Tiger nuts also called aya (Hausa), ofio (Yoruba), atadwe (Akan) or chufas (Spanish) are a highly nutritious plant food with a high energy content (starch, fats, sugars and proteins). These small, round tubers (either fresh or dried) are rich in minerals such as phosphorous, potassium and vitamins E and C.
Tiger nuts are very healthy as they help to prevent heart attacks, thrombosis and activate blood circulation. Due to the high contents of soluble glucose, they prevent cancer and lately some investigators have discovered that they reduce the risk of suffering colon cancer. The very high fibre content combined with a delicious taste, make them ideal for healthy eating.
Tiger nuts are one of nature’s super foods. They are high in fibre, highly nutritious and are believed to contain ingredients that can help prevent heart attacks and improve blood circulation. People in North Africa and Spain have been snacking on tiger nuts for centuries, so read on and find out ten of the amazing health benefits of tiger nuts.
1. They are very high in fibre
Tiger nuts are a very rich source of dietary fibre. Over 30% of a tiger nut is made of fibre and that’s more than oats, bran and most vegetables and fruits. We all need fibre to keep our digestive system in good working order, and it call also be an aid to weight loss, by making you feel fuller for longer.
2. They help to control blood pressure
Another one of wonderful health benefits of tiger nuts is that the nuts are high in amino acids, especially one called arginine, which has been shown to be beneficial to those suffering with high blood pressure. Arginine has been clinically proven to reduce blood pressure because it helps the body make nitric oxide which keeps our blood vessels dilated and have a normal blood flow.
3. They are a good source of magnesium
Tiger nuts are a good natural source of magnesium, which is needed by the body to help with muscle and nerve function and for the proper functioning of the immune system. Magnesium also helps to regulate the heart beat and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
4. They are a rich source of protein
It is a source of non-animal protein. Proteins are fundamental for the human body. Protein is a vital ingredient used in the building of muscle, skin and bone, and tiger nits provide a rich source of protein. Tiger nuts are in fact one the best, non-meat, sources of protein that there is.
Different studies have demonstrated that tigernuts have a content of proteins which is 8% higher than wholemeal wheat. Also the Tigernuts have more amino acids than standards of the World Health Organisation for proteins.
5. They help regulate blood sugar levels
Another one of great health benefits of tiger nuts is that they help regulate blood sugar levels. It helps to control diabetes The insoluble fibre found in tiger nuts can be of great help to diabetics. Insoluble fibre is important to diabetics, because, unlike other carbohydrates, it does not cause peaks and troughs in the blood sugar levels.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the fiber doesn’t elevate the sugar levels in the blood as the carbohydrates.
6. Tiger nut milk can be used as a cow’s milk substitute
The tiger nuts milk is a perfect substitute of animal milk. It contains no lactose but plenty of calcium, so it makes a great alternative to cow’s milk, for people who are lactose intolerant.
It’s very easy to make your own tiger nuts milk with cooking equipment that can be found in every kitchen. Together with a few tigernuts we can prepare a vegetable milk, that is healthy, without lactose and rich in calcium, vitamin C and E.
7. Can help to prevent cancer and heart diseases
Tiger nuts are also a good source of the antioxidant, Vitamin E, which helps protects us from the creation of harmful free radicals which are responsible for the death of the body cells and to protect against the damage caused by free radicals in the body.
This fact, combined with a high content of oleic acid, has demonstrated that it reduces the risk of heart diseases.
By protecting the body against free radicals, Vitamin E can help prevent both cancer and coronary diseases, as well as slow down the onset of the signs of ageing.
It supplies the body with enough quantity of Vitamin E, very essential for fertility in both men and women.
8. They contain the healthy fats
Another one of health benefits of tiger nuts is the they contain the healthy oils that are very similar to olive oil. The oil extracted from tiger nuts consists of around 80% unsaturated fats and only 18% of the cholesterol causing saturated fat.
9. They are a good source of vitamins
Recent studies have found that tiger nuts are brimming with vitamins and minerals. They are a superb source of Vitamins C and E and the minerals, such as potassium and phosphorus. Some yoghurt is now being made with added tiger nut milk, to boost their nutritional content.
10. Tiger nuts are so nutritious; they are being used to fight malnutrition
Tiger nuts are so packed with nutritional goodness that they are being considered as an alternative staple food in some developing countries. A study in Egypt found that tiger nuts are more nutritious and less expensive, than some other staple foods.
11. Can help to prevent cancer and heart diseases
The tiger nuts is a source of Vitamin E that protects us from the creation of harmful free radicals which are responsible for the death of the body cells. This fact, combined with a high content of oleic acid, has demonstrated that it reduces the risk of heart diseases.
12. Gives your body more potassium than a banana
Eating 25 tiger nuts gives the body 139 mg. of potassium, being this the same level as a potato or an avocado and exceeding the potassium levels of a banana. This mineral helps the cells and organs to work correctly. It also regulates the muscle contractions, which helps your digestion.