004 study showed that taking tamarind seed extract can lower blood sugar levels.
May Boost Bone Density
Tamarind may boost your bone density and prevent osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle. It is a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone formation and mineralization. Vitamin K can also help your body use calcium, which is the main component of your bones. Along with this, it also contains calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are essential minerals for bone health.
Tamarind powder can also modulate your hormones, such as estrogen and parathyroid hormone, which can affect your bone metabolism. A 2018 research showed that tamarind can increase bone mineral density and reduce bone resorption.
Aids in Digestion
Tamarind powder can aid in digestion and prevent various digestive problems, such as indigestion and constipation. The powder can stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and help break down the food. It can also reduce harmful bacteria in your stomach, intestines, and colon.
Tamarind powder can also regulate your bowel movement and prevent constipation and diarrhea.
Possesses Antibacterial Properties
Tamarind contains allicin, a compound that has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Allicin can kill or inhibit the growth of harmful microbes that can cause infection and inflammation. It also contains polyphenols, such as tannins and flavonoids, that can interfere with the adhesion, invasion, and biofilm formation of bacteria.
Tamarind powder can also enhance the activity of antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, against resistant bacteria.
May Support Liver Health
Tamarind powder may support your liver health and prevent liver diseases, such as fatty liver, cirrhosis, and hepatitis. Tamarind can protect your liver from oxidative stress and inflammation, which can damage your liver cells and impair your liver function.
It can also modulate your lipid metabolism and prevent the accumulation of fat in your liver, which can cause fatty liver disease. Along with this, it can also enhance the detoxification and excretion of toxins and waste products from your liver, which can improve your liver health and prevent liver damage.
Promote Wound Healing
Tamarind can promote wound healing and prevent infection and scarring. It can stimulate the production of collagen, which is a protein that provides strength and structure to your skin and tissues. Besides this, it can also reduce inflammation and pain, which can accelerate the healing process and reduce the risk of complications.
The powder can also inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can cause infection and delay wound healing. It can improve the appearance and texture of your skin and prevent hyperpigmentation and keloid formation.
Support Weight Loss
Turmeric can support your weight loss goals and prevent obesity and its related diseases. It can suppress your appetite and reduce your food intake by increasing the production of serotonin. In addition, it can also boost your metabolism and fat burning.
Furthermore, it can also prevent the accumulation of fat in your body by inhibiting the activity of citrate lyase, which is an enzyme that converts carbohydrates into fat. Tamarind powder can also improve your insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, which can prevent diabetes.
How to Use Tamarind (Imli)
Tamarind powder is a convenient and versatile form of tamarind that can be used in various ways. Here are some of the common ways to use tamarind powder:
- As a spice: You can use tamarind powder as a spice to add flavor and color to your dishes, such as curries, soups, stews, sauces, dips, marinades, and rubs.
- As a supplement: You can use tamarind powder as a supplement to enjoy its health benefits. You can take about 1 to 2 teaspoons of tamarind powder daily, either by mixing it with water juice or by swallowing it with a glass of water.
- As a beauty product: It can be used in beauty products to improve your skin and hair health. You can make a tamarind powder mask by mixing it with water, honey, or yogurt and applying it to your face, neck, or scalp. Leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.
Side Effects of Tamarind
Tamarind powder is generally safe and well-tolerated, but it may cause some side effects in some people, such as:
- Allergic reaction: Tamarind can cause an allergic reaction in some people, such as itching, rash, hives, swelling, wheezing, or anaphylaxis.
- Stomach upset: It can cause stomach upset in some people, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or heartburn.
- Bleeding: Tamarind can thin your blood and increase your bleeding risk due to its antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects.
- Drug interaction: Tamarind can interact with some drugs and affect their effectiveness or safety, such as antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals.
Tamarind powder is a dehydrated form of tamarind that has a sweet and tangy taste. It is widely used as a seasoning and a spice in various cuisines. Along with this, it is also a potent source of health benefits that can improve your well-being in many ways.
You can use tamarind powder in various forms and methods for your health and wellness and enjoy its excellent results. Tamarind powder is a must-have in your natural health regimen, and you should definitely give it a try. However, be aware of the possible side effects and allergic reactions of tamarind powder, and use it with caution and moderation. If you have any doubts or questions about tamarind powder, consult a doctor or a herbalist before using it.