6 Health benefits of tamarind, a sweet and sour superfruit
03/05/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
6 Health benefits of tamarind, a sweet and sour superfruit

Tamarind is a superfood often used in Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. This sweet and sour fruit isn’t just delicious, it offers many health benefits such as boosting your heart and digestive health!

Tamarind, the tropical superfruit

Known to science as Tamarindus indicatamarind is a tropical fruit that grows in trees native to the tropical regions of Africa, particularly Sudan. Italso grows in various regions like India and Pakistan.

Tamarind develops in pods with long, brown shells. It’s in these pods bear sticky, fleshy and juicy pulp of the tamarind fruit can be found. The fruit has an incredible taste that may range from sweet to sour and tart to tangy. It’s said to taste like a date combined with lemon and the fruit can sometimes make the back of your jaw tingle.


According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), raw tamarind provides the following essential minerals:

  • B-vitamins (Folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine)
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

If you want to start using tamarind in your recipes, read on to learn more about its various health benefits!

Helps promote weight loss

The results of one study have revealed that tamarind water extract can help prevent obesity. Tamarind contains unique compounds called trypsin inhibitors that may help reduce your hunger. This protein can suppress your appetite by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin. While research is still ongoing about this potential benefit, experts are hopeful that the extracts of this fruit can soon be used as a natural weight-loss supplement.

Boost your digestive health

Tamarind is also used as a natural laxative because it is full of dietary fiber. Eating tamarind as a fruit or cooking with it as a spice can help boost your digestive health, particularly since it contains insoluble fiber that bulks up your stool. This type of fiber makes it easier for stool to move through the smooth muscles of your intestinal tract.

Helps manage diabetes

Following a diet full of carbs can increase the chances of uncontrolled glucose and insulin levels. This can be a concern if you have diabetes. Thankfully, tamarind can inhibit the enzyme alpha-amylase that helps stop carbs from being absorbed in your body. One study suggests that consuming the superfruit regularly can help control these fluctuations.

Help improve your heart health

In another study, researchers discovered that tamarind may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. The fruit contains dietary fiber that can help scrape excess LDL cholesterol from the veins and arteries.

Helps fight inflammation

Tamarind leaves contain lupeol, a triterpene with anti-inflammatory properties. Results from one study have shown that tamarind essential oil is linked to several anti-inflammatory capabilities, like the reduction of arthritis, gout, joint pain and inflammation and rheumatic conditions. Additionally, tamarind can help reduce eye irritation, especially one of the most common forms known as conjunctivitis or pink eye. Since tamarind has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, it is often used in some home remedies for inflammation.

Boost your immune health

According to a study, tamarind has amazing antioxidant properties. The antioxidants in tamarind can help boost your immunity, which is important since it will help you fight off microbial and fungal infections. Additionally, tamarind may help reduce the occurrence of parasites thanks to its antiseptic and antimicrobial effects.

Considerations when eating tamarind

Eating a moderate amount of tamarind is considered safe, but detailed below are some side effects that you may experience once you eat the fruit.

  • Blood pressure – Tamarind may lower blood pressure. Consult your physician before consuming tamarind if you’re already on blood pressure medication.
  • Diabetes – If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely when you eat tamarind to avoid unnecessary spikes and falls.

Cooking with tamarind

Tamarind is used as a base for many stews, chutneys and marinades. Culinary experts also use tamarind to tenderize meat. Below are several ways to cook with tamarind:

  • Enjoy it raw as a sour or sweet fruit. If you’re not used to eating tamarind, note that it has a potent flavor that’s both tangy and sweet.
  • Use it to make desserts and candy.
  • Add tamarind to give curries or soups a tangy kick.
  • Use tamarind paste to give dishes a savory flavor.
  • Make tamarind juice at home.

Once you’ve confirmed that you can safely eat tamarind, try out the recipes below! Tart and tangy tamarind juice This tart tamarind juice recipe can be tweaked if you prefer a sweeter beverage. Just use more agave or coconut nectar. Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • A box of fresh tamarind pods (Approximately 2 cups worth, 3 blocks of tamarind, or 1 large jar)
  • 6 cups of lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup of coconut nectar (You can also use agave or maple syrup)
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger or 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. Use your fingers to crack the brown tamarind shells then remove the stalk from the pulp. Place the pulp in a large heatproof bowl and carefully pour the warm water over the raw fruit.
  2. Set the tamarind aside for five to 10 minutes until it begins to soften.
  3. Pour the contents of the bowl into a powerful blender then add the fresh ginger.
  4. On the lowest setting, pulse the tamarind for 10 to 15 seconds to separate the seed from the pulp. The liquid will be a dark cloudy brown and the seeds will settle at the bottom of the container. Repeat this step if necessary until the seeds have pulled apart.
  5. Pour the tamarind juice into some cheesecloth or a sieve and squeeze to strain the remaining juice.
  6. Sweeten the juice with coconut nectar and vanilla and serve with ice.


  • Make sure you consume the juice within five days of preparation.
  • If you don’t have a high-speed blender, soak the tamarind pods for seven hours or overnight until they separate from the seeds.
  • Use three blocks of tamarind or a large jar of tamarind paste (must be additive-free and made with no other ingredients) if you d0n’t have fresh pods.
  • Use other optional ingredients like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lime, or nutmeg.

Tamarind-glazed veggie tacos Make these tamarind-glazed veggie tacos if you want a vegan dish with a delicious apple and lettuce slaw and pico de gallo. Ingredients for 6-8 servings: Tamarind-glazed vegetables:

  • 10 ounces sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 2- to 3-inch strips, 1/4-inch thick
  • 10 ounces eggplant, sliced into 2- to 3-inch strips, 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Apple slaw:

  • 1 cup of sliced lettuce, about a small handful
  • 2 large apples, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or brown sugar)

Taco ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 corn tortillas
  • Pico de gallo


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the oven rack in the center.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, tamarind paste, maple syrup, salt, pepper flakes and garlic powder. Set aside 1 and a half tablespoons of the sauce for the roasted vegetables.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the tamarind sauce with the vegetable strips. Use your hands to evenly coat the veggies with the sauce.
  5. Spread the vegetables in an even layer over the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Toss the apple slaw ingredients together and set them aside.
  7. Once the vegetables are done, drizzle the remaining tamarind sauce over it and mix.
  8. When the roasted vegetables are done, heat up the corn tortillas over a pan.
  9. Assemble the tacos by adding some of the tamarind-glazed vegetables, apple slaw and pico de gallo. Serve immediately.

Use amazing superfoods like tamarind to make dishes that can boost your heart and digestive health.





100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles