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Is Tamarind Good for Diabetes? Discussing the Health Benefits of This Fruit
Diabetes

Is Tamarind Good for Diabetes? Discussing the Health Benefits of This Fruit

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 18
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5 min

Tamarind is thought to have benefits for diabetes, but is it actually an effective tool for diabetes management, and should those with diabetes use it? We take a look at the fruit in this article.

Is tamarind good for diabetes

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Tamarind is a native African hardwood tree. It grows in many tropical regions and produces pods that are filled with seeds and surrounded by a fibrous pulp. This pulp is used in many culinary dishes and is paste-like with a sweet-sour taste.

The tamarind fruit has many health benefits and has been used medicinally for centuries. It was used to treat everything from diarrhea and constipation to fever and malaria. In addition, tamarind fruit may be an effective tool in managing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

In this article, we’re going to have a look at tamarind fruit and what it can do to lower blood sugar levels. We’ll also look at other benefits of tamarind for those with diabetes, as well as the glycemic index and nutritional value of the fruit. Take a look now to find out more.

Is Tamarind Good for Diabetes?

Tamarind has a low glycemic index, which makes the fruit healthy for those with diabetes to consume. As tamarind will not suddenly cause a massive increase in blood sugar after eating, it is a suitable option for people with diabetes.

Tamarind may also have some medicinal health benefits that make it good for managing blood sugar levels. Tamarind has anti-inflammatory effects, which can be helpful for those with diabetes, and flavonoids within the fruit have been shown to increase insulin secretion in animals.

Additionally, a study in rats showed that some phytochemical compounds found in tamarind could help reduce blood sugar levels. Though these studies show a positive effect, they have only been done on animals. Results would need to be replicated in human trials to confirm efficacy.

Though the trials have been limited, some tamarind properties make it good for those with diabetes, in theory. Firstly, tamarind is high in magnesium. Magnesium plays a role in blood sugar regulation by increasing insulin sensitivity, making tamarind a potential remedy for diabetes management.

Tamarind pulp also contains potassium and polyphenols, which both work to reduce inflammation in the body. This can be beneficial for those with diabetes.

Can tamarind help to manage diabetes?

While tamarind shows the potential to aid diabetes management, there is very little scientific evidence to prove it is effective in controlling blood glucose levels. Tamarind can be part of a healthy diet for those with diabetes because of its low glycemic load, but it should not be used as the only treatment method for diabetes.

Successful methods of diabetes management usually include weight loss. Many people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes will be advised to go on a weight loss diet as this can help better manage their condition.

The keto diet is thought to be a good diet for diabetes, and intermittent fasting may also have positive effects. Diet plays a huge role in managing diabetes, so you should try to follow a low-carb, whole, and healthy diet to keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

You could also increase the exercise you do each week by starting running regularly or taking up cycling to burn calories.

Tamarind Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of tamarind per 100g is as follows:

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount 
Energy (kcal)239
Protein (g)2.8
Fat (g)0.6
Carbohydrates (g)62.5
Fiber (g)5.1
Sugar (g)38.8

Tamarind also contains a number of nutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc, as well as some B group vitamins and vitamin C.

Glycemic Index of Tamarind

Tamarind is classified as a low glycemic index food. Its glycemic load is around 23. Foods classified as low glycemic index foods usually have a GI between 1–55.

Food’s glycemic load refers to how quickly the food is broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. Those with a high GI are broken down very quickly and cause a spike in blood sugar. This spike can lead to a crash soon afterward and may also be dangerous for those with diabetes.

Those with diabetes are usually recommended a low-GI diet to promote blood sugar control. Tamarind, therefore, is good food for those with diabetes to consume as it should not cause a blood sugar spike.

If you’re thinking about consuming tamarind and are unsure of how it will affect your blood sugar levels, seek professional medical advice to be certain.

5 Health Benefits of Tamarind for Diabetes

Tamarind has many benefits for those with diabetes and may be helpful for diabetes management. Below, we have summarized some of the key benefits this fruit offers.

#1 Source of fiber

Tamarind contains 5.1g of fiber per 100g, making it a good source of fiber. Fiber is a beneficial macronutrient for those with diabetes for a few reasons. To begin with, it cannot be broken down by the body, which means it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. It also helps to slow the breakdown of carbs.

Fiber is essential for your digestive and overall health and needs to be consumed daily. Indeed, fiber can even help you manage fasting blood sugar levels in the form of fiber supplements.

Additionally, fiber can help protect your heart health, reducing your risk of developing a chronic condition like heart disease. Heart disease risk is increased in those who have diabetes.

Finally, fiber can help keep you fuller for longer, which helps with weight loss. Being overweight puts you at higher risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and losing weight is often prescribed as a method of diabetes management.

For those looking to lose weight to better manage diabetes, the keto diet may be a diabetes-friendly method of losing weight.

#2 Promotes proper blood circulation

It has been theorized that high levels of iron in tamarind can help boost blood circulation. This is because the body needs iron to allow oxygen to move through the blood properly.

Diabetes mellitus may cause damage to blood vessels, especially if high blood glucose levels have occurred for prolonged periods, which leads to improper circulation. Tamarind can help ensure blood moves easily through your circulatory system.

You can boost blood circulation in other ways, including morning runs and walking regularly.

#3 Improves nerve function

Tamarind contains many B vitamins associated with nerve protection. Nerve damage is very common in those with diabetes and can cause many health problems. Tamarind may be able to help with this.

#4 Controls blood pressure

Having diabetes puts you at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, and high blood pressure puts you at increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Tamarind may have a positive effect on blood pressure, which could reduce your risk of these health conditions.

#5 Relieves inflammation

Inflammation can cause complications for diabetes patients and may increase your chances of developing the chronic condition. Tamarind is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may benefit those with diabetes.

Intermittent fasting is thought to be another great method of reducing inflammation in the body and could be a good dieting method for people with diabetes.

FAQs

Does tamarind raise blood sugar?

Tamarind has a low GI, which means it is unlikely to cause a spike in blood sugar. However, it contains a high carbohydrate content and will raise blood sugar when eaten.

How many tamarinds can a person with diabetes eat?

Tamarind should be consumed in moderation by those with diabetes. While it has a low GI, it still has a relatively high carbohydrate content and could raise blood sugar levels.

Does tamarind have a lot of sugar?

Tamarind has a high sugar content, containing 38.8g per 100g. Though it has a low GI, its high sugar content makes it a fruit that should be consumed in moderation by those with diabetes.

A Word From Our MD

Tamarind is a fruit with some possible benefits for diabetes. It is thought to help protect nerves, lower blood pressure, and support better blood glucose control. Though it has a low GI, it does have high sugar and carbohydrate content and should be consumed in moderation by those with diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can be managed effectively through the use of medication as well as a change in diet and exercise. For those with diabetes, diet plays an important role in good health.

Those with diabetes need to eat a low-carb diet to keep their blood sugar within a healthy range. Low-carb diets include the Atkins diet as well as the more recently popular ketogenic diet. The keto diet may be good for those with diabetes; however, you should consult a doctor before trying any new diet.

People with diabetes are also recommended to lose weight. Weight loss can significantly improve your condition. Losing weight can be done by eating at a caloric deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than you use. This deficit can be boosted by exercise.

Increasing your activity level helps you burn more calories each day. You could try running long distances or running more regularly. You could also try cycling, rowing, and even pilates to see which exercise suits you best.

While tamarind pulp appears to have some benefits for diabetes, it should not be the only thing you do to manage your condition.

Conclusion

Tamarind is thought to have some benefits for those with diabetes. You can safely consume tamarind pulp if you have diabetes, but you should do it in moderation. Though tamarind may have some benefits for diabetes, it cannot be the only method you use to manage your condition.

Seek professional advice if you’re looking for new ways to control your diabetes.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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