Tiger nuts are edible tubers which originate from ancient Egypt, and they are very nutritious as they contain several potent nutrients, including carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iron, zinc, etc. Tiger nuts are cultivated and eaten in many parts of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. In Nigeria, tiger nuts are also very popular. In Igbo language it is called ‘Aki Awusa’, in Hausa language it is called ‘Aya’, and in Yoruba Language, it is called ‘Ofio’. They are also referred to as Chufa nuts. Apart from being a delicious fruit, they are also nutritious and healthy for you. Hence, today you will be learning about the health benefits of tiger nuts.
Most people don’t know that tiger nuts are not actually nuts even if they are called nuts. Tiger nuts are tubers belonging to the Cyperaceae family.
In Nigeria, tiger nuts are a traditional snack eaten by most of the population. Tiger nuts can be consumed in various forms.
The fresh types are golden brown, juicier and are bigger. The dry ones are dark brown and smaller, and they are usually coated with sugar to give them a sweeter taste. Tiger nuts can also be eaten raw as a snack. One common way Tiger nuts are consumed is by preparing a completely natural, milky beverage known as Tiger nut milk. Tiger nut milk is prepared by processing the nuts, along with dates and sieving them, before serving it chilled.
In the Northern part of Nigeria, Tiger nut milk is known as ‘Kunnu Aya‘ and is a lactose-free alternative to dairy milk.
Tiger nuts have so many other uses; for example, you can get tiger nut flour and tiger nut oil from tiger nuts. You here to find out the health benefits of tiger nuts, so please read on.
Nutritional Content of Tiger Nuts
The nutritional contents of tiger nuts are:
- Dietary fiber
- Fat Magnesium
- Vitamins C and E
- High Content of Arginine.
10 Effective Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts
Ever since the discovery of Tiger nuts they are being used as food and medicine such that they help in preventing various diseases, ranging from a heart attack, thrombosis, cancer, and lots more.
1. Improves blood circulation
Tiger nuts come with amino acid arginine, which is converted to nitric oxide in the body while serving as a neurotransmitter. This property does not only improve blood circulation but also ensure that the blood vessels are kept at the optimal state, and this, in turn, prevents against certain health conditions, including chest pain, heart diseases, clogged arteries as well as muscle cramps. This means that tiger nuts are great for improving cardiovascular health.
2. Controls diabetes
Diabetes is one of the major health issues among Nigerians today.
Tiger nuts are very rich in insoluble dietary fiber which helps in regulating blood sugar levels in the body, and this is highly beneficial to people with diabetics as it keeps their health at the optimal state.
People with imbalanced cholesterol levels can also benefit from tiger nuts as they contain a considerable amount of oleic acid [monounsaturated fatty acid] which increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body.
3. Reduces blood sugar levels
Yes, this health benefit of tiger nut is a bit similar to his ability to control diabetes. Imbalanced sugar levels may result in several health conditions, and thankfully, tiger nuts are proven to be effective for regulating the sugar levels. According to some Animal studies, tiger nut extract tends to reduce blood sugar levels in the body because of the enormous amount of fibers they contain, and this may reduce the absorption of sugar in the gut.
Tiger nuts are also excellent sources of amino acid arginine, which is linked with increased insulin production and sensitivity, which plays an important role in controlling blood sugar in the human body.
In addition to the above, tiger nut extract may constrain the action of certain carb-digesting enzymes in your gut, and this is capable of reducing sugar absorption in your gut just like some blood-sugar-lowering diabetic medications would do. However, this is also believed to lower blood sugar levels by a significant margin.
4. Improves fertility and boosts libido
Tiger nuts have been successfully used by several people, especially in Nigeria and Ghana, and some of their claims are that they noticed increased sperm count and improved libido after taking the edible tubers for a while. Studies have shown that there’s a strong link between tiger nuts and fertility.
That being said, tiger nuts are used in treating erectile dysfunction, and they are often used as Ayurvedic medicine. A rat study also reveals that taking a large amount of tiger nuts for about four weeks can help improve testosterone levels, boost sexual activity and reduce intermission time between mating sessions.
However, the libido-boosting effect of tiger nuts is linked with the high content of Vitamin E and other vital minerals, which works in synergy to boost sperm count and improve its thickness, improve sex drive, and lots more.
Most people have been wondering if tiger nuts can shrink fibroid. The truth is that a low fat dairy product like tiger nut milk might help treat fibroid, but there’s no medical evidence prove that.
5. Improves heart health
Tiger nuts are highly beneficial to the health of your heart, and this is because of the high content of MUFA [monounsaturated fats] they come with.
Foods with an excellent amount of monounsaturated fats are often associated with the lowering of “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. They are also believed to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke as well as heart disease.
Another thing is that tiger nuts contain a high content of amino acid arginine, which is linked with the promotion of heart health as they can be used by your body to produce nitric oxide, a potent compound that aids dilation process in arteries and veins, which in return lowers blood pressure.
Some studies also reveal that tiger nuts aids in promoting better blood circulation and lowering the occurrence of blood clots, all of which may reduce the risk of heart disease by a significant margin.
6. Improves digestion
Due to certain properties in Tiger nuts, the edible tubers are capable of enhancing healthy digestion. To start with, tiger nuts contain a significant amount of insoluble fiber which passes through the gut without digesting. This component adds bulk to the stools and allows food to move through your gut without any hassle, and thus reducing the occurrence of constipation.
Additionally, Tiger nuts are believed to have resistant starch, a fiber type that can help feed the friendly bacteria in your gut so as to make the digestion process a simpler and easier one in you.
Furthermore, tiger nuts are presumed to contain enzymes, including catalases, lipases and amylases, all of which helps in breaking down foods in the gut, and they also help in relieving gas, indigestion as well as diarrhoea.
7. Combats malnutrition
In typical under-developed nations where only a few people can afford highly nutritious food, tiger nut is a very good alternative as they contain significant amount of potent nutrients that the body needs for adequate functioning, ranging from carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iron, zinc, to mention but a few.
8. Strengthens the bones, tooth and muscle
Tiger nuts are rich in calcium, and that make is great for combating osteoporosis, tooth decay, and strengthening the muscles. Tigers nuts also give you strong bones, so it is especially good for growing children.
9. Gives you better sleep
If you are looking to get a sweet, sound sleep, then a glass of chilled tiger nut milk would help you. Tiger nut contains vitamin B1, which helps the nervous system and aids the body to adapt to stress. It is also a good natural remedy for insomnia and anxiety.
10. Healthy Alternative to animal milk
A lot of dairy products are gotten from animals, and some of them carry health risks. Tiger nuts are a healthy alternative to animal dairy product. There are so many health benefits of tiger nut milk over natural dairy products. The milk contains more iron, magnesium, potassium and carbohydrates than a cow or sheep’s milk. It also does not contain lactose, casein, cholesterol, gluten. This makes tiger nut milk a healthy gluten-free drink.
Additionally, if you are lactose intolerant, tiger nut milk is the milk for you.
Tiger nuts’ health benefits are numerous and absolutely remarkable. You should consume tiger nut moderately as a snack and drink tiger nut milk too.
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