Nature has blessed us with diversified food options some of which we are not even aware of. One such example is tiger nuts which are not known by many but they carry immense benefits for our health. But it’s never too late to learn. Let’s get started:
What are Tiger nuts?
Tiger nuts are a type of weed plant which are found in tropical and Mediterranean regions. These nuts are kind of vegetables but have a sweet taste like almonds, therefore, they are also called “Earth Almonds”. The scientific name of tiger nuts is “Cyperus Esculentus” and it is a perennial grass-like plant that is edible. There are many other names of tiger nuts in different languages like Chufa in Spanish or also earth nuts, groundnuts, rush nuts, yellow nuts-edge, and edible galingale. The presence of tiger-like stripes on these nuts gave them the name of ‘tiger nuts’.
These nuts are considered safe for health as they may protect the human body against thrombosis or any heart diseases because they regulate the blood circulation inside the body. According to Adejujitan and others in 2009, these nuts are greatly effective in eliminating Colon cancer.
History of Tiger nuts
Many researches have been carried out to study tiger nuts in detail and these findings have resulted that these nuts were used in ancient Egyptian times. It has been proved that tiger nuts were a crop of Nile valley because the dried tubers of tiger nuts were found in tombs of predynastic times that is about 6000 years ago. The Egyptians have used these nuts both as food as well as medicine.
These nuts were introduced in Europe by Arabs when Arabs expanded their reins throughout the north of Africa in the Middle Ages. The first-ever use of this nut is recorded in Southeast Spain where a milk-based drink was made by adding tiger nuts.
Nutritional facts of Tiger nuts
Here is what a serving of tiger nuts provides:
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg|
Benefits of Tiger nuts
Let’s look at the advantages of consuming these small nutrient-packed nuts:
- Improve Digestion: The high content of insoluble fibers in tiger nuts gives bulk to the stool which allows it to pass out of the body easily. The fiber in these nuts also allows the food to get digested properly which greatly decreases any chance of constipation and helps in maintaining a good and healthy gut. Many healthy enzymes in tiger nuts like lipase, catalases, and amylases, aids in breaking down food and prevents diarrhea, indigestion, and flatulence.
- Healthy Heart: These nuts have a high level of healthy unsaturated fatty acids which are helpful in lowering the cholesterol level in the blood (LDL) and escalating good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. These healthy cholesterols are essential for the body as they protect the heart against many heart diseases. Tiger nuts also contain amino acids called arginine which produces nitric oxide and this nitric oxide lowers the blood pressure as well as dilates vessels to allow the easy flow of blood.
- Immunity Booster: A small study carried out in 2009, showed that tiger nut extracts are very effective against diseases that are generally not treated with antibiotics such as E-coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus bacteria. Similar studies showed that tiger nut extracts are beneficial in fighting against several harmful diseases.
- Diabetes Control: People suffering from type 2 diabetes, need to take very good care of themselves as this type of diabetes can be fatal for health and can trigger the causes of other problems like high blood pressure or heart diseases. People should keep a check on obesity, alcohol intake, smoking, and physical activity in order to keep diabetes in check. As tiger nuts prevent weight gain, high blood pressure, or any heart disease, these nuts proved to be perfect for prevention against diabetes. Tiger nuts, especially tubers, diminishes the sugar absorption within the gut as well as inhibits the carbohydrate digestion enzymes in the gut. Arginine, an amino acid, is released by tiger nuts that upgrade the insulin production and in turn, this insulin keeps a complete check on the blood sugar level.
- Best Substitute for Cow Milk: Many people have allergies related to animal milk and ultimately they have to switch to plant milk i-e. Soy milk. Now there is another addition to the list of plant milk and that is tiger nut milk. It is considered an excellent substitute for cow’s milk or sheep milk because of its 100% healthy fats. In the last few years, this milk is easily available at grocery stores as more and more people are adopting a plant based diet. Tiger nut milk is popular among vegans because this nut is rich in vitamin E and C, hence, fights hypertension and cholesterol.
The only problem related to tiger nut is its fiber content and excess fiber intake may lead to abdominal pain, flatulence, or constipation. So anyone who likes to eat tiger nuts should consume in moderation that should be a handful. Even more than a handful can cause stomach cramping and some other issues.
After considering all the above-mentioned benefits of tiger nuts, we can say that it’s gaining popularity in the modern world. Eventually, coming generations will soon make this healthy plant-based milk a compulsory part of their daily routine diet as an alternative to animal-based milk. But moderation should always be kept in mind.