By - Uduak Andrew-Bassey
Before now, I don’t like tiger nut because of the way they sell them in wheelbarrows with flies perching on it. All that ended when I discovered the amazing health benefits of tiger nut and started purchasing it every single. Now, I do is wash my Tiger nut with salt and water then enjoy from nature’s goodness.
Tiger nut is popularly known as earth almond and botanically known as Cyperus esculentus is a generally unutilized crop that has many nutritional benefits necessary for boosting human health. It has other names such as nutgrass, aki awusa, yellow nutsedge, Zulu nuts, aku Hausa, chewfa, chufa, Akiausa, tiger nutsedge, aya, chufa sedge, Ayaya or Ofio. It belongs to the family of Cyperaceae that is characterized by rhizomes and spherical edible tubers.
Tiger nut is a perennial or annual plant that grows triangular stems with slender leaves and oval seeds. They are fleshy and are usually consumed raw but can also be dried, fried, roasted, toasted or soaked before consumption.
Nutritional Values of Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts are an excellent source of dietary fiber, sugar, phosphorus, carbohydrates, fat, protein, potassium, zinc, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and traces of copper, vitamin C and vitamin E. In turn, these nutrients are essential for building and maintaining healthy bones, repairing damaged tissues/muscles, aid blood circulation and as well, support the healthy functioning of the human body.
Benefits of Tiger Nut
Food and Drinks: Tiger nut has a nutty, sweet taste and can be eaten raw, dried, roasted, steamed, soaked or processed into tiger nut oil or tiger nut milk. They are also processed into flour and used for baking. Tiger nut is used for making both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks such as beer, ice creams, and kunnu.
Boosts Fertility: Tiger nut is very rich in vitamin E of which is vital for boosting both male and female fertility. Tiger nut can also be eaten to trigger normal menstruation.
Reduces the Risk of Colon Cancer: Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), which is the final part of the digestive tract. In most cases of colon cancer, they begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. However, tiger nut has a high fiber content hence, its consumption aids metabolism and prevents the risk of colon cancer.
Detoxifies the Liver: Tiger nut is essential for detoxifying the liver and eradicating toxins from the body.
Healthy Weight: Tiger nut is an excellent source of dietary fiber thus its consumption is essential for shedding excess weight from the body thereby promoting healthy body weight and preventing obesity.
Regulates blood pressure: Tiger nut is a rich carrier of potassium and potassium is said to be very useful when it comes to lowering the blood pressure. Besides potassium, the magnesium in it also helps regulate the heartbeat and maintain normal blood pressure levels.
Fights Malnutrition: Tiger nut fights malnutrition in under-developed countries where there is food scarcity. They can serve as a healthy option because it is rich in nutrients such as carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calcium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, iron and zinc.
Used as an aphrodisiac: Tiger nut acts as an agent for arousal and when blended with other ingredients such as coconut, dates, ginger (optional) to produce a milky blend called Tiger milk. This milk is effective for an erectile stimulant and a good aphrodisiac in men.
Helps to control diabetes: Tiger nut contains high non-soluble fiber content, and recent studies have shown that fiber helps to regulate blood sugar level.
Makes the skin glow: Tiger nut helps to prevent and reduce skin wrinkles and aging of the body cells. Also, tiger nut is used in the manufacturing of body creams and ointments.
Aids Digestion: Tiger nut helps alleviate issues like stomach cramps, irritable bowels, and other stomach issues. They are used in traditional medicine for curing diarrhea and flatulence.
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