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Tamarind is packed with nutrition
The sweet and sour tamarind grows in countries with tropical climate, it is a kind of fruit that grows on the Tamarindus indica tree, belonging to the family 'fabaceae'. It is a condiment spice, which is widely used in south Indian kitchens. Tamarind is known as a multi-function plant, because of its various benefits.

THE AWESOME characteristic of tamarind fruit is that it is packed with nutritional elements such as protein, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, fibre and antioxidants, but due to the presence of various nutrient inhibitors, only fifty percent of calcium is available for absorption by the body.

Unlike other fruits and vegetables it is found extensively, at an economical price, and almost seventy three percent of the fruit is edible. The pulp, which is the edible part of the fruit, is used in several ways such as preparing tamarind powder, puree, concentrated juice, jellies, candies and pickle. It is widely used in preparing chutnies.

Adding tamarind in your daily diet is very beneficial. The health benefits of tamarind include:

-The sticky pulp of tamarind contains non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Hundred grams of the pulp provides almost thirteen percent of the dietary fiber (helpful in bowel movement and prevents constipation).

-The dietary fibre present in the pulp binds to toxins in the food and prevents the colon from having carcinogenic chemicals. It also binds to the bile salt and reduces the reabsorption in the colon which helps in excretion of LDL cholesterol level in the body.

-Tamarind contains tartaric acid, which gives a sour taste to it. Tartaric acid is a good source of antioxidants, which helps the body tissues from the harmful effect of free radicals.

-It is a rich source of volatile phytochemicals such as cinnamic acid, alkylthiazoles, limonene, geraniol, methyl salicylate, pyrazine and safrole.

- It is a good source of minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron and magnesium. Potassium is needed to maintain the body fluid and to control the blood pressure. Iron is essential to produce RBC's. Calcium is essential for strong bones.

-Tamarind is rich in vitamin C, so it helps to build immunity.

Medicinal uses of tamarind are:

The pulp of tamarind has many medicinal benefits, it is used for the treatment of vomiting and indigestion and is also used as laxative.

It is also used as emulsifying agent in syrups and many other pharmaceutical preparations.

A clear soup prepared with tamarind and pepper known as rasam in south India is a home remedy for cold.

Gargle with tamarind water is a good treatment for sore throat.

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