WHAT IS A TIGERNUT?
TigerNuts are not nuts, they are small root vegetables which comprised 80% of our Paleo ancestors’ diet around 2 million years ago. This ancient superfood originates from Africa. It is currently cultivated in West Africa & Spain.Organic Raw Tigernuts (12 oz)
‘The flour can be used in most baking and smoothie recipes, adding a sweet and nutty flavour, and is gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free. You can use it for cookies, brownies, cakes – even pizza dough.’
Tigernuts can rightly be regarded as the world’s first superfood, as they were what our ancient ancestors’ used to eat, in Africa.
In fact, they made up 80 per cent of the diet of ‘Nutcracker Man’, who lived two million years ago, according to research published by Oxford University.
And their popularity today is being fuelled by followers of the fashionable Paleo, or caveman, diet.
Retailer Goodness Direct started selling tigernuts two years ago, and said orders of both the raw product and the flour have doubled in the last 12 months.
In Spain, where tigernuts are known as ‘chufa’ and are grown in the Valencia region, they are used to make the popular drink, Horchata.
Fishermen also use them as bait.
Tiger Nuts Benefits
1. Rich In Fiber
Tiger Nuts are packed with high fiber content – around 33%, which is indeed a considerable amount. In a study conducted in 2009 by the University of Miguel Hernandez, Orihuela, Spain, it was found out that 100g tiger nut flour contains around 60 g dietary fiber, especially the insoluble dietary fiber which is much higher than other popular fiber sources such as rice bran, oats, apple, cabbage, carrots, pears, Chia seeds and jack beans.
2. A Healthy Substitute For Lactose Intolerance
Milk derived from Tiger nut is a healthy option for those who cannot drink cow’s milk due to lactose intolerance. Tiger nut milk is free from lactose, and hence anyone can drink this milk, which is rich in calcium and supports bone building and growth in young children. This milk contains highest nutrition and fat content among all the other non-milk substitutes.
3. Rich In Vitamins E And C
Recent studies suggest that tiger nuts are loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and E and potassium and phosphorus. Yogurt made by mixing cow’s milk with tiger nut milk has been found to be exceptionally high in these vitamins and other nutrients.
4. Good Source Of Magnesium
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, magnesium is highly vital for the normal functioning of the body, as it is required to carry out more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. Recent studies have revealed that 100 g flour of tiger nuts contains between 13 to 17 percent of magnesium, which helps to promote normal nerve and muscle function, regulates sugar, maintains blood pressure levels to normalcy, and strengthen bones, process protein and keep you healthy.
5. Plentiful Arginine
Tiger nuts are also loaded with plentiful of amino acids of various types, especially Arginine. The Mayo Foundation suggests arginine as the nitric oxide precursor, which maintains the width of blood vessels to ensure normal blood flow. Arginine is helpful in providing solutions in conditions caused due to restricted blood vessels, including clogged arteries, chest pain, erectile dysfunction, heart disease or failure, artery diseases, muscle cramps, and headaches.
6. Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease
The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Health Institute has stated that vitamin E acts as a catchall reference for different fat-soluble compounds that are rich in antioxidant qualities. Since tiger nuts are rich in vitamin E, all these qualities are present in tiger nut milk and tiger nut flour.
7. Potassium Booster
Tiger nuts are rich in potassium, which, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, is one of the few essential minerals that contribute to the proper functioning of the cell and body organs, especially the heart. Potassium is essential to maintain proper regulation of muscle contraction, digestive functions and to control the blood pressure levels.
8. Cures Erectile Dysfunction
Here comes one of the major health benefits of tiger nuts. Tiger nuts are indirectly beneficial in improving the problem of erectile dysfunction (ED). Although there is no medical evidence to support this claim, natives of Ghana have been using this traditional medicine for decades in the form of palliative for treating ED.
9. Rich Non-Meat Protein Source
Protein plays an important role in building bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood, and hence is one of the major nutrients of the body. Tiger nuts are one of the richest sources of non-meat protein that supplies plentiful of energy essential for carrying out heavy work all through the day.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Nuts ]
10. Controls Diabetes
The high insoluble dietary fiber present in tiger nut flour regulates blood sugar levels and helps the diabetic patients remain healthy.
Tiger nut doesn’t contain omega-6 fatty acids, whose high ratio with omega-3 fatty acids in other nuts might lead to inflammatory conditions (2). Tiger nut milk is thus better and safer to consume than other nut-based milks and offers similar levels of essential nutrients.
12. Rich In MUFA
Tiger nut milk is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs. This makes it an excellent anti-diabetic agent, as MUFA diets boost glycemic tolerance (3).
13. Boosts ‘Good’ (HDL) Cholesterol
Tiger nuts contain a fair amount of oleic acid. Oleic acid is a MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid) that helps increase your body’s HDL cholesterol
Tiger nuts have many nutritional and health benefits, which make them an amazing food for anyone. Traditionally, tiger nuts were used to treat stomach upsets, irritable bowels, and other digestive issues. They have been used in folk medicine as a remedy for many ailments, including flatulence and diarrhea (5).
Tiger nut milk is a good source of probiotics (gut-healthy bacteria that aid digestion; usually found in curd).
16. Creamy Flavor
Tiger nut milk is quite creamy and offers a slick, smooth, nutty and rich flavor.
How To Make Tiger Nut Milk
Now that you know what Tiger nut milk is and what benefits it offers, let’s take a look at how to make this amazingly delicious and supremely healthy milk.
- One cup of tiger nuts (soaked for 24-48 hours)
- A glass of water
- Jaggery or honey
- Soak the tiger nuts in a bowl of water and cover the bowl with a cloth.
- Let it stand for around 1-2 days.
- Remove the cloth and add the nuts to a blender.
- Add the spices and the sweetener of your choice to the blender.
- Blend the nuts well until the mixture becomes thick and smooth.
- Now using a strainer, strain the tiger nut milk into a serving glass.
- Your tiger nut milk is ready to drink.
Thus, tiger nuts are a package of complete food and their inclusion in your regular diet is sure to help you keep healthy and fit. Include these wonderful nuts and see how your health gets better! And if you know any other tiger nuts benefits, share with us in the comments section below!