Tamarind Juice: Health Benefits, Recipe & Side Effects
Many people are turning to the exotic option of tamarind juice to improve their health in various ways, thanks to the rich supply of nutrients and antioxidants in this juice. Tamarind juice comes from the fruit of a tamarind tree, a unique legume-bearing tree scientifically known as Tamarindus indica. Native to tropical areas in Africa, this tree develops hard brown pods, roughly 4-6 inches long, which contain the tamarind fruit and seeds. The edible fruit of this tree has a taste that can be described as both sweet and sour, and highly acidic. Although this plant now grows in many tropical areas in the world, it is primarily cultivated and used on the Indian subcontinent.
Nutritional Facts of Tamarind Juice
Tamarind juice is particularly popular because it has a rich supply of B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus, natural sugars, vitamin C, tartaric acid, potassium, magnesium, various carotenoids and other antioxidant compounds, all of which contribute to the wealth of health benefits in this juice.
Benefits of Tamarind Juice
Heart Health: The carotenes and antioxidants found in tamarind juice can help prevent the oxidative of cholesterol, which will keep it from sticking to the walls of your arteries, thus lowering your risk of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the potassium in this juice will lower blood pressure and lessen strain on the heart.
Chronic Disease: With healthy amounts of vitamin C, carotenoids and other immunostimulant nutrients, this juice can help seek out free radicals and neutralize them before they can damage the system or cause mutation, which can lead to cancer.
Inflammation: This fruit juice is associated with reducing inflammation in the joints and muscles, but also in the stomach and blood vessels, helping to stimulate circulation and prevent ulcers and acid reflux when consumed in moderation.
Digestion: Tamarind juice has mild diuretic qualities, so if you have been backed up or are suffering from constipation, bloating or cramping, a glass of this in the morning can help normalize your bowel movements.
Weight Loss: Some of the enzymes found in tamarind juice have the ability to affect protein activity in the body, namely those proteins that direct fat storage. By inhibiting this activity, this juice can seriously help in your weight-loss efforts.
Diabetes: Tamarind juice is often recommended for people who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels or lower their risk of diabetes. The active ingredients can regulate insulin and glucose levels to ensure a healthy balance in your body.
Skin and Hair Health: The juice has been used both topically and internally to improve the health of the skin and hair. It can speed healing and reduce the severity of burns, and minimize signs of aging and wrinkles. It can increase luster and shine, and prevent dry skin, dandruff and hair loss.
How to Make Tamarind Juice
With a bit of effort and the right ingredients, you can make your own tamarind juice at home!
- 2 tamarind pods
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 4 cups of water, filtered
Step 1 – Shell the tamarind and scoop out the pulp.
Step 2 – Soak the tamarind pulp in 2 cups of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3 – Add the pulp, water and sugar to a blender and blend gently.
Step 4 – Strain the mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth.
Step 5 – Add the other 2 cups of water, serve chilled and enjoy!
Side Effects of Tamarind Juice
Tamarind juice does have a few possible side effects, some of which may include:
- Hypertension – Some of the active ingredients in this juice are known to be vasoconstrictive, so this can elevate blood pressure and should be avoided in people who have hypertension.
- Bleeding – There are reports of negative drug interactions with this juice, particularly anticoagulants, which can exacerbate bleeding disorders and conditions.
- Acidity and Diarrhea – Excess intake can cause acid reflux and other stomach issues, such as diarrhea, because of its laxative effects.
- Hypoglycemia – Excess intake of this juice, in combination with blood sugar-lowering medicine, can cause hypoglycemia, which can be dangerous for diabetic patients.