Tiger nuts are tuberous rhizomes of a sedge grass (cyperus esculentus lativum). It is one of the earliest recorded plants cultivated in ancient Egypt, they are also used medicinally as oral medications and enemas. This wonderful specie is known in Hausa language as”aya” and can be used to prepare various kinds of drinks, a typical example is “kunun aya” which is a native drink in northern Nigeria. Aya can be eaten raw, roasted, with honey or coated with sugar. It is found in the United States, Southern Europe, the Middle East, India and many African countries. Tiger nuts is useful in the management of stress and the high content of fiber makes it a good colon cleanser and an excellent candidate for weight loss recipes because of its ability to act as a mild appetite suppressant due to its high content of complex carbohydrate which is not readily digested by the body. This action increase the feeling of fullness and also reduces the amount of calories absorbed from food.
Tiger nuts are regarded as a digestive tonic and can be used in the treatment of flatulence and other digestive disorders. Because of its non-animal origin, tiger nuts milk can be used instead of cow milk, it is rich in vitamin E and C and also helps to combat hypertension. Unlike other tubers, tiger nuts are a good source of healthy fats, they contain 82% unsaturated (oleic acid and linoleic acid) and 18% saturated (palmitic acid and stearic acid) fatty acids. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps increase the body’s high density lipoproteins (HDL).
Is Tiger Nuts Milk Good for Children?
The simple answer is YES, it is good both for children and adults as it contains magnesium which is needed for nerve and muscle function and proper functioning of the immune system. Tiger nuts milk is a rich source of other essential nutrients such as calcium which is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and strong teeth.
Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts Milk
Control diabetes: The insoluble fiber in tiger nuts milk helps to control the body’s blood sugar level. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that, individuals with type 2 diabetes who ate 50 grams of fiber a day fiber were able to control their blood glucose levels better than individuals who ate far less.
Boosts Fertility: Tiger nuts milk contains zinc, quercetin, vitamin C and its high content of vitamin E is vital for boosting both male and female fertility. These nuts are also vital for triggering normal menstruation. A Spanish study which compared infertile men and fertile men reported that, lower intake of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E was associated with poor semen quality.
Detoxify the Liver: Consuming tiger nuts milk is also beneficial to the liver because of its antioxidative and toxin eliminating properties. A study published in the journal of Ethnopharmacology which evaluated the usefulness of tiger nut milk (TNM) in the prevention of acetaminophen-induced liver injury reported that Tiger nut milk’ was a potent nutri-drink’ for the prevention of hepatotoxicity
Prevents Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the cancer of the large intestine (colon) and the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer. Also known as colorectal cancer, the condition is caused by abnormal occurrence during the replacement of the normal cells of the colon lining. This causes the cells to begin to divide independent of the normal checks and balances that control growth. Tiger nuts are excellent colon cleansers due to their very rich fiber content. The American Cancer Society recommends food with high fiber and antioxidants contents which play a significant role in the prevention of cancer.
Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases is the number one cause of death globally according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Available data shows that more people die annually from cardiovascular diseases than from any other cause. Tiger nuts contain 82% unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid and linoleic acid) and 18% saturated fatty acids (palmitic acid and stearic acid). Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps increase the body’s high density lipoproteins (HDL). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol helps in the elimination of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol the bloodstream. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that low levels of High-density lipoprotein (HDL) were associated with a number of risk factors which include: higher triglycerides levels, low income, unhealthy lifestyle, other cardiac risk factors, and medical problems.
Excellent Source of Non-Meat Protein: Protein is an important addition to anyone’s diet. It plays a critical role in building cartilage, muscle, bone blood and skin as well as functioning as a building block for hormones, vitamins and enzymes in the body. Most protein contain iron a very which is vital for the prevention anemia due to its role in blood formation. This is important for everyone, especially teenage girls and women during menstruation
Excess weight can significantly compound health problems and increase the risk of several chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression and diabetes. Excess weight causes an individual to age faster, and significantly reduces life expectancy. Tiger nuts can help in weight management; its tendency to act as a mild appetite suppressant largely due to its high content of complex carbohydrate (starch) which are not easily digested by the body confers it with this ability. This action increase the feeling of fullness and also reduces the amount of calories absorbed from food. Loosing as little as 5 to 10 percent of total body weight can have very huge implications for health and overall wellbeing. This could lead to major improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC)
A Perfect Substitute for Lactose Intolerant Individuals
Lactose intolerance is the decreased ability of the digestive systems of certain individuals to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk products leading to a diminished tolerance level for lactose, this is often accompanied with symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Tiger nuts milk are allergen free, gluten free, and lactose free making them a perfect and healthier substitute for cow milk.
How to Make Tiger Nut Milk
There are several recipes that can be used to prepare tiger nut milk. In this article, we shall be explaining the oldest and most conventional method.
Step one: Wash the dry tiger nuts thoroughly to eliminate harvest soil and other contaminants.
Step two: Allow the tiger nuts to soak in clean warm water, for best result leave for 24 – 72 hours, a pinch of salt could be added to hasten the process.
Step three: Rinse them again and place the soaked tiger nuts into a blender and add a little quantity of water. Ginger or dates can be added to sweeten or improve taste. Blend for about 3 minutes or until a fine watery puree is obtained
Step four: Using a fine sieve extract the milk from the puree adding little amount of water as necessary and repeat the extraction process again until the maximum amount of milk is extracted from the tiger nuts
Harnessing the huge benefits of tiger nuts products especially tiger milk and tiger nut oils could significantly improve health and overall well-being due to the immense benefits derivable from consuming its unique bleed of nutrients. Nuts in general are nutrient packed foods with complex matrices rich in bioactive compounds, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality vegetable protein, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds with wide-ranging metabolic benefits, which can be readily incorporated into healthy diets.