Tamarind comes from a fruit-bearing tree that originated in tropical Africa. This leguminous tree produces a delicious fruit that comes in a pod. The pod looks like a larger version of a pea pod but is brown and much drier. The pulp inside of the pod is the edible part of the fruit that is used of a variety of purposes in cooking all over the world. Tamarind is a mixture of sweet, sour and tart flavors. It can be eaten on it’s own raw, or it can be concentrated and turned into a paste, pulp or liquid.
The flavor profile is very strong so most people choose to dilute it by adding spices, water or other additives. Tamarind is also a common base for various sauces and dishes in many ethnic cuisines. Aside from its flavor profile, Tamarind has a wide range of health benefits that make is a good choice for health-conscious consumers.
1. Helps With Weight Loss
Tamarind pulp helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body while also increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. LDL is directly linked with weight-related illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease, and fatty liver. Diets that include tamarind pulp encourage the body to burn more fat and also helps to prevent the formation of additional adipose tissue. Fatty acid synthase is the enzyme in the body that is responsible for the formation of fat (adipose tissue), in the body.
Tamarind extracts block the activity of this enzyme which helps the body to burn existing fat while also encouraging muscle growth. Tamarind in a concentrated form, such as a paste or liquid will also keep lipids from being oxidized by free radicals. When soaked and mixed with water, Tamarind is an effective appetite suppressant.