Many people may be unfamiliar with tiger nuts. They’re not your typical ‘nuts,’ but they’re gaining popularity as a superfood, and for good reason. In this article, we’re going to explore six top health benefits of tiger nuts. So, join me, Dr. Mayor Boss, a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, as I delve into this intriguing and highly beneficial edible tuber.
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What are Tiger Nuts?
Tiger nuts, also known as earth almonds or chufa, aren’t really nuts at all. They’re small tubers that grow under the soil’s surface, much like potatoes. They come from a plant called yellow nutsedge, an herbaceous perennial native to warm temperate, tropical regions. Tiger nuts have a sweet, nutty flavor and a firm texture, which make them an enjoyable snack or a great addition to various dishes.
The nutritional composition of a 100g serving of tiger nuts includes:
- 120kcal / 502kj
- 2g protein
- 7g fat
- 19g carbohydrates
- 4g sugar
- 215mg potassium
- 10g fiber
Now that you have an idea of what tiger nuts are let’s dive into their health benefits.
6 Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts
1. Rich in Nutrients and Antioxidants
Tiger nuts pack a nutritional punch. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E, C, and some B vitamins, potassium, and iron. Additionally, they are also a great source of antioxidants, including various plant compounds like oleic acid and flavonoids like quercetin. These antioxidants help protect your cells from damage and may reduce inflammation in the body.
2. Promotes Heart Health
Tiger nuts contain heart-healthy fats. Predominantly monounsaturated fats, which are the same type of heart-friendly fats found in olive oil and avocados. They can support heart health by reducing levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and potentially increasing ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Also, the presence of potassium in tiger nuts can aid in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level, thereby contributing to overall heart health.
3. Packed with Fiber
Did you know that tiger nuts are full of fiber? One serving can provide a significant portion of your daily fiber needs. This can contribute to better digestion and bowel regularity while also acting as a prebiotic, supporting the health of your gut bacteria. They may also reduce your odds of constipation.
4. May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
Despite their sweet flavor, tiger nuts may actually help manage your blood sugar levels. The fiber in them can slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar. Furthermore, some research suggests that the arginine found in tiger nuts could increase insulin production and sensitivity, aiding in better blood sugar control.
5. Aids in Weight Management
If you’re looking for a snack that can help you maintain or lose weight, tiger nuts could be a good option. Their high fiber content can make you feel full and satisfied, which can curb overeating. Plus, they’re relatively low in calories and high in essential nutrients, making them an excellent choice for a weight management diet.
6. May Increase Your Immune System
The high vitamin E and C content in tiger nuts may aid your immune system. Both vitamins are known to play a crucial role in immune function, helping to protect your body from infections and diseases.
Are Tiger Nuts Safe for Everyone?
Generally, tiger nuts are safe for most people to consume. However, as they are high in fiber, consuming too many may lead to gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, or stomach cramps. Therefore, it’s recommended to introduce them gradually into your diet.
In conclusion, tiger nuts are a versatile, tasty, and highly nutritious food that you might want to consider adding to your diet. But as always, remember to enjoy them as part of a balanced diet and not rely on them solely for their health benefits.
Hopefully, this article has enlightened you on the health benefits of tiger nuts.
Further Reading: The Health Benefits of Peanuts