Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts - the Superfood
What are Tiger Nuts?
Tiger nuts, unlike what the name suggests, are actually not nuts; they are tubers. Also known as yellow nutsedge, these small, wrinkled tiger nuts were part of the original Paleo diet. The tiger-striped exterior earned the tiger nut its name and is about the size of a chickpea. Its taste is similar to a coconut or almond, being mildly sweet and starchy (I was very surprised by the taste when I tried it myself!). These tough nuts have various health benefits that would make you consider them as staple in your diet!
Resistant Starch Fiber
Tiger nuts are famous for being comprised of 33% resistant starch, which is a prebiotic fiber. This resistant starch can help improve insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, and various digestion benefits. The starch passes through the small intestine and feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut, while keeping you fuller longer than some other foods.
Rich in Vitamins E and C, and Magnesium
Studies have show that these nuts contain and abundance vitamins and minerals, particularly the vitamins C and E, and potassium and phosphorus. The added potassium contributes to the proper functioning of the cell and body organs as well as digestive functions. Magnesium, which is important for normal nerve and muscle function, maintaining blood pressure levels, and strengthening bones can also be found at 13%-17% in every 100 g flour of tiger nuts.
Packed with Protein
As one of the major nutrients in the body, protein is responsible for the building and maintenance of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Tiger nuts act as a great food that is packed with non-meat protein that supplies plenty of energy.
How To Eat Tiger nuts
Eat Them Whole
Since tiger nuts have the similar nutty, sweet flavour and texture as actual nuts, its not hard to replaced the nuts in your diet with tiger nuts. Since they are fibrous and quite chewy, another option is to soak and the tiger nuts for a few hours before serving to soften. Cooking them also works!
Make Tiger Nut Milk
Tiger nuts are perfect for making a dairy-free milk. Soak a bowl of tiger nuts over night, then blend that at a ratio of two cups of water to one cup of tiger nuts. You can also add spices or sweeteners, like vanilla. Keep blending until smooth then, then strain the liquid from pulp. Now your tiger nut milk is ready!
Make Tiger Nut Flour
Leftover pulp from making tiger nut milk? Use it to make some tiger nut flour! Spread the leftover pulp on a large baking sheet and place into the oven, preheated at 70-80 °C/ 160-175 °F. Let it dehydrate for 4-6 hours. Once dry, place it in a food processor until it turns into “flour”. You can use this in similar ways to almond flour, as it adds additional moisture and chewiness, and even a slight sweetness.
A Few Last Things
Since tiger nuts are so fibrous, people with digestive problems may experience some gas, bloating or cramping if consumed too often. Other than that, tiger nuts are great to experiment with and for implementing more nutrients to your diet. Reach for some tiger nuts next time at the grocery store and see how you like them!
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