Tigernuts : What the hell are these ?

Tigernuts are another far yet new food on the limelight. The edible perennial grass-like has been around for thousands of years. The Crop of the sedge family grows wild in most parts of West Africa, Middle East and Spain. Due to their high rate of survival, they can grow anywhere. In fact, it’s very high chances of survival make it a weed. Tiger nuts grow as tubers underground. As a result, you can also find tiger nuts in several other regions including China, Hawaii and various islands.

Due to their very high fibre content, natural proteins and sugars; people grow the tubers for domestic purposes. They resemble chickpeas. The tigernut plant reproduces by rhizomes, seeds and tubers. The underground balls have an oval, flat shape which makes them unique. Mostly, the seeds have a gold brown color. For the plant to grow, it requires a mild climate that’s why it does well in most parts of the continent.

Nutritional Profile

Tigernuts are made up of several healthy nutrients. These include:

  • Fiber

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Tigernuts are well known for high fibre content. The tubers have higher fibre content than cabbage, oats or chia seeds. 100g of tigernut flour contain approximately about 60g of fibre. The fibre in the nuts acts as an appetite suppressant and prevents constipation. If you are looking for ways to lose weight also, tigernuts are your best solution.

Oils

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Tigernuts oils and olive oil have the same health benefits. Like olive oil, tigernuts do not contain cholesterol which makes up animal fats such as cheese and butter. Tigernuts contain about 18% saturated fatty acids and about 82% unsaturated fatty acids.

  • Proteins

Tigernuts are an excellent source of non-animal source proteins. Proteins are the most important part of a meal. They play a significant role in strong bones, teeth, muscles, blood and healthy skin. They also act as building blocks for body enzymes, hormones and vitamins. In the exceptional case, proteins also serve as an excellent source of energy especially in cases of malnutrition. If you are allergic to animal proteins, it’s advisable to take tigernuts. It will provide your body with an excellent protein alternative.

  • Potassium

Proper functioning organs such as the heart require a constant supply of potassium. It’s the mineral that regulates the contraction of the heart muscles. Besides, it also aids in digestion and helps in maintaining blood pressure at a constant level. Tigernuts can give you a significant boost of potassium which you totally need.

  • Vitamins

Tigernuts are made up of plenty of vitamin E. With its ability to capture free radicals; Vitamin E protects the body by preventing the formation of free radicals which can react with oxygen. Besides, the combination of vitamin E with oleic acid in tigernuts has shown to prevent cardiovascular diseases greatly.

  • Magnesium

Tigernuts are an excellent source of magnesium. Proper functioning of our bodies requires Magnesium and plays a role in normal muscles and nerve functioning. It keeps the heart beat steady and improves the immune system. Also, it regulates the body blood pressure and helps the body metabolize proteins.

  • Amino acids

Tigernuts are rich in arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that helps prevent chest pains, heart failure, muscle cramps, erectile dysfunction and coronary thrombosis.

  • Starch

Tigernuts are quite famous for their richness in resistant starch.  The resistant starch is an excellent source of prebiotic fibre that helps in keeping the gut microflora constant. The starch plays a significant role in protecting the bacteria from being destroyed by disease-causing microorganisms.

How to use Tigernuts

For an extended period, tigernuts have found several uses. The tubers are the same as other tubers but just a bit sweet. It’s possible to eat tigernuts as a whole, but you can vary the taste by using them in several other ways.

  • Substitute tigernut milk for cow milk

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Tigernut milk otherwise known as horchata in Spain is a sweet beverage made from mixing tigernut powder with warm water and then adding a sweetener. It is the best substitute for cow or goat milk because of its zero-animal fats composition. The milk is super rich in vitamins C and E which are necessary for elimination of hypertension and cholesterol.

  • Substitute Tigernut oil with olive oil

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You can use Tigernut oil instead of olive oil. The oil is as good for the heart as olive oil. When incorporated into food, its high levels of oleic acid and unsaturated fatty acids can help your body stay in the perfect shape. The advantages of tigernut oil range from keeping your heart in the perfect shape to maintaining healthy skin. Besides, you can use the oil to treat eczema.

  • Use tigernut flour for baking

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The gluten-free tigernut flour is one of the most trending baking powder. Due to its slightly sweet flavour, you can reduce the number of sugars during baking. You might as well mix it with coconut flour, oat flour or potato flour. Alternatively, you can use it to add a sweet, crunchy texture to cookies and bread.

Also, you can add whole tigernuts to smoothies and puddings to improve your protein content. You might also love the nutty flavour in vegetable burgers and beans.

Tigernuts are full of minerals, amino acids, starch, vitamins and oils which make them a necessary component of your diet. They are quite handy in the treatment of several diseases such as cancer, heart failure, eczema, and allergies. The nuts are also a great product for people whose bodies cannot metabolize lactose. In this case, you can substitute cow or goat milk with tigernut milk.

If you are a baker or own a bakery, you might want to introduce tigernut flour into your daily baking. The sweet, nutty taste of tiger nuts might be interesting to try. Also, if you are trying to lose weight, tigernuts are the perfect choice for you.

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