Tamarind fruit contains certain health benefiting essential volatile chemical compounds, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. Its sticky pulp is a rich source of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) or dietary fiber such as gums, hemicelluloses, mucilage, pectin, and tannins. 100 g of fruit pulp provides 5.1 or over 13% of dietary fiber. NSP or dietary fiber in the food increases its bulk and augments bowel movements thereby help prevent constipation. The fiber also binds to toxins in the food thereby help protect the colon mucosa from cancer-causing chemicals. Also, dietary fibers in the pulp bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their reabsorption in the colon; thereby help in expulsion of “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels from the body.
Tamarind is rich in tartaric acid. Tartaric acid gives the sour taste to food besides its intrinsic activity as a potent antioxidant. (Antioxidant E-number is E334). It, thus, helps the human body protect from harmful free radicals.
Tamarind fruit contains many volatile phytochemicals such as limonene, geraniol, safrole, cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate, pyrazine, and alkylthiazoles. Together, these compounds account for the medicinal properties of tamarind.
This prized condiment spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes . That why you should have tamarind in your kitchen.