Tamarind is a tree predominantly found in South Asia, and its fruits are used mostly for culinary and medicinal purposes by people. It is often used as a flavouring agent while making several beverages. Its pod has a brownish hue and contains seeds and pulp. The pulp is sour in taste. As it ripens the taste becomes slightly sweet. The pulp is used to make tamarind juice, jelly and powder. Raw tamarind is also used to make chutneys and sweet side dishes in many countries. It is popular in the Caribbean, Latin America and Asian countries. In the Western cuisine it is often used to make Worcestershire sauce.
Nutrition Facts of Tamarind
While many people may be unaware of it, Tamarind has several nutrients in it, in adequate amounts for human needs.
- It contains high amount of fibre.
- It has a decent amount of iron.
- You get enough potassium in tamarind, much more than what is found in bananas.
- It also contains riboflavin.
- Tamarind also has some calcium and vitamin C.
Use In Medicinal Needs
Apart from use in cooking, tamarind is also used for medicinal needs like:
Safety of Tamarind
Tamarind is not considered as unsafe for human consumption, as per medical experts. However, it should be used in moderation when used with food or else some side effects can take place. They are not serious in nature, but precaution is better to avoid complications.
Below listed are a few possible side effects that can be triggered by tamarind consumption:
Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
While there is not much documented evidence of tamarind being harmful to lactating mothers and women who have conceived, doctors suggest they should eat it in small amounts for safety.
Drug Interactions Related Risk
When you use certain drugs, consumption of tamarind should be avoided. This is because the compounds in tamarind may interact with those drugs, leading to undesirable effects.
Blood Sugar Level Anomaly
While human tests are yet to be carried out, it is possible that tamarind may lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels. People with hypoglycemia and diabetes need to be especially careful when they take tamarind.
While tamarind pulp is mildly laxative the effect may be reduced by heat. Caution should be practiced when you take this with other laxative medications.
Interaction With Herbs
Eating tamarind can step up risk of bleeding if you take it along with herbs that can increase bleeding risk. It should not be used with herbs like Ginkgo biloba to evade this. It can also happen when you take the pulp with saw palmetto, though instances are not numerous.
Interaction With Aspirin
Taking tamarind can be harmful for health when you use specific medications like aspirin. It can enhance bleeding risk.
Interaction With Ibuprofen
Similarly, taking tamarind with Ibuprofen can be risky. It may result in the body absorbing more amount of the drug than what is required. As a result, you will suffer from side effects of the drug.
It has been found exposure to tamarind dust can affect lung functioning in the body. At times, tamarind seed preparations can lead to onset of respiratory reactions.
The victims of acid reflux should not take tamarind. It can trigger the symptom and worsen the condition.
While it is not a common form of allergy, some people can develop allergy after drinking tamarind juice. It can be a case of cross allergy too. Tamarind usage can lead to allergy to another substance in some people. Several people who consume copious quantities of tamarind pulp have reported developing pollen allergy.
Tamarind has its own set of health benefits, but too much of anything can turn disastorous. So is the case with tamarind. Ensure that you do not intake more than the required dosage of this tangy and flavour some fruit!