What is Tiger-Nut?
Tigernut is a crop of the sedge family found at mostly every part of the world. It scientific name is Cyperus esculentus.
It can be found in Southern Europe, Africa and Madagascar, as well as the middle East and the Indian subcontinent.
In Nigeria Western Africa, tigernut is popularly called ofio among the Yoruba, aya among the Hausas and Aki-hausa in Ibo.
Nutritional Value of Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts are an excellent source of dietary fibre, sugar, phosphorus, carbohydrates, fat, protein, potassium, zinc,
sodium, calcium, magnesium and traces of copper, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Benefits of Tiger Nuts
1. Consumption Purposes: Tiger nut is characterized by nutty sweet taste and can be eaten either raw, dried, roasted, steamed, soaked or processed into tiger nut oil or tiger nut milk. It can also be processed into flour, which is used for baking. Tiger nuts can be used for making both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks such as beer, ice creams and kunnu.
Tiger nuts can also be used for preparing beverages such as horchata de chufa or Atadwe, which is a sweet drink with a similar appearance like milk. Tiger nut milk is a better alternative for individuals that are lactose intolerant. Tiger nuts can also be used for preparing side dishes. The oil has similar properties with olive oil and can be used for frying food and for dressing salads.
2. Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases: Tiger nuts have been categorised as a health food thus including them in our diets is essential for preventing cardiovascular diseases such as heart problems.
3. Boosts Fertility: The high content of vitamin E in tiger nuts is vital for boosting both male and female fertility. These nuts are also essential for triggering normal menstruation.
4. Cosmetology Purposes: Cosmetologists use the tiger nuts oil for manufacturing body creams and ointments. The vitamin E content of the tiger nuts helps to prevent and reduce skin wrinkles and ageing of the body cells.
5. Reduces the Risk of Colon Cancer: Tiger nuts are rich in fibre thus consuming them minimise the risk of colon cancer.
6. Detoxifies the Liver: Consumption of tiger nuts is essential for detoxifying the liver and eradicating toxins from the human body.
7. Maintains a Healthy Cholesterol Level: Tiger nuts help to reduce LDL bad cholesterol as well promotes good cholesterol.
8. Weight Management: 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.
9. Treatment of Gastrointestinal Problems: Studies reveal that tiger nuts are natural stimulants thus very essential for treating gastrointestinal diseases such as food indigestion, constipation, flatulence, dysentery, colic and diarrhea.
10. Diuretic Properties: Studies reveal that the tiger nuts are diuretic in nature thus promotes urine production.
11. Fishing Purposes: Tiger nuts can be soaked, boiled and allowed to ferment for at least 1 day before being used as fishing baits for capturing fishes. It is important to note that raw or unprepared tiger nuts can be poisonous to fishes.