Why is it good to drink tamarind water?


Tamarind is an undisputed protagonist of Central American and Asian gastronomy.

This is not only due to its versatility and flavor, which ranges from sour to sweet, but also to its properties. Here we will see how to prepare tamarind water and what its health benefits are.

Tamarind is the fruit of Tamarindus indica, a medium-sized shrub native to tropical regions of Africa, specifically Sudan. It develops into long brown pods, which contain a fleshy and juicy pulp inside.

Due to its range of flavours, acid when the fruit is young and sweet when it is ripe, the tamarind is used to prepare many types of sauces. It is also marketed as a sweet and condiment.

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Another way to consume it is through its water or juice, very popular in Central America and an excellent way to replace the intake of unhealthy soft drinks or sugary drinks. You can easily prepare tamarind water by following these steps:

  1. Reserve some tamarinds (the amount will depend on the degree of concentration you are looking for in the drink, it is generally recommended to use 10 per liter of water).
  2. Remove the skins and remove the fibers around the pulp (no need to remove the seeds).
  3. Heat half the water in a pot and add the washed and peeled tamarinds.
  4. Let it cook over low heat until you notice that the pulp is very soft or begins to detach from the seeds.
  5. Strain the preparation, you can help yourself with a rag or cloth to squeeze out the remains of the fruit and obtain all the juice possible.
  6. Mix with a sweetener of your choice, such as sugar, stevia, xylitol, or erythritol.
  7. Add the rest of the water and mix very well.
  8. Serve it very cold with ice.
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Tamarind water benefits

The benefits of tamarind water come from the properties of the raw fruit, which is rich in essential minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc, and vitamins, especially A, B and K. For this reason, its consumption is linked to these health benefits:

Does it help lose weight?

From natural medicine it is pointed out that consuming tamarind water with some regularity is a good way to promote weight control or loss. There are no studies that have corroborated this relationship, although it does seem that some compounds in tamarind, called trypsin inhibitors, reduce the feeling of hunger.

Blood sugar control

Drinking tamarind water can help people with diabetes as it inhibits an enzyme called alpha-amylase. This means that the absorption of carbohydrates in the body is reduced, and, consequently, the concentration of sugar in the blood decreases.

Tamarind water also appears to protect the pancreas from oxidative damage, commonly seen in people with diabetes.

better digestion

Tamarind has a rich content of dietary fiber, so drinking it helps improve digestive function. This is because fiber helps bulk up your stool, making it easier to move through your intestinal tract and preventing problems like constipation.

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It can also stimulate the activity of bile acids, improving the absorption of fats and vitamins in the small intestine.

cardiovascular protection

Tamarind’s rich fiber content, as well as its antioxidant properties, are helpful in removing excess “bad” cholesterol from the arteries and suppressing triglyceride buildup.

Tamarind water also provides many minerals, vitamins and antioxidant compounds that help reduce the impact of free radicals, unstable molecules that affect healthy cell structures, keeping the blood free of toxins.

Other benefits

The antioxidant content of tamarind water can also help strengthen the function of the immune system, reducing the risk of different types of infections, such as bacterial, fungal and parasitic.

It is also associated with anti-inflammatory properties, ideal for reducing joint pain and inflammation, characteristic of conditions such as arthritis or gout. However, most of the evidence supporting this effect comes from studies on tamarind leaves and essential oils.

precautions

Tamarind is considered safe for most people and is encouraged by professionals to include it in the diet. However, in some cases it can cause side effects.

To avoid them, people who consume it for the first time are advised to do so with caution, as it can trigger allergic responses. Care should also be taken by those taking anticoagulants, as it can interfere with blood clotting, or people with diabetes, as it can cause hypoglycemia, that is, low blood sugar levels.

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When the tamarind is not ripe, it is characterized by having an acid taste. If you eat or drink it in excess, it can increase the production of gastric juices and increase the possibility of suffering from reflux. There is also evidence linking its excessive intake with an increased risk of gallstones.

To remind:

Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.

Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, but first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.

Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.

Sources consulted: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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