Tiger nuts, also known as chufa, yellow nutsedge or earth almonds, are not actually nuts, but rather edible tubers.
They’re the size of a chickpea but wrinkly with a chewy texture and sweet nutty flavor similar to coconut.
Tiger nuts were one of the first plants cultivated in Egypt and traditionally used as both food and medicine.
They’re rich in a variety of nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits — ranging from better digestion to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Here are 6 emerging health benefits of tiger nuts.
1. Rich in Nutrients
Tiger nuts are tubers rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial plant compounds. Germinating or roasting tiger nuts prior to eating them can boost their antioxidant levels and improve your body’s ability to absorb its nutrients.
2. Improve Digestion
Tiger nuts are a good source of insoluble fiber, which can prevent constipation and help your digestion run smoothly. Add them to your diet gradually to avoid unpleasant gas or bloating.
3. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Tiger nuts are rich in fiber and arginine, both of which can contribute to lower blood sugar levels. They also contain compounds that may reduce how much sugar is absorbed in your gut after a carb-rich meal.
4) Improve Heart Health
Tiger nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats. They may improve vein and artery flexibility and blood circulation, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
5. Boost Your Immune System and Help Fight Infections
Tiger nuts may contribute to a stronger immune system by fighting infections, including those from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Yet, more research is needed.
6. Act as an Aphrodisiac
Tiger nuts are used as a natural aphrodisiac in some parts of the world. However, human research is needed to confirm their libido-boosting effects.
How to Add Them to Your Diet
Tiger nuts are very versatile and can be added to your diet in a variety of ways.
They can be eaten raw or roasted and tend to be softer and easier to chew when they have been soaked or boiled in water.
They make for a tasty snack but can also be used as toppings for a variety of dishes, such as breakfast cereal, smoothies, salads and yogurts.
Tiger nuts can be added to your diet in many ways. They can be consumed raw or cooked, eaten on their own or used as part of meals, dairy-free products or baked goods.