Image of whole tiger nuts spilling onto a table to help highlight the benefits of tiger nuts.

5 Surprising Benefits of Tiger Nuts

by Funmilayo Labulo

Do you know why tiger nuts are gaining popularity vs other nuts? Thanks to their nutritional composition, tiger nuts have been recently championed for their potential health advantages — a few of which may surprise you! And, it turns out, these ancient keto-friendly treats make a tasty, energizing snack. 

In this quick overview, you’ll learn how the benefits of tiger nuts can aid in improving your health. Plus, we’ll share a few helpful resources to help you add tiger nuts to your diet.

In the article:

  •  What are tiger nuts?
  •  Are tiger nuts a superfood?
  •  Our 5 fave tiger nut benefits
  •  Tasty ways to add tiger nuts to your diet
  • Final thoughts
  • What are Tiger Nuts?

    Tiger nuts aren’t actually nuts at all. They’re the nutritious tuber (like yams or potatoes) of sedge grass. Also known as, earth almonds or chufa nuts, tiger nuts have long been a popular and nutritious snack in parts of Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Beyond the benefits of tiger nuts (which I’ll get into in a second) they have a pleasing crunch, a smooth texture, and a nutty flavor, similar to almonds. The amount and types of nutrients they contain are species-specific. The three primary types of tiger nuts are:

    • Black tiger nut
    • Brown tiger nut
    • Yellow tiger nut

    One ounce (28 grams) of tiger nuts nutritional facts include: 19g Of Carbs, 1g Of Protein, 143 Calories, About 9g Of Fiber, 7g Of Fat, Iron, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Calcium.

    How did Tiger nuts come into existence?

    Though the benefits of tiger nuts gained widespread attention relatively recently, humans have been growing tiger nuts for hundreds of years. It was grown first in Neolithic Egypt, and then it made its way to North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. Due to tiger nuts’ numerous health benefits, the Spanish have been using it to produce horchata (a milky drink) since the 18th century.

    5 Health Benefits of Tiger Nuts ?

    Tiger nuts are highly regarded by dietitians due to their high levels of resistant starch fiber. The prebiotic properties of resistant starch fibers are much admired. They also claim that these fibers travel through the gastrointestinal tract undigested and are considered to lower blood sugar rises. But it doesn’t stop there.

    1. They’re good for cholesterol

    Another benefit of these high-fiber tubers is their ability to reduce levels of LDL, sometimes known as "bad cholesterol." That’s because tiger nuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats (similarly to unfiltered avocado oil). 

    2. Tiger nuts are food-restriction Friendly

    Tiger nuts and tiger nut flour are also suitable for individuals following Keto, Paleo, and other dietary lifestyles because they are gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free and nut-free. As plants, it goes without saying that they’re also vegan and dairy-free, making them a go-to snack for everyone.

    3. They’re A Mineral Rich Snack

    As for the nutritional benefits of tiger nuts, they are rich in minerals, including fiber, oleic acid, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins C and E.

    The potassium content of tiger nuts is quite high. Potassium is a vital mineral that aids in the functioning of cell membranes. As an added bonus, potassium helps keep your muscle contractions, blood pressure, and gastrointestinal processes regular.

    And tiger nuts contain magnesium which is an important element used in the maintenance of proper muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, protein synthesis, and control of blood sugar.

    4. Are you into antioxidants? 

    Tiger nuts are packed with them.

    Tiger nuts have a high antioxidant content, which helps combat free radicals and reduces inflammation and cancer risk.

    Vitamins C and E, two potent antioxidants, can be found in abundance in tiger nuts and help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, the immune system is strengthened, wounds are healed quickly, and cancer is warded off, thanks to the antioxidants.

    So, yeah, win for tiger nuts. 

    5. Can Tiger Nuts Help Reduce Inflammation?

    Yes, tiger nuts can help reduce inflammation!

    They can help reduce swelling and inflammation and offer a simple and efficient approach to increasing omega-3 consumption. While many nuts and seeds naturally have a high omega 6 content, tiger nuts have a higher concentration of monounsaturated variety. 

    How Do Tiger Nuts Improve Health?

    Boost the immune system

    A study used tiger nut extracts to see how they fared against different strains of bacteria that might cause infections in people. It turns out, the extract inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella. 

    Now, researchers speculate that tiger nut extracts could be useful in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. There is some evidence that tiger nuts can help the body mount a more effective defense against infections, especially those caused by germs that have developed resistance to antibiotics. 

    Build tissue and stronger bone

    As a result of their high calcium content, tiger nuts are a great source of strength and vitality. They are a great snack for growing children and teenagers due to their rich calcium content. Healthy and strong bones require calcium during development. 

    Tiger Nuts can aid with weight loss

    Oleic acid is a kind of monounsaturated fatty acid found in tiger nuts, and a few other foods. In the small intestine, oleic acid is converted into oleoylethanolamide (OEA). Evidence suggests that OEA reduces food intake by stimulating a region of the brain responsible for feelings of fullness.

    Furthermore, there are a number of studies that have specifically looked at how well tiger nuts aid in weight reduction. Eating tiger nuts was also associated with significant weight loss and improvement in metabolic abnormalities in a separate trial of obese diabetic individuals. 

    Facilitate easy digestion

    One of these super-tubers’ most notable health benefits is high in insoluble fiber, which is not absorbed by the body. You are less likely to experience constipation if you consume a diet high in insoluble fiber, which increases the volume and softness of your feces and facilitates the transit of food through your digestive tract. It is thought that the resistant starch in tiger nuts feeds the beneficial bacteria already present in the digestive tract, hence facilitating the digestive process.

    Tiger nuts include digestive enzymes including catalases, lipases, and amylases, which work to break down food in the intestines and alleviate gastrointestinal distress like bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

    It is important to be aware that the high fiber content of tiger nuts may result in uncomfortable gas or bloating at first. Those curious about trying them should start with smaller servings and work their way up. 

    Where To Find Tiger Nuts

    Great, you want to add tiger nuts to your diet! But how do you do it?

    One way to enjoy tiger nuts is eating them whole. Specialty online grocers typically carry them. 

    You can also prepare your own tiger nut milk drink. This is a popular option for people who are lactose intolerant or otherwise dairy free. 

    If you fancy yourself a baker and err away from cereal grains, keep your eye out for tiger nut flour. This allows you to bake delicious Keto-friendly cakes, breads, and pancakes, all of which are made even more delicious with our sugar free chocolate hazelnut spread.

    But our favorite? 

    No surprise here—we’re big fans of our Bhu Foods Tigernut snacks. If you haven’t noticed, Bhu Foods is on a mission to get awesome energy bars and other sin-less snacks to shoppers with healthy ingredients at the top of their list. Our line of tigernut snacks include tigernut bars, tigernut granola, and tigernut butter. 

    Yes! You read that last one right… “Delicious” doesn’t even come close.

    But for now, you’re going to have to cruise over to your local Sprouts Farmers Market to grab a pack. And, if you’re looking for other low-sugar-lots-of-goodness foods—or just unfortunately don’t live near a Sprouts—you can get all of your favorite Bhu treats on our Shop All page.

    Final Thoughts

    As you can see, there’s no shortage of benefits of tiger nuts. These not-so-nuts are an intriguing addition to a healthy diet. They aid digestion, provide a wealth of beneficial nutrients, and can even help play a role in preventing infections and diseases.

    Now you have a better understanding of how tiger nuts improve health. Try one of our new tigernut snacks, available at Sprouts. And if you’re up for the challenge, try baking something sweet with tiger nut flour. (Just don’t forget that protein spread. in order to make a more informed decision on whether tiger nuts are right for you to derive essential health benefits.

     

    Sources: 

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tiger-nuts#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/09/22/what-are-tiger-nuts-and-why-you-should-eat-them/?sh=3d30b71bb5e1

    why-you-should-eat-them/?sh=3d30b71bb5e1

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23138226/ 

    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748608/nutrients

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8871521/

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16978905/

     

    Reviewed by:
    Frankie Krygsman is a certified Life Coach and certified nutritionist (NASM and ISSA) from San Diego. He was recently awarded “2022 Transformation Coach of the year” by the Brave Thinking Institute. Frankie has also been a personal trainer who specializes in Dr. Eric Berg's methodology focusing on Ketosis and IF. Frankie has helped thousands of clients either by working with him personally or following the guidelines in his eBook "Kinetic Ketosis." Frankie focuses on helping people lose weight, increase energy levels, and improve sleep quality.