Tiger nuts, also called chufa, yellow nutsedge, or earth almonds, are edible tubers rather than nuts.
They're about the size of a chickpea, but wrinkly and chewy, with a sweet nutty flavor similar to coconut.
Tiger nuts were one of Egypt's first cultivated plants, and they were traditionally used as both food and medicine.
They're high in a number of nutrients and have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved digestion and a lower risk of heart disease.
1. Nutrient-dense food
Tiger nuts are high in nutrients and plant compounds that are beneficial to the body.
The amount of nutrients they contain varies depending on the type. Tiger nuts come in three different colors: black, brown, and yellow.
One ounce (28 grams) of chocolate provides (1):
2–7 grams of fiber
Carbohydrates: 9 g
1 gram protein
7–9 grams of fat
278 percent of the daily value of vitamin E (DV)
Iron: 13–40% of daily value
9–11 percent of DV in phosphorus
Vitamin C: 2–8% of the daily value
Magnesium: 7% of the daily value
Zinc: 5–7% of the daily value
Potassium: 3–5% of the daily value
Calcium: 1% of the daily value
Tiger nuts are also high in antioxidants, which are healthy compounds that protect your body from diseases such as cancer and heart disease (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
According to studies, germinating tiger nuts before eating them boosts their antioxidant content (4Trusted Source).
Tiger nuts, on the other hand, contain antinutrients like phytates, oxalates, saponins, and tannins, which can inhibit nutrient absorption in the gut.
Antinutrient levels are reduced by germinating or roasting the tubers before eating, making it easier for your body to absorb and use the many nutrients they contain (5).
Tiger nuts are tubers that are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds that are beneficial to humans. Before eating tiger nuts, germinate or roast them to increase antioxidant levels and improve your body's ability to absorb nutrients.
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2. Digestion may be aided
Tiger nuts can help with digestion in a variety of ways.
For starters, they're high in insoluble fiber, which is a type of fiber that passes through your digestive tract without being digested. Insoluble fiber bulks up your stools and aids food passage through your gut, reducing the chances of constipation (1, 6Trusted Source).
Tiger nuts are also thought to contain resistant starch, a type of fiber that can help your digestion by feeding the good bacteria in your gut (7Trusted Source).
Furthermore, tiger nuts may contain enzymes like catalases, lipases, and amylases, which aid in the digestion of foods in the gut, reducing gas, indigestion, and diarrhea (7Trusted Source).
Bear in mind that the high fiber content of tiger nuts may cause gas or bloating at first. Those who want to try them should gradually increase their portions.
Tiger nuts are high in insoluble fiber, which can help you avoid constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system. To avoid unpleasant gas or bloating, gradually incorporate them into your diet.
3. Blood Sugar Levels May Be Reduced
Tiger nuts may help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Tiger nut extract has been shown in animal studies to help lower blood sugar levels. This could be due in part to the tubers' high fiber content, which may slow the absorption of sugar in the intestine (5).
Tiger nuts are also high in the amino acid arginine, which can help with blood sugar control by increasing insulin production and sensitivity (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Furthermore, research in the lab suggests that tiger nut extract may inhibit the action of carb-digesting enzymes in the gut.
As a result, less sugar may be absorbed from your gut, similar to the action of some diabetic medications that lower blood sugar. This has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, though more human research is needed (11Trusted Source).
Tiger nuts are high in fiber and arginine, two nutrients that can help lower blood sugar. They also contain compounds that may help to reduce the amount of sugar absorbed in the gut after a carb-heavy meal.
It shouldn't be difficult to eat more healthily. We'll send you our research-backed meal planning and nutrition advice.
4. It Has the Potential to Improve Heart Health
Tiger nuts may also be beneficial to your heart's health.
This is due in part to their high monounsaturated fat content, which gives them a fat profile similar to heart-healthy olive oil (12, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Monounsaturated fats are linked to lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and higher levels of "good" HDL cholesterol in people who consume them. They're also linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart-related death (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
Tiger nuts are also high in the amino acid arginine. Because your body can use arginine to make nitric oxide, a compound that helps arteries and veins dilate and thus lower blood pressure, it can help your heart (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Tiger nuts have also been linked to improved blood circulation and a lower risk of blood clots, both of which can lower your risk of heart disease (7Trusted Source).
Heart-healthy fats abound in tiger nuts. They may improve blood circulation and vein and artery flexibility, lowering your risk of heart disease.
5. It Could Boost Your Immune System and Aid In The Fight Against Infections
Tiger nuts may help to boost your immune system.
Tiger nut extracts were tested against several types of bacteria that can infect humans in a test tube study. The extract worked well against E. coli. bacteria such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella (19Trusted Source).
Similar findings were discovered in another cell study. Tiger nut extracts may also be effective in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, according to the researchers (20Trusted Source).
More research is needed, however, before firm conclusions can be drawn.
By fighting infections, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, tiger nuts may help to build a stronger immune system. More research is still required.
6. It's possible that it'll work as an aphrodisiac.
Tiger nuts have long been used to increase libido.
Aphrodisiacs are used in Ayurvedic medicine. Furthermore, for generations, men in Nigeria have used tiger nuts to treat erectile dysfunction, increase sperm count, and increase libido.
However, few studies have looked into these alleged aphrodisiac properties.
Tiger nuts were found to help preserve testicular weight and sperm production in mice after heavy metal poisoning (21).
In a rat study, eating a lot of tiger nuts for 30 days increased testosterone levels, increased sexual activity, and cut the time between mating sessions in half (22Trusted Source).
However, no human studies on the use of tiger nuts as an aphrodisiac have been conducted, so more research is required before any conclusions can be drawn.
In some parts of the world, tiger nuts are used as a natural aphrodisiac. However, human studies are needed to confirm their libido-inducing properties.
How to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet
Tiger nuts are extremely adaptable and can be used in a variety of ways.
They can be eaten raw or roasted, and when soaked or boiled in water, they become softer and easier to chew.
They make a tasty snack but can also be used as a topping for breakfast cereal, smoothies, salads, and yogurts.
Tiger nuts can also be combined with other nuts and dried fruit to make a unique trail mix. They can also be ground and used in baked goods like bread. Ground tiger nuts can be used as a gluten-free flour or binder in veggie burgers.
Tiger nuts are used to make horchata de chufa, a popular plant milk in Spain. They can also be used to make dairy-free ice cream and yogurt.
Tiger nuts can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways. They can be eaten raw or cooked, on their own or in combination with other foods, dairy-free products, or baked goods.
Tiger nuts, while not technically a nut, are an intriguing addition to a healthy diet.
They're high in nutrients, help with digestion, and may help protect you from infections and diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Keep in mind that because these tubers are high in fiber, those who want to incorporate them into their diet should do so gradually to avoid bloating or gas.
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