By Mutiat Alli
There is no doubt that Tigernut are one of the cheapest African snack foods often sold by the Hausa in different parts of Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the Igbo call it ‘imumu’ while the Hausa call it ‘Aya’ and the Yoruba call it ‘ofio’.
Various studies have shown that tiger nut milk contains more iron, magnesium and carbohydrates than cow milk, making it ideal for a lacto – free diet and therefore it’s an ideal substitute for animal milk.
Tigernut is highly nutritious and contains high energy content (starch, proteins, sugars and fat), it is rich in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins E and C.
Phosphorus together with calcium constitute the bulk of the mineral substance of the bones and teeth.
It plays a part in the formation of ATP, and energy compound for activating glucose, fatty acids, etc.
Potassium is the most important neural element in intracellular behaviour. It plays a part in numerous enzymatic reactions and in important physiological processes, such as cardiac rhythm, nervous conduction, and muscle contraction.
Magnesium is perfect for healthy hair and skin, a great mood enhancer and possesses huge anti-inflammatory benefits.
Vitamin E is a great anti – oxidant that slows damage to cells and has anti-aging properties.
Vitamin C provides antioxidants. Iron helps maintain vitamin E levels; also for the immunological system and for preserving the tissues.
Due to the high contents of soluble glucose, they prevent heart attacks, thrombosis and activate blood circulation.
Lately some researchers discovered that they reduce the risk of suffering colon cancer.
The very high Fiber content combined with a delicious taste make them ideal for healthy eating.
The African journal of food, agriculture, nutrition and development attests that consuming tiger nuts reduces low density lipoprotein – cholesterol – it’s high Fiber content serves as a mop for the body ‘s’ bad cholesterol’, helping the body to dispose it through waste.
The Fiber, when ingested with water swells in the gut and brings a feeling of fullness, helping to suppress appetite and aid in weight loss for men and women.
The Tiger nut oil can be paired with a salad or used to drizzle on some bread instead of butter for a healthy alternative.
It may also be used for applying on skin and hair. The oil is similar to olive oil and corn oil, so it can be used for cooking as well.
Health benefits of Tiger nut has higher Fiber content that the oat bran, cabbage, carrot, plums and chia seeds.
Fiber helps the organism to prevent constipation and acts as an appetite suppressant, which helps us to control our body weight.
It has the same benefits for the heart as the olive oil.
Tigernut has a lipid profile which is very similar to the olive oil, which is considered as one of the healthiest oils and one the best natural magnesium.
With only 100gr of Tiger nuts, your body gets 13% to 17% of the daily recommended dose of magnesium.
This mineral stays active in the body and participates more than 300 biochemical reactions of our organism. It helps to control blood pressure.
Its high content of amino acid arginine helps the body make nitric oxide which helps our blood vessels dilate and to have a normal blood vessel.
Tigernut is a source of vitamin E that protects us from the creation of harmful free radicals which are responsible for the death of the body cells.
This fact, combined with a high content of oleic acid, has demonstrated that it reduces the risk of heart diseases.
READ ALSO: Tigernut: Inexpensive yet nutritious
It gives your body more potassium than banana would. Eating 25 tiger nuts gives the body 139mg of potassium than a potato or an avocado and exceeding the potassium levels of banana.
This mineral helps the cells and organs to work correctly. It also regulates the muscle contractions, which helps your digestion.
Tigernut are also source of protein. Proteins are fundamental for the human body. Different studies have demonstrated that tiger nuts have a content of protein which is 8% higher than meal wheat.