Did You Know About This Delicious Source of Dietary Fiber

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Normally fiber is associated with bland foods like Oats or Psyllium from which Metamucil is made.  For that may not be the true reflection of variety for fruits and vegetables which are great sources of fiber.  For example most fruits are great source of dietary fiber.  One of the fruits which is like by most kids and plenty of ladies is Tamarind.  This fruit not only contains fiber but apart from this many other nutrients.  It is used in variety of recipes all over the world.  In this article you would find more information on this fruit.

Tamarind is a delicious, sweet fruit that has a wide variety of uses and applications, both for medicinal and culinary purposes.

It is a medium-sized bushy tree with evergreen leaves and fruit that develops in pods characterized by long, brown shells. Inside is a sticky, fleshy, juicy pulp, which is the tamarind fruit. This is where the nutrition and taste reside! It is both sweet and sour in taste, and people tend to either immediately like it or have a natural disposition against it, according to organicfacts.net.

It is a member of the Fabaceae family, and its full scientific name is Tamarindus indicaThe tamarind tree is indigenous to tropical regions of Africa, particularly the Sudan, but its cultivation has since spread to almost all tropical areas of the world, since it is such a useful and desirable source of nutrition and unique flavors. It has been cultivated for thousands of years, and likely made its way to Asia about 5,000 years ago, according to organicfacts.net.

Tamarind is such a valuable commodity in the world because of its many nutritional components that add to its healthy impact. These include a significant level of vitamin C, as well as vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. There are also a number of organic compounds that make tamarind a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

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 mucus membrane from cancer-causing chemicals.

In addition, dietary fibers in the pulp bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in the colon; thereby help in expulsion of “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels from the body.

While lemon composes of citric acid, tamarind is rich in tartaric acid. Tartaric acid gives sour taste to food besides its inherent activity as a powerful antioxidant. It, thus, helps 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 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.

In addition, it is also rich in many vital vitamins, including thiamin  vitamin-A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C. Much of these vitamins plays antioxidant as well as co-factor functions for enzyme metabolism inside the body.

 Caution

The main concern is that tamarind lowers blood pressure and is a blood thinner, so it can be difficult to reduce bleeding in case something happens. If you are taking aspirin or other blood thinners, be careful if you ingest an excessive amount of tamarind.

Source – http://www.youthhealthmag.com/articles/4298/20141207/tamarind-nutritional-facts-contains-limonene-geraniol-safrole-cinnamic-acid-methyl-salicylate-pyrazine-and-alkyl%C2%ADthiazoles.htm

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