Peru is an inexhaustible source of supplies that are not only beneficial for people’s health, but are also a legacy of past civilizations. Since pre-Inca times, the ancient Peruvians knew how to take advantage of the benefits that nature put in their hands, using the products that they could harvest and incorporate into their daily lives.
Tara is one of those ancient ingredients that were part of the life of the ancestors of the coast and mountains of Peru. Currently it is still used by the local population for its medicinal properties, but it has also been shown to have other benefits related especially to nutrition.
What is tara?
Tara or Caesalpinia spinosa is a tree-like legume that can measure from 2 to 5 meters in height. The fruit of the tree is a 10-centimeter pod that turns reddish when ripe and from which 4 to 7 dark-colored seeds can be extracted.
Tara grows in several South American countries, but is most prevalent in Peru, between 1,000 and 2,900 meters above sea level. The Andean areas are the ones that offer the best conditions for its development but, due to this adaptability to different highers, it can also be found in areas of the north coast.
How is tara used?
From the parts of the tara fruit. various componets can be obtained that are part of different industries, from the automotive to the food industry.
Tannic acids or tannins are the main input derived from the tara fruti and are obtained by grinding the pod. These are used in pharmaceuticals, tannig, metal protection, paint production, paper and plastic manufacturing, etc.
On the other hand, the germ and the shell of the pips of seeds are used through a thermal process that results in the obtaining of a kind of gum, wich is used in the food industry, and flour.
What are the benefits or tara?
The uses of tara are related to its medicinal properties, used by the inhabitants of the region for many centuries. However, in recent years a new benefit of the tara fruit has been promoted in relation to sport.
Tara has show to be a great source of vegetable-type protein (it contains almost 50% of the protein needed in a 2,000-calories diet) and essential amino acids, promoting muscle growth. it is a different and easly digestible alternative for those whose training objective is to increase their muscle mass or for people who need to get stronger after suffering health problems or aginge.
Additionally, tara is used to reduce fever and cure aliments such as pharyngitis, stomach pain and relieve cold symptoms. Similarly, it helps digestive health due to its high amount of fiber and stimulates metabolism, improving the general health of the boyd. Finally, the tannins in the pods have antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, strengthening the immune system.
How to consume tara?
Tara can be consumed as a kind of gum that works as thickener in recipes. But one of the best ways to incorporate it into your diet is in the form of a powder or flour.
The powdered tara is obtained by grinding the pods of the fruit or specifically the germ. It is a great source of protein and fiber that also has a nutty flavor and a light texture. For this reason, it is ideal for preparing smoothies and using it in pastries.
How to buy tara powder?
The first producer and exporter of tara is Peru. In 2019, 80% of world exports came from the country, and in 2021 tara powder was one of the products that recovered its export by 1124%. It is a responsible industry because it only takes advantage of the fruits without cutting down the trees.
The benefits of this fruit are already being recognized by more people around the world. That is why it is important to know where to buy this good quality product, such as Peruvian Nature’s tara protein, wich not only benefits the consumer with it’s benefits, but also the producer who are part of a fair trade of their product. A practice where everyone wins.
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