Tiger nuts have so many nutritional benefits and is used for the health of many people 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 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 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).
What is Tiger Nuts Use for?
In Nigeria, this wonderful tuber is known in the north and is called “aya” in Hausa language 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 also found in the United States, Southern Europe, the Middle East, India, and many African countries.
- Tiger nut has been found to be very useful in a variety of cases. Tiger nut is found to be useful as a Good source of nutritional food – Tiger nut contains a lot of elements that make it very useful as food. Tiger nut milk is one of the most nutritional natural sources of milk.
- Use as oil: Tiger nut is been explore as biodiesel
- Use as medicine and in some specific industries: Has been found useful in the cosmetic industry and also used medically.
While Tiger nut is used for various health purposes, we will be focusing on the nutritional benefits of Tiger Nuts and Tiger Nut Milk.
- In Diabetes Control
- In boosting fertility
- Help in the detoxification of the liver
- Assist 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 individual
1. Tiger Nut and Diabetes Control: Rich in Fiber
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.
2. Tiger Nut and Fertility: Rich In Vitamins E And C.
Recent studies suggest that tiger nuts are loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and E and potassium and phosphorus. Yogurt made by mixing cow’s milk with tiger nut milk has been found to be exceptionally high in these vitamins and other nutrients. Tiger nuts milk contains zinc, quercetin also, and it 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.
3. Tiger Nut and Detoxification of the Liver: Rich in antioxidant.
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
4. Tiger Nut and Prevention of 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 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 antioxidants contents which play a significant role in the prevention of cancer.
5. 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.
6. Tiger Nuts are 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
7. 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; 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 increases the feeling of fullness and also reduces the number 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 well-being. This could lead to major improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC)
8. 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 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.
9. Good Source Of Magnesium
Tiger Nut Milk it is good both for children and adults, According to medical research, 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. Magnesium is highly vital for the normal functioning of the body, as it is required to carry out more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. Recent studies have revealed that 100 g flour of tiger nuts contains between 13 to 17 percent of magnesium, regulates sugar, maintains blood pressure levels to normalcy, and strengthen bones, process protein and keep you healthy.
10. Tiger Nuts Rich in Amino Acids
Tiger nuts are also loaded with plentiful of amino acids of various types, especially Arginine. The Mayo Foundation suggests arginine as the nitric oxide precursor, which maintains the width of blood vessels to ensure normal blood flow. Arginine is helpful in providing solutions in conditions caused due to restricted blood vessels, including clogged arteries, chest pain, erectile dysfunction, heart disease or failure, artery diseases, muscle cramps, and headaches.
How to Make Tiger Nut Milk
There are several recipes that can be used to prepare tiger nut milk or kunnu aya. In this article, we shall be explaining the oldest and most conventional method. This method is done by blending and straining the tiger nut. You can also add additional spices such as cardamom and cinnamon, dates, alligator pepper to make the taste sweet.
- Wash the dry tiger nuts thoroughly to eliminate harvest soil and other contaminants.
- 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. 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.
- Wash the ginger, dates, alligator pepper
- Rinse them again to remove the smell of the water.
- Place the soaked tiger nuts, ginger, dates, alligator pepper into a blender and add a little quantity of water.
- Optional: (Ginger or dates can be added to sweeten or improve taste). Blend for about 3 minutes or until a fine watery paste is obtained.
- Using a fine sieve or chiffon cloth to extract the milk from the paste 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.
- WATCH THE VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE TIGER NUT MILK (WITH COCONUTS AND DATES)
The nutritional 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 blend of nutrients.
Tiger Nuts 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.
- Public Health Nigeria