I have something different for you, we are learning about Tigernuts and I have the best hands to take us through that journey. Adedayo ajayi is a food technologist, she has her own food company Straightway foods that specializes in pastries and tigernut milk. She will be giving us in details tigernuts and its benefits.
Tigernuts are not nuts but small edible tubers found on the root of a sedge plant (Cyperus Esculentus Lativum), it was first discovered 4000years ago and according to research from oxford university they comprise 80% of our paleo (early American) ancestors’ diet around 2million years ago and now it is becoming more popular especially through its diverse and dynamic products. They are known with different names in different cultures around the world; in Spanish as chufa, offio in Yoruba language, aaya in Hausa language, Aki-awusa in the eastern part of Nigeria
Tigernut is a name these tubers got as a result of their tiger-striped exterior and a flavor which suggests both coconut and almond flavor, they are both an annual and perennial crop as it has various variety, it is highly adaptable and it grows well under a wide range of climatic and soil conditions, its plant is about 90cm tall and can easily be mistaken for a weed. They produce an average of 2420 seeds per plant. According to the Food and agriculture organization (FAO), tubers soaked in water for 24 – 36 hour and the chilled tubers before planting germinates better and also yield more sprouts per tuber, it is harvested after 90 – 120 days after germination.
They can be eaten freshly dug out of the ground, cooked, Roasted, boiled or juiced, skinned or peeled.
BENEFITS OF TIGERNUTS
Tigernuts have a perfect nutritional balance and they are rich in nutrients required to keep the whole body healthy.
- Cardiologists recommend eating tiger nuts because they have the similar lipid profile to olive oil which is considered one of the healthiest oils
- Tigernut oil is high in omega 6, contains unsaturated fatty acids and has made it a worthy substitute for olive oil.
- The tiger nuts have quite a high fiber content in them. They have higher fiber content than oats, cabbage and carrots. This fiber helps the organism to prevent constipation, it also acts as an appetite suppressant and helps to control body weight. In addition their insoluble fiber content is quite helpful for diabetic patients. Insoluble fiber is quite essential for diabetic patients because they don’t cause ups and downs in the blood sugar levels.
- Tiger nuts are quite helpful in controlling the blood pressure of the body as they contain arginine in abundance .The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research has named arginine the forerunner of nitric oxide which keep our blood vessels wide enough to allow the normal blood flow. Arginine helps in conditions which are worsened by restricted blood vessels like heart failure, blocked arteries, chest pain, artery diseases not affecting the heart or brain, muscle cramps, erectile dysfunction and headaches caused by swollen blood vessels.
- Different reports have suggested that tiger nuts are packed with minerals and vitamins. They have high content of vitamin E and C in them and also minerals like phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous and calcium helps with teeth and bone formation and also in ATP formation. They contain 3 times more potassium than banana, potassium is needed for maintaining the electrolyte and chemical balance between the tissue cells and the blood, they contain as much iron as red meat, iron helps to prevent anemia.
- They provide the body with vitamin E an antioxidant which protects the body from free radical attack, help to maintain cell membrane and delaying body cells from ageing, reduces the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease.
There are so many other benefits to be derived in Tigernuts and it can be used in diets by young and old, pregnant or lactating mothers for its nutritional content wholly and in its present products; Tigernut milk, Tigernut flour and Tigernut oil.
Other products can be developed so as to maximize the many potentials of this crop as it is underutilized, so that it could be fitted into our daily diet and snacks.
Wow, that was very informative and thrilling. The next time you pass by hausa man selling Tigernuts make sure you buy and they are not so expensive, you could get it for as low as #20 and you could also order for the tigernut drink from our guest Adedayo Ajayi. Drop your messages and questions in the comment session and she will gladly get back to you.
Have a healthy and productive week!