As an advocate for nutrition, nothing makes me more excited than discussing food with friends from other cultures. Recently, a great friend of mine from Cameroon, shared with me her favorite nutritional food, Tiger Nuts, which are known for its high resistant starch fiber content. This being my first introduction to the food, I was immediately invested in learning what makes this food a great source of nutrition.
The most fascinating findings from my research was learning that tiger nuts are not nuts. In fact, they’re part of the tuber vegetable family; commonly recognized as potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips and all underground plants. The “tiger” name comes from the stripes around the outer layer.
Research shares that tiger nuts originated from Egypt and later made its way to Northern Africa and Iberian Peninsula, however, the Spanish population has used the food to make Horchata since the 18th century.
So what makes tiger nuts nutritious? As I mentioned earlier, they have high resistant starch fiber, that works similar to soluble fiber, passing through the small intestines and unable to be digested by the body. Individuals who suffer with diabetes may find tiger nuts beneficial to their diet as it could help steady blood sugar levels. Because of its high resistant starch fiber, research shows that tiger nuts could also help with weight loss; keeping individuals full longer.
Also, they’re a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and E, and have antioxidants that fight free radicals and damage cells that cause cancer. Tiger nuts may not be beneficial to individuals who suffer from IBS or have a sensitivity to fiber.
How should tiger nuts be prepared? To get the most health benefits, it’s recommended to either, soak, boil or toast, due to raw tiger nuts having an anti-nutrient component that may prevent the vitamins and mineral from absorbing in the gut.
I appreciate my friend for introducing me to this awesome food. She recommended I keep the tiger nuts soaked in water, so I store them in mason jars on my counter and add to my smoothies! Tiger nuts can be purchased online or at your local Whole Foods.
To read more about Tiger Nuts, check out https://draxe.com/nutrition/tiger-nuts/