Also known as chufa, yellow nutsedge or earth almonds, tiger nuts are not actually nuts, but rather edible tubers. Furthermore, they are part of the first plants’ people were cultivating back then in Egypt. Traditionally, you can use them as both food and medicine. (Related: How To Eat Tiger Nuts)
Again, they are rich suppliers of various nutrients and also provide a lot of health benefits. Some of these tiger nut health benefits are better digestion and heart disease risk reduction.
Emerging Tiger Nut Health Benefits
Here are some Tiger nut health benefits:
1. Might Improve Digestion
Improving digestion is part of the tiger nut health benefits. Tiger nuts may help give you healthy digestion in different ways.
Firstly, they are high in insoluble fiber, which passes through your gut without digesting. Insoluble fiber adds more to your stools and helps food move easily through your gut. This reduces the chances of constipation.
Also, tiger nuts are also assumed to possess resistant starch. It is a type of fiber that can feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. This helps your digestion run smoothly.
Moreover, tiger nuts may contain enzymes like catalases, lipases, and amylases. These enzymes help break down foods in your gut, relieving gas, indigestion, and diarrhea.
Bear in mind that the high fiber content of tiger nuts may lead to unpleasant gas or bloating initially. Thus, if you choose to try them should increase their portions gradually.
2. Boosts Your Immune System and Help Fight Infections
Another tiger nut health benefit is that they may contribute to a stronger immune system.
In a test-tube study, tiger nut extracts were tested against several types of bacteria that can infect humans. It was found out that the extract was effective against E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella bacteria.
Also, another cell study gave rise to similar results. The researchers said that tiger nut extracts may also be very effective in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
However, more studies are required before strong conclusions can be drawn.
3. Rich in Nutrients
Tiger nuts contain a host of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Depending on the type, they contain specific nutrients.
Black, brown and yellow are the three main varieties of tiger nuts.
Additionally, on average, an ounce (28 grams) provides:
- Calories: 103–121
- Fiber: 2–7 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 7–9 grams
- Vitamin E: 278% of the daily value (DV)
- Iron: 13–40% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 9–11% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 2–8% of the DV
- Magnesium: 7% of the DV
- Zinc: 5–7% of the DV
- Potassium: 3–5% of the DV
- Calcium: 1% of the DV
Also, tiger nuts are also rich sources of antioxidants. These beneficial compounds protect your body against aging and diseases like heart disease and cancer.
From research, germinating tiger nuts before eating them increases their antioxidant content.
Thus, they also contain antinutrients like phytates, oxalates, saponins, and tannins. These antinutrients can reduce nutrient absorption in your gut.
In addition, germinating or roasting the tubers prior to eating reduces their antinutrient levels. This makes it easier for your body to absorb and use the many nutrients they contain.
4. Might Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Tiger nuts might help control your blood sugar levels. (Related: Blood Sugar Level Facts We All Miss)
Furthermore, animal studies show that tiger nut extract might help reduce blood sugar levels. To a large extent, this might be because of their high fiber content which might slow down the absorption of sugar in the gut.
Again, tiger nuts are rich in the amino acid arginine. This may increase insulin production and sensitivity, both of which are very important for controlling blood sugar.
Additionally, test-tube studies show that tiger nut extract might inhibit the action of carb-digesting enzymes in your gut.
Because of this, less sugar might be absorbed from your gut just like some blood-sugar-lowering diabetic medication actions. This is believed to potentially reduce blood sugar levels. However, more research in humans is still a necessity.
5. Might Improve Heart Health
Tiger nuts may also be very good for the health of your heart. This is partly because of the large amounts of monounsaturated fats they contain. It gives them a fat profile similar to that of heart-healthy olive oil.
Also, diets rich in monounsaturated fats are linked to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. You can also associate them with a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease.
Furthermore, tiger nuts are rich in the amino acid arginine. Arginine promotes heart health because your body uses it to make nitric oxide. It is a compound that helps arteries and veins dilate, thus, reducing blood pressure. Related: Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) – The Definitive Guide
Research also connects tiger nuts to better blood circulation and a lower likelihood of blood clots. Both of these can reduce your risk of heart disease.
6. Might Act as an Aphrodisiac
For a long time, tiger nuts have been used to boost libido. In Ayurvedic medicine, they are used as aphrodisiacs.
Additionally, men in Nigeria have used tiger nuts for generations to boost libido, treat erectile dysfunction, and increase sperm count.
But, only a few studies have investigated these assumed aphrodisiac properties.
Furthermore, a mouse study showed that tiger nuts helped to preserve testicular weight and sperm production after heavy metal poisoning.
Also, in a rat study, consuming large amounts of tiger nuts for 30 days increased testosterone levels, reduced intermission time between mating sessions and boosted sexual activity.
However, there are no studies on using tiger nuts as an aphrodisiac in humans, so more research is required for any conclusions to be made.
7. They Are Useful During Pregnancy
Pregnant women find tiger nuts very useful. Tiger nuts help to fight lethargy and apathy during the period of pregnancy.
They give a charge of vivacity and saturates the body of a pregnant woman with all the necessary vitamins she needs.
8. People With Lactose Intolerance Can Drink It Without Complications
This is absolutely good news for those who can’t drink cow milk. If it is contraindicated for you, tiger nuts milk will definitely help you.
The benefits of tiger nuts milk are very significant. They don’t contain lactose and therefore everyone can drink it.
Additionally, this type of milk is rich in calcium and very good for infants. This is because it contributes to bone building. Also, tiger nut milk has large fat content and high nutritional value.
9. They are Inexhaustible Sources of Vegetable Protein
As noted earlier, tiger nuts have a high nutritional value. Nevertheless, when analyzing the origin of their non-animal proteins, tiger nuts become round foods.
Furthermore, the hidden benefit of plant proteins is the lower incidence of fat and cholesterol. When you consume them often, tiger nuts are the ideal and perfect antioxidant for cleansing diets and the elimination of toxins.
Also, the vegetable protein is aligned with all the benefits described above. Examples are the natural regulation of the cardiovascular system and the proper functioning of cellular activity that stops the risk of cancer.
In conclusion, note that the rich amino acids contained in tiger nuts are higher than the standards of the World Health Organization for other foods.
10. It Makes Your Skin Glow
Tiger nuts are just what you need for a glowing skin especially because of their high content of Vitamin E.
Vitamin E prevents wrinkles and early aging thereby keeping your skin glowing and helping you look forever young.
Tiger nuts are interesting additions to a healthy diet. They are not only rich in many nutrients but also contribute to good digestion. Also, they may protect against infections and health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Finally, bear in mind that they are rich in fiber. Thus, those interested in adding them to their diet should do so little by little. This is so they can avoid any potential and unpleasant bloating or gas.
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