25 Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts (Nigeria’s Superfood)
Tiger nuts are also known as Nigerian tiger nut, yellow nutsedge, or nut grass. Although people call them “nut”, they commonly found as wild weed in Africa, Middle East Asia, Mediterranean, and South America. Well, tiger nuts are actually the tuber of a weed plant. Since they have the “nut like taste”, and also the size which is in a size of a nut, people acknowledge them as a kind of nut.
In Spain, tiger nuts are well known to be the main ingredient of horchata, sort of sweet milk made of tiger nuts. Besides processed into sweet beverage like horchata, people commonly consume tiger nuts as dried nut or flour. Such as the other nuts which is beneficial for health like health benefits of hazelnuts and benefits of Peanuts during Pregnancy , tiger nuts also have many benefits as the valuable nutrition in it. Based on the research, for every 1 ounce or roughly a handful of dried tiger nuts contain:
- Protein 2gr
- Carbohydrate 9 gr
- Dietary fiber 10gr
- Fat 1gr, and the other valuable contents such as vitamin and mineral including magnesium, iron, and zinc.
As mentioned above, tiger nut has many benefits for health. Therefore, here are the 25 health benefits of tiger nut:
- Anti-aging agent
As mentioned above that tiger nuts have many nutritious components, they also act as a source of antioxidant. Vitamin E from tiger nuts perform its role as an anti-oxidant agent which able to slow down aging.
- Regulate blood pressure
Tiger nuts contain many beneficial minerals such as potassium. Potassium is said to be very useful to lower the blood pressure. Besides potassium, magnesium of these wrinkle-skinned tubers is also able to regulate the heart beat and maintain normal blood pressure levels.
- Relieve headache
Besides the minerals contained in tiger nuts such as magnesium and potassium which are good for human blood, the soluble fiber from tiger nuts is also beneficial for blood. It is able to maintain blood circulation well. Therefore, the blood vessel related disease such as headache because of the swollen blood vessel can be avoided.
- Prevent heart disease
The fact that potassium in tiger nuts is able to regulate blood pressure also enables to lower the heart disease. In addition, they also contain vitamin E which has also been proven in reducing risk of coronary heart disease.
- Maintain good digestion
Over 30% of tiger nuts contain dietary fiber which is able to make you feel fuller for a quite long time. This is how tiger nuts can maintain our body weight. The dietary fiber is also good for our digestive system. Besides the dietary fiber, they also have enzymes that aid digestion such as amylase, lipase, and catalase. The good condition of the digestive system enables us to have a good excretion system and get rid of the toxic and waste from our body.
- Protect from cancer
Just like the other plants which is able to protect us from cancer like benefits of pomegranate for cancer , the nutrition value of tiger nuts are also able to protect us from cancer. Vitamin E helps to protect our body from the damage caused by the free radicals.
- Lower cholesterol
Around 80% of tiger nuts are made of fat. However, only 18% of these contain saturated fat. In other words, just like health benefits of olive oil , the fats contained in tiger nuts oil are the fats which is beneficial for health, especially to lower the cholesterol.
- Prevent diabetes
These super tubers can also prevent diabetes by the dietary fiber contained in them. Fiber is a kind of carbohydrate which cannot be easily digested, thus it will not raise the blood sugar easily.
- Maintain healthy liver
In some countries like China, tiger nuts used as liver tonic. The beneficial nutrients contained in tiger nuts are believed to be able to strengthen liver function.
- Help against bacterial infection
One of the health benefits of tiger nuts is that it is able to fight against bacteria in the human body. A study found that tiger nuts can be used to fight bacterial infection such as E.coli and Salmonella, especially for those who have been resistant to antibiotic. the ability of tiger nuts in fighting bacterial infection is useful to cure infections such as found in the Symptoms of Streptococcus Bacteria Infections.
- Boost immune system
The ability of fighting destructive bacteria while assisting the good bacteria make tiger nuts is able to improve the immune system. Besides bacteria, it can also fights against viruses.
- Relieve diarrhea
As the tiger nuts are able to perform as probiotics, it is able to get rid of the bacteria in your digestive organ, especially colon. Therefore, tiger nuts are able to help us in curing the digestive disease such as diarrhea.
- Avoid bloating
The probiotic contained by tiger nuts is able to serve as the energy source for the good bacteria on your digestive system. Therefore, it is able to keep your digestive system run smoothly. This condition will avoid you from stomach ache because of bloating.
- Solve insomnia problem
Consuming horchata, or milk from tiger nuts is believed to fulfill body’s need of nutrients. Further, it is able to help us in relaxation and solving insomnia problem.
- Relieve stress
Tiger nuts basically have quality in helping us to be relaxed. One of the nutrients values of tiger nuts is Vitamin B1 which is able to control the nerve system well to relieve stress. Hence, besides solving the insomnia problem, the relaxed state of mind will definitely relieve our stress.
- Nourish skin
Tiger nuts contain Vitamin C and E which is very good for skin’s health. In addition, tiger nuts contain oil which is useful to moisture skin, maintain skin’s elasticity and keep skin’s youth.
- Cure dry eyes
Tiger nuts can be used as eye compress to relieve the dry feeling of eye after working in front of computer screen. The omega 3 in tiger nuts acts as anti-inflammatory which is able to maintain eyes’ health.
- Substitute dairy milk
Some people are allergic to lactose contained in the dairy milk, and in the end they cannot fulfill their need of nutrition contained in dairy milk. But don’t worry; we can substitute the dairy milk with tiger nuts milk. Tiger nuts milk contains high calcium, but low lactose and fat.
- Prevent anemia
People called tiger nuts as super food since they contain important nutrition which is very useful for human body. One of these, iron, is able to improve the hemoglobin level. The normal hemoglobin will avoid us from anemia.
- Strengthen muscle
From the tiger nuts you will also get natural magnesium which is very good for your muscle and nerve function. In addition, vegetable protein from tiger nuts is one of the non-meat proteins which are beneficial for muscle building.
- Strengthen bones and teeth
In addition to the magnesium of tiger nuts which is able to strengthen muscle, it can also strengthen bones and teeth. Besides, the high calcium level contained in these Nigerian tiger nuts is definitely a support toward the strong bones and teeth.
- Heal mouth and gum ulcers
Vitamin C and omega 3 from tiger nuts are the best solution to solve moth problems such as gum sores. The anti-inflammatory agent will quickly help the healing process.
- Fight malnutrition
In under-developed nations, high nutritious food is not accessible by all of the people. On the other hand, tiger nuts can be the solution of that problem. These golden brown tiny tubers are very rich of nutrients such as carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iron and zinc.
They also contain many beneficial vitamins which are suitable to fulfill the nutrition need. Luckily, tiger nuts are easily found in under-developed nations which are in fight against malnutrition such as Africa.
- Improve sex life
Based on a study in 2015, consuming tiger nuts is able to improve the sex performance especially for men. It enables men to have shorter intermission times and heightened testosterone level.
- Enhance fertility
As mentioned before, tiger nuts are the good source for vitamin E. besides its ability to prevent cancer and aging, vitamin E is also acts a significance role for human fertility. For women, it will also help to control menstruation.
Cautions of Tiger Nuts
Nigerian tiger nuts mentioned as good source of dietary fiber. However, consuming the excessive amount of tiger nuts will lead to digestion problem such as bloating, and diarrhea. It is also mentioned that tiger nuts are not a low calories food. As concluded by a study from Harvard Medical School, the high level of fat in tiger nuts means the high calories in it. Therefore, although they can be used for your diet, they need to be completed with the other healthy nutritional food if you don’t want to gain weight.
Besides, make sure to guarantee the hygiene of the nuts and soaked it into water for about 12 hours to make sure that it is edible.
Besides the health benefits of tiger nuts, they are able to be used as many kinds of food. You can simply consume the roasted dried tiger nuts for snack, drink the tiger nuts sweet milk, or use the tiger nuts flour for your cake and cookies. However, to avoid the side effect, it is suggested that we consume the proper amount of them. One of the recommendations for the beginner is to start with 10-20 nuts to check whether you are resistant to it.
As recommendation, it is good to consume no more than 100gr of tiger nuts as they have already fulfill 40% of our daily dietary fiber recommendation and 13-17% of the daily recommended dose of magnesium.