The tamarind tree is a leguminous tree that bears pod-like fruits that have both a sweet and tangy taste when you eat them. The tamarind pod is a fleshy pulp and seeds that you can eat.
Tamarind is mostly used in making chutneys, sauces, marinades, drinks, pickles, and many desserts. The seeds produce good oil that plays a good role in skincare, tooth, and digestive health.
That being said, you are about to find out the many benefits of eating tamarind seeds and how you can add them to your diet.
What Are Tamarind Seeds?
Tamarind seeds are the seeds from the pods of the tamarind tree. They are shiny black seeds that fill the fibrous pulp, which is the most used tamarind. The seeds have a sweet and tangy taste with which they flavor savory dishes.
They are rich in protein, amino acids, fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins. Just like tamarind pulp, the seeds have both medicinal and nutritional benefits.
Can You Eat Tamarind Seeds?
Yes, you can. Tamarind seeds are edible, sweet, and sour and make a great snack when you dry-roast them. When you want to eat tamarind seeds, you might want to remove the outer coats first.
The good thing is that you can process the seeds into different forms and add them to different dishes. Eating tamarind seeds has both medicinal and nutrient value. However, you have to make sure you’re eating them in food amounts.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Tamarind Seeds?
1. Diabetes treatment
One of the popular benefits of eating tamarind seeds is diabetes management. It helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance in diabetics. It can also aid weight loss in diabetics who have gone overweight.
2. Improved heart health
Tamarind seeds are rich in potassium and flavonoids, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.
They are also rich in linolenic acid, which can help reduce the risk of getting cardiovascular disorders like atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
3. Tamarind seeds boost immunity
The antioxidants in the seeds can help boost immunity and prevent and treat colon cancer. In addition, this health benefit of tamarind seeds can aid the production of hemoglobin, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Eating tamarind seeds increases the production of the body’s natural immune cells. Moreover, the antioxidants in tamarind seeds are responsible for reducing the negative impacts of oxidative stress.
4. Protection against infections
Eating tamarind seeds provides the body with protection against viruses, bacteria, and fungi that can cause infection. Drinking tamarind seed juice can treat and prevent skin, urinary tract, and oesophageal infections.
The seeds also contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help treat cough, sore throat, cold, and tonsil infections.
5. Relief for joint pain
The anti-inflammatory property of tamarind seeds earlier mentioned can help to lubricate the joints. This way, it helps relieve joint pain and ease the symptoms of arthritis. You can use the seeds in powder form or make tamarind seeds juice.
6. Diarrhea treatment
Eating the red outer coat on the tamarind seed is an effective treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The coat easily absorbs water, which is necessary for treating diarrhea.
7. Relief for indigestion
Eating tamarind seeds aids the production of bile acids. Drinking juice made with tamarind seeds can help relieve indigestion. The seeds are rich in fiber, which is good for relieving constipation and enhancing bowel movement.
How to Use Tamarind Seeds
Tamarind seed powder
Tamarind seeds can be washed, dried, and ground into powder. You can use the powder for medicinal purposes like treating diabetes, arthritis, and heart diseases.
Roasted tamarind seeds
Tamarind seeds are commonly eaten as a snack in rural areas. This delicacy has spread, and many people indulge themselves in making and eating this snack.
To make toasted tamarind seeds, remove the seeds from the pod and pulp first. Toast them in a pan until they are dry. When the seeds cool, you can eat them by cracking the shell open.
Make tamarind paste from the seeds and pulp (tamarind blocks) and use the paste to make marinade sauce. These blocks are sometimes sold dry. If you get dry tamarind blocks, you’ll have to soak them before you make the paste.
Flavor tamarind paste with spices to make a flavorful marinade sauce.
Tamarind seeds are also dried and ground into flour. The flour is used to flavor other baking flours and then used to make flatbreads in Asian cuisine. It gives the bread a sweet and tarty flavor.
You can also use this flour to thicken and flavor sauces like pizza and BBQ sauces, ketchup, chutneys, legume, and lentil dishes.
Some chefs love to add tamarind seed pulp to bread dough while mixing. Tamarind seeds can replace dates and raisins and also balance the sweetness of fruit bread with some tartness.
Are There Any Side Effects of Eating Tamarind Seeds?
If you eat tamarind seeds in the right amounts, you should not suffer any side effects. Eating more tamarind than your body can take can cause acid reflux, vasoconstriction, and damaged tooth enamel.
In addition, you may get an allergic reaction to eating tamarind seeds. It may manifest with symptoms like inflammation, itching, vomiting, lightheadedness, and fainting. Tamarind seeds may also interact with antibiotics and lead to skin irritations.
Can you eat tamarind shells?
No. The tamarind shell is a covering for the pulp and seeds. When you snap it open, you should throw it away and enjoy the pulp and seeds.
Who should not eat tamarind seeds?
People who have just come out of surgery or are two weeks due for surgery should not eat tamarind seeds. This is because of its potential to lower blood sugar, which can interfere with blood control during surgery.
How can you preserve tamarind seeds?
You can store fresh tamarind seeds in the refrigerator. They remain fresh for subsequent use in gravies, sauces, and marinades. Another way to preserve these seeds is to store them with salt in jars.
Tamarind has broad uses in medicine. It is also a good plus to your diet. You can either eat the seeds or add them to savory dishes.
So, next time you buy tamarinds, do not throw away the seeds after taking the pulp. You’ll need them for a quick snack (when you need something to crunch on) or to solve digestion issues.
Thanks for reading.
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