You might have heard of tiger nuts in advertisements or come across them when you were looking for an alternative to other nuts.
You’re probably wondering if you should try them.
Are they any good, and do they have any health benefits?
In this article, we’ll tell you more about the great health benefits of tiger nuts, and you’ll find out how they affect body functions besides learning how to eat them.
Let’s dig in!
What Should I Include Tiger Nuts In My Diet?
Tiger nuts are an important part of a healthy diet, as they can improve digestion, heart health, protect your skin and hair from the ravages of time, and boosts your libido.
Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
Tiger nuts are root vegetables rich in prebiotic fibers, a type of digestion-friendly nutrient that keeps your digestive system healthy.
Eating them daily can feed your gut microbes and enhance intestine health, as the soluble fibers help the food move quickly inside your gut and prevent constipation.
They also contain enzymes that help break down food and avoid diarrhea and indigestion.
However, you need to gradually increase your eating portions because the fiber in tiger nuts releases gas and may cause bloating.
Rich in Nutrients
Tiger nuts contain a variety of nutrients and are especially beneficial for women since the vitamin E content keeps their skin soft and boosts fertility.
They also have calcium for bones and antioxidants for healthy teeth.
From the most to least, every ounce (28 grams) of tiger nuts provides these nutrients:
- Fiber: 7 grams (0.25 oz)
- Protein: 1 gram (0.035 oz)
- Iron: 40% of Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 8% of DV
- Zinc: 7% of DV
Note: Daily value refers to the amount a nutrient an average person needs in one day.
So, 40% DV means an ounce of tiger nuts provides 40% of the iron your body needs in one day.
Improves Heart Health
Tiger nuts contain monounsaturated fats, similar to the healthy fat in olive oil.
They decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels, leading to lower heart attack and stroke risk.
Some amino acids in tiger nuts can also enhance heart health, which produces nitric oxide to dilate arteries and reduce blood pressure.
Strengthens the Immune System
Tiger nut extract is effective in fighting some bacteria that enhance blood circulation, which in turn boosts the immune system.
Researchers believe that tiger nut extract might also be effective at fighting antibiotic-resistant infections.
The antioxidant compounds in tiger nuts help fight free radicals, which damage cells and potentially cause several diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
They are also the best alternative for people with food allergies or intolerance since they’re free of lactose, fructose, gluten, and allergic proteins.
Unlike other nuts, their combination doesn’t provoke adverse reactions from the immune system.
Tiger nuts are an aphrodisiac, which means they intensify sexual drive when consumed.
These nuts have always been a popular remedy in Nigerian for treating sexual dysfunctions, increasing fertility, and boosting libido.
You may want to add a thirty-day program of eating tiger nuts to your diet to feel the difference.
Tiger nuts are also a rich potassium source, which helps the vascular functions and prevents erectile dysfunctions.
They also supply the body with enough Vitamin E, essential for fertility in both men and women.
Protects Your Skin and Hair
Tiger nuts have an oily texture full of essential vitamins for your skin and hair; that’s why cosmetic companies increasingly use them in their products.
Tiger nut oil hydrates and softens skin, and its antioxidant and vitamin E content prevents skin from aging.
It also contains high levels of biotin, a necessary vitamin for hair growth. As a result, it revitalizes damaged hair and makes it shinier.
Ancient Egyptians used tiger nut oil for skin and hair care for miraculous benefits.
Is Tiger Nut a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Although most nuts are fruit seeds, tiger nuts are the crop of the Cyperaceae family.
These plants consist of perennial or annual herbs, and like potatoes, grow within the roots. So, Tiger nuts are small root vegetables.
They’re not exactly nuts, but a lesser‐known vegetable that produces sweet nuts‐like tubers (tubers like a potato).
Because they have vegetable proteins, including essential amino acids, a vegetarian can add them to their diet.
Do Tiger Nuts Beat Almonds?
Tiger nuts have 20 percent fewer calories, half the fat plus almost two times protein, fiber, and iron than almonds.
Once almonds are blanched, their nutritional value drops, and the added chemicals may cause cancer.
Unlike almonds, blanching doesn’t make tiger nuts unhealthy.
It secretes a sweet sticky substance, which you can use to flavor your drinks, cakes, and food.
What Is the Best Way To Eat Tiger Nuts?
Tiger nuts should be peeled or soaked in water since the unpeeled ones are hard to eat.
You can also use tiger nut flour or milk to make delicious foods.
Soaking Unpeeled Tiger Nuts
Peeling tiger nuts makes them easier to eat and the best way to peel these nuts at home is to leave them in water until the skin is easy to separate.
Remove the skin with your hands and enjoy them right away.
Alternatively, you can buy peeled tiger nuts from the store.
Drinking Tiger Nut Milk
To get creamy smooth milk from tiger nuts:
- Soak them overnight so that they swell and become ready to blend.
- Add water to the mixture, remix it, and pour into a cloth.
- Press to release the milk.
You can substitute tiger nut milk for dairy milk if you have a dairy intolerance.
Using Tigernut Flour
You can use tiger nut flour as an alternative to regular flour since it’s gluten-free.
Gluten is a protein existing in most grains and can trigger severe reactions in people with coeliac disease.
Try using tiger nut flour in pancakes, muffins, bread, or cookies if you want a nutty taste and texture.
Do You Have To Peel the Tiger Nuts?
You can eat tiger nuts as they are.
But the high fiber content in their skin makes them stiff, inflexible, and hard to chew.
So, eating unpeeled ones can be more problematic.
Depending on your consumption method, you may need to peel tiger nuts or buy unpeeled ones.
But since tiger nut skin is a nutritious source, you may lose some of its benefits after peeling.
Even if you boil tiger nuts to remove their skin, high temperatures may reduce their nutrition value.
What Are the Ways of Peeling Tiger Nuts?
The right peeling process can preserve the nuts’ flavor and beneficial nutrients.
In general, there are two processes for skinning tiger nuts:
This traditional method involves soaking the nuts in water for a few hours.
It makes them digestible and easy to chew.
If you’re worried about the bad smell, you can put the nuts in the refrigerator while soaking.
The soaked skin is easy to remove by hand or using a knife.
The longer they soak, the more water they absorb and the softer they become.
This type of skinning, which has become popular in recent years, relies on industrial peeling machines.
During this skinning process, mechanical blades remove the skin, then the blade’s continuous rotation stops when the machine sends the peeled nuts out.
Companies that produce tigernut flour use this method to keep the nutrients.
Professional skinning gives tiger nuts higher structural qualities that greatly exceed the traditional ones.
Are Tiger Nuts Fattening?
On average, one ounce (28.34 grams) of raw tiger nuts provides seven grams (198.45 oz) of fat and 103 to 121 calories, which is almost equal to the energy in a big apple.
So, if you consume tiger nuts in moderation, you’re not likely to gain weight.
Not only are tiger nuts weight-loss-friendly, but they’re also a rich source of nutrients.
Although they don’t directly improve your body’s ability to burn fat, their high percentage of insoluble fiber and monounsaturated fats facilitates the process.
Keep in mind that tiger nuts have more carbohydrates and less protein than other nuts.
And they’re not a low-sugar or low-fat food, which is why you should be careful of how many tiger nuts you eat daily.
If you want to prevent the negative effects, you can eat smaller portions.
Tiger nuts are tuber-like vegetables rich in nutrients and can boost the immune system and libido, as well as improving heart health and digestion.
You can eat them as is or use their oil, milk, and flour.
Tiger nuts can come in two types: black and white.
The black ones are unpeeled and richer in nutrients, while the white ones are peeled and easier to consume despite being less nutrient-rich.
To peel tiger nuts, soak them in water or buy peeled nuts from the store.
A handful of nuts each day is plenty to maintain your weight.