Tiger nuts are tuberous rhizomes of a sedge grass (Cyperus esculentus platinum). It is one of the earliest recorded plants cultivated in ancient Egypt, they are also used medicinally as oral medications and enemas. Tiger nut is known to be found in almost every part of the world but it is common in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. This wonderful species is known in the 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 are used 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 carbohydrates which is not readily digested by the body.
This action increases the feeling of fullness and also reduces the number 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 vitamins 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).
What is Tiger Nuts Good for?
Tiger nut has been found to be very useful in a variety of cases. Tiger nut is found to be useful as;
Good source of nutritional food – Tiger nut contains a lot of elements that make it very useful as food, it contains lots of arginines and is rich in monosaturated fats. Tiger nut milk is one of the most nutritional natural sources of milk.
Use as oil: Tiger nut is been explored as biodiesel.
Use as medicine and in some specific industries: Has been found useful in the cosmetic industry and also used medically.
Use as bait: The boiled nut can be used as bait for crap.
While Tiger nut is used in a lot of cases, we will be focusing on the nutritional benefits it offers.
Is Tiger Nut 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
Benefits of tiger nuts include;
- Diabetes Control
- Boosting fertility
- Helps in the detoxification of the liver
- Assists in preventing colon cancer
- Prevention of Cardiovascular diseases
- An excellent source of non-meat protein
- Use in weight loss
- As a milk substitute for lactose intolerant individuals.
Tiger Nut and Diabetes Control: 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 were able to control their blood glucose levels better than individuals who ate far less.
Tiger Nut and Fertility: Tiger nuts milk contains zinc, quercetin, and 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 that compared infertile men and fertile men reported that a lower intake of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E was associated with poor semen quality.
Tiger Nut and Detoxification of 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 nutrient drink for the prevention of hepatotoxicity.
Tiger Nut and Prevention of Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon) and the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer. Also known as colorectal cancer, the condition is caused by an abnormal occurrence during the replacement of the normal cells of the colon lining. This causes the cells to begin to divide independently 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 antioxidant contents which play a significant role in the prevention of cancer.
Tiger Nut and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases are 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 in 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.
Tiger Nuts are an 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 proteins contain iron a very which is vital for the prevention of anemia due to its role in blood formation. This is important for everyone, especially teenage girls and women during menstruation.
Tiger Nut and Weight Loss
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; their tendency to act as a mild appetite suppressant largely due to their high content of complex carbohydrates (starch) which are not easily digested by the body confers this ability. This action increases the feeling of fullness and also reduces the number of calories absorbed from food. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of total body weight can have very huge implications for health and overall well-being. This could lead to major improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC).
Tiger Nut Milk Is A Perfect Milk 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 by symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Tiger nuts milk is allergen-free, gluten-free, and lactose-free making them a perfect and healthier substitute for cow milk.
Tiger Nut is Helpful Against Malnutrition in Underdeveloped Nations
According to a study published in the World Applied Sciences Journal, Tiger nuts are essential nuts and locally grown food sources for fighting malnutrition in places like sub-Saharan Africa. The rich starch content provides badly needed energy, especially for malnourished children in addition to its good fiber content, and high-fat content, it is also rich in sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, vitamin C, and E all combine revitalize the malnourished.
Tiger Nut Helps The Body Cell and Organs to Function Optimally
The University of Maryland medical center states that potassium is an essential mineral that helps in the proper functioning of the cell and other body organs, particularly the heart. Potassium is quite essential for the body to maintain the regulation of muscle contraction, digestive functions, and controlling blood pressure levels. Potassium is very important in the human body. Along with sodium, it regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Tiger nuts are rich sources of potassium with one serving of 100 pcs of tiger nut containing 424 mg of potassium. See: Amazing Health Benefits of Unripe Plantain
Tiger Nut Milk is Excellent for Good Skin health
Tiger nut is highly beneficial for skin health, it is rich in Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. It plays important role in photoprotection, preventing UV-induced free radical damage to the skin. Vitamin E may also have related anti-inflammatory roles in the skin.
Good Source of Dietary Iron
A diet lacking in iron can result in low energy levels, shortness of breath, headaches, irritability, dizziness, or anemia. Tiger nuts contain more iron than the milk of a cow and as much as liver or red meat. When you add tiger nuts to your diet, the nutritional value of the food is enhanced. You can snack on tiger nuts or bake them with tiger nut flour. You can add plenty of vitamins and minerals by eating tiger nuts. It strengthens your whole body.
Side Effects of Tiger Nuts and Tiger Nut Milk
Keep in mind that the high fiber content of tiger nuts may initially cause unpleasant gas or bloating. Those interested in trying them should increase their portions gradually. In addition, it should be noted that tiger nuts are a rare food allergen, and eating them is generally well tolerated among all age groups and ethnicities. The most likely adverse reaction comes from their high fiber content. Eating too many tiger nuts at a time can cause abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, or constipation. For people with Crohn’s disease and slower digestive systems, an intestinal blockage may occur. If your digestive system is sensitive to high fiber content, the best solution is to eat peeled tiger nuts because they have 70% less fiber. It’s also a good idea to not eat too much of the nuts at a time; 1-3 ounces per serving is reasonable. Because they grow in the ground like peanuts, a potential danger of tiger nuts is contamination with mycotoxins. Those are toxic substances produced by certain fungi. Foods that grow underground are most at risk of being contaminated.
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 results leave for 24 – 72 hours, a pinch of salt could be added to hasten the process. If you leaving for more than one day, it is advisable to change the water every day to prevent it from having a sour taste.
- Step three: Rinse them again to remove the smell of the water.
- Step Four: 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 the taste. Blend for about 3 minutes or until a fine watery puree is obtained.
- Step Five: Using a fine sieve extract the milk from the puree, add a 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, tiger nut flour, and tiger nut oils could significantly improve health and overall well-being due to the immense benefits derivable from consuming its unique blend of nutrients.
Tiger 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.
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