Tiger nuts, which are also referred to as chufa, appear yellowish on the outer part when fresh, but brownish when dried. They are called nuts but are actually small and round tubers that grow underground. They have the size of a chickpea but come with a nutty sweet flavor similar to coconuts. Tiger nuts have a tasty milk feel with a handful of benefits ranging from improving digestion to reducing risks of heart diseases.
Here are some amazing benefits of tiger nuts that you should know!
1. It has a variety of nutrients
Tiger nuts are a good source of fiber and contain small amounts of several other nutrients. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, the nutrient content of 1 ounce (28 grams) of tiger nuts is as follows:
Fat: 0.5 grams
Saturated fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 19 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Vitamin C: 5% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Iron: 4% of the RDA
Magnesium: 10% of the RDA
Tiger nuts are also a good source of antioxidants such as vitamin E, polyphenols, and flavonoids. These compounds help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals, this helps to reduce the risk of chronic conditions and enhances healthful aging
2. It may help improve heart health
Tiger nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids. Their lipid profile is similar to that of the commonly prescribed extra virgin olive oil for heart health. With the presence of monounsaturated fatty acid, it has the ability to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (LDL). It also helps improve vein and artery flexibility for better circulation. Research has also linked tiger nut consumption to a lower likelihood of blood clots and better blood circulation.
3. It may help fight against infections and enhances the immune system
According to a test tube study, tiger nut extracts were tested against several types of bacteria ( E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella), that can cause infection in humans. The extract was effective against all. Also, in another cell study, tiger nuts extracts were put up against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and proved effective at fighting against them. More studies are needed to fully back up this claim.
4. It may reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and help to control blood sugar in people with diabetes
Tigernut has a low glycemic index and high fiber content which make it suitable for people with diabetes. Some research suggests that tiger nuts may help reduce blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes or at risk of developing the condition due to its mild effect on blood sugar. In one study, participants with type 2 diabetes who consumed tiger nut flour as part of their diet had lower blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity compared to those who did not consume the flour. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the optimal dosage and frequency of tiger nuts for blood sugar control.
5. It may improve digestion and enhances the gut health
Firstly, tiger nuts contain insoluble fiber which goes through your digestive tract without being digested. Insoluble fiber helps to add bulk to your stool and move food easily through your gut, resulting in a reduced risk of constipation.
Also, Tiger nuts contain resistant starch which feeds the good bacteria found in your digestive system. By achieving this, your digestive process runs smoothly as these bacteria make sure your digestive processes are not altered and messed with.
6. Tigernuts may help with arthritis
Some research suggests that tiger nuts may have anti-inflammatory properties, meaning they may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Tiger nuts contain compounds called phytosterols and polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. For example, one study found that tiger nut extract reduced inflammation in mice with arthritis, and another study found that tiger nut oil reduced inflammation in cells in a laboratory setting.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the anti-inflammatory effects of tiger nuts and how they may be used to support overall health.
Tiger nuts are versatile and quite nutritious. They provide so many health benefits and can be added to your diet in so many ways.
You can either eat them raw, extract the milk after blending or grind it into fine flour for baking purposes.