Health Benefits of the Velvet Tamarind Fruit
- July 25, 2022
African velvet Tamarind is the fruit of a native West African tree termed Dialium Guineense. Identified as Icheku in Igbo and Awin among the Yoruba, it is a small, typically grape-sized, edible fruits with brown, hard, inedible shells.
The ‘velvet’ attached to its name is due to the fruits shell similarity in color and feel with the velvet fabric. However, its leaves are recognized both for their diuretic properties (promoting urine production) and tendency to ease gastric ulcers by increasing gastric mucus secretion.
In Nigeria, Velvet tamarind is a very popular fruit snack, particularly among children, who peel the black velvet case to reveal an orange pulp that is eaten raw. According to Gnansounou et al (2014), Velvet tamarind has a potential for micro-nutrients. Like other fruits, the fruit pulp of velvet tamarind is rich in minerals with fantastic values.
Health Benefits of Velvet Tamarind
Treating Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): The high level of sugars (80%) contained in the fruit was explains its sweet taste. The fruit is therefore indicated for children and people with hypoglycemia. Diabetics, on the other hand, should limit consumption.
Rich Source of Antioxidants: The fruit is a good source of vitamin C and its consumption can contribute to satisfying the body’s Daily vitamin C requirement. The importance of this vitamin resides otherwise in its ability to scavenge free radicals(Masaki, 2010) thereby inhibiting ageing, cancer and inflammation.
Treats Scurvy and Infections: The fruit pulp has high ascorbic acid content (4.5 ± 0.01 mg/100 g) (Gnansounou et al., 2014) which protects damage to connective tissues hence used as a food supplement. The high vitamin C content boosts the immune system and helps the body against infections.
Healing Wounds: The velvet fruit pulp has interesting content in calcium (70.14 ± 10 mg/100 g) and magnesium. Calcium participates in ossification, to the muscular contraction, and to the blood coagulation (Wardlaw & Smith, 2012). It potentially results in hemostasis-the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, followed by repair. As for magnesium, it cooperates with calcium to enhance muscular contraction and blood coagulation. It is a cofactor for several enzymes (Rude, 2010).
Combats Fatigue and Immunodeficiency: The high vitamin C content boosts the immune system and prevents undue tiredness.
Repairs Blood Vessel and Combats Pernicious Anemia: The velvet tamarind fruit pulp is rich in iron (14.75 ± 0.25 mg/100 g) (Gnansounou et al., 2014). It is indispensable for iron absorption; cell repair and blood vessel formation via collagen synthesis. Collagen is a protein whose deficiency accompany the wrinkled skin in aged people. The pulp’s iron absorption is more efficient because of the presence of vitamin C.
Prevention or Treatment of Rheumatism and Type 2 Diabetes: Several works established its beneficial action in the treatment or prevention of rheumatism and type 2 diabetes (Afkhami-Ardekani & Shojaoddiny-Ardekani, 2007).
Prevention of Hypertension: The values obtained for sodium and potassium of the velvet tamarind fruit pulp were respectively 76 ± 0.09 and 366 ± 0.26 mg/100 g (Gnansounou et al., 2014). We conclude that imbalance in the potassium and sodium ions concentration can be easily restored through healthy consumption of Velvet Tamarind fruit.
Relieves Menstrual Cramp and stops Diarrhoea: The stem bark extract has significant analgesic property hence, can be used to reduce menstrual pain. You can take it along with papaya leaf, salt, and water to work effectively. So next time you find the Velvet Tamarind, you can give a shout out to this nature’s masterpiece!
- You can juice velvet tamarind by deseeding it and soaking in water for some minutes. Run the mixture through your juicer to get the velvet tamarind juice.
- Add velvet tamarind to your smoothies
- Add the fruits to your overnight oats
- Also add it to your parfait