The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are used extensively in cuisines around the world. Other uses include traditional medicines and metal polishes. The wood can be used in carpentry. Because of the tamarind's many uses, cultivation has spread around the world in tropical and subtropical zones.
The tamarind fruit is encased within a brown pod. Inside the pod of the tamarind is a soft, brown pulp with hard-coated black seeds. It is this pulp that people eat to get all the nutritional and health benefits of the tamarind. The pulp of the tamarind has a very sour taste while it is young, but as it ripens the pulp gets sweeter. Though the pulp will sweeten with age, the tamarind generally has a sour, acidic taste.
In countries such as Jamaica, Mexico, Aruba and India, tamarind is mixed with sugar and sold as sweets or snacks on the streets or in local shops. Snacking on tamarind or eating tamarind jelly or other tamarind- related products can be very beneficial to your health. Tamarind is a rich source of vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients necessary or good health.
But among the many nutritional values and health benefits of tamarind, quite a few of these benefits stand out, namely that:
Tamarind is a good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer. Tamarind contains carotenes, vitamin C, flavanoids and the B-vitamins, Tamarind protects against vitamin C deficiency, Tamarind reduces fevers and provides protection against colds, Tamarind helps the body digest food, Tamarind is used to treat bile disorders, Tamarind is a mild laxative, Tamarind lowers cholesterol, Tamarind promotes a healthy heart, Tamarind can be gargled to ease sore throat, Tamarind applied to the skin to heal inflammation.The tamarind fruit has been around for centuries. As early as 1797, the tamarind tree was first introduced into the United States, but many records show that the growth and use of tamarind in the East Indies, Pacific Islands, West Indies, Bermuda and the Bahamas long before that time. Tamarind trees are used as a tree for shade against the sun in these territories as well as for the health benefits from the tamarind pulp. Tamarind trees can grow up to 20 m high and stay green in regions without a dry season.
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