4 Awesome Tiger Nut Health Benefits (You’ll Love #4)

by | Oct 16, 2021

Tiger nuts are unique. They taste like nuts and have a tiger-like appearance.

However, despite their sweet, almond-like flavor, tiger nuts are not actually nuts—they’re plant tubers that grow beneath the soil’s surface, with a crispy exterior and chewy interior.

The scientific name for tiger nut is Cyperus esculentus, but it is also known by other names such as:

  • Yellow nutsedge
  • Earth nut
  • Chufa
  • Earth almonds
  • Nutgrass

Tiger nuts were used in food and traditional medicine in ancient Egypt. Western countries have only recently discovered them and their many health benefits.

Scientists continue to research their health benefits as more people use them to make tiger nut products. The Human Food Bar, for example, uses tiger nut flour in its lectin-free, paleo-friendly protein bar.

The following extraordinary health benefits of tiger nuts combine aspects of both the nut itself and the plant it comes from.

Benefit #1: Rich in Micronutrients

Rich in Micronutrients
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are found in foods. Because your body can’t produce them, you must obtain them in your diet. Tiger nuts are high in plant vitamins and essential minerals, which they get directly from the soil.

The micronutrients perform important bodily functions, such as:

  • Vitamins: Energy production, blood clotting, and immune function
  • Minerals: Normal growth and development, fluid and electrolyte balance, and bone health
The table below looks at the specific micronutrients tiger nut extracts have, the function they each perform, and the daily percentage value in an ounce (30 g).
Micronutrient Daily Value in % Function
Vitamin E 278 Supports immune function
Vitamin C 2–8 Helps to produce collagen that protects the skin and cells
Vitamin B6 4–9 Converts stored carbohydrates to energy
Iron 13–40 Aids in red blood cell formation and functioning of certain hormones
Phosphorus 9–11 Plays a crucial role in bone and cell structure
Zinc 5–7 Necessary for wound healing and overall growth
Potassium 3–5 Maintains fluid balance and assists in muscle function and nerve transmission
Calcium 1 Maintains the structure and function of teeth and bones
Eating tiger nuts raw or making tiger nut milk to add to your smoothie will give you an adequate quantity of micronutrients.

Insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals causes:

  • Brittle nails and hair
  • Bleeding gums
  • Frequent mouth ulcers
  • Scaly skin and dandruff
  • Red or white bumps on the skin

The Human Food Bar is an excellent addition to your diet as a source of these micronutrients, as it incorporates tiger nut flour as a key ingredient.

Benefit #2: Controls Blood Sugar Levels

White powder spilling out of a container on a wooden table
The high content of insoluble fiber in tiger nuts helps to control blood sugar levels.

Raw tiger nuts with their skin intact contain 10 g of fiber per one ounce (30 g). This quantity gives you 40 percent of your daily requirement. When peeled, tiger nuts yield 3 g of fiber, which is 12 percent of your daily need.

The insoluble fiber in tiger nuts is called resistant starch. It acquires its name from resisting digestion in the small intestines by the enzymes amylase and glucosidase.

The resistant starch in tiger nuts prevents these enzymes from breaking down the starch to produce glucose. As a result, the blood glucose levels remain stable, making tiger nuts the perfect food for a person with Type 2 diabetes.

Tiger nuts also contain high amounts of an essential amino acid called L-arginine. L-arginine plays a vital role in controlling blood sugar levels by:

  • Enhancing the utilization of glucose by the body
  • Sensitizing the insulin-producing cells to work efficiently
  • Preventing blood sugar spikes
The European Journal of Nutrition published a study they did with 144 people who had abnormal blood glucose regulation. They gave half the group 6.4 g of L-arginine, and the other half took a placebo. They found that those who took L-arginine reduced their likelihood of diabetes development for over nine years.

These scientifically proven benefits of tiger nuts cause its popularity to grow, and you can easily get it at your local grocery store in the form of:

  • Ground tiger nuts
  • Tiger nut milk
  • Tiger nut flour
  • Whole raw tiger nuts

Benefit #3: Contains Healthy Fats

Tiger nuts have 85 percent monounsaturated fats and 15 percent polyunsaturated fats. They don’t have unhealthy saturated fats, which is the bad fat that causes heart disease. Being plant based, they also lack trans fats and are free of cholesterol.

Tiger nuts have three types of fats—the same three also found in olive oil. The table below shows the actual health benefits of each fat.

Fats in Tiger Nuts Health Aspects and Function
Oleic acid Ensures the cells’ outer layers are thick enough to facilitate their normal functioning
Linoleic acid Improves the immune system function and enhances metabolism
Palmitic acid Aids in the secretion of lung surfactant, which helps you exhale properly

Monounsaturated fat (MUFA) promotes heart health by binding with bad cholesterol and facilitating its elimination from the body. It also decreases triglyceride levels in the blood, which clog blood vessels in high amounts.

The American Diabetes Association made a one-year comparison of a high-monounsaturated fat diet in Type 2 diabetics who were overweight. They found that replacing other fats with high MUFA led to a noticeable average weight loss of 8.8 pounds.

Another study by The National Centre of Biotechnology Information found that a weight loss diet high in MUFA was more effective than one with high carbohydrates.

Tiger nuts are the ideal food to include in your weight loss regime. Use tiger nut flour instead of other nut flours that have lower levels of these healthy fats.

You can also add The Human Food Bar to your diet as a snack; it’s ideal for a person following a strictly healthy diet.

Benefit #4: Supports the Digestive System

Most health enthusiasts know that you can’t have a healthy digestive system without fiber.

Tiger nuts contain more fiber than most recommended high-fiber foods, such as chia seeds and quinoa.

The high content of insoluble fiber in tiger nuts allows it to pass through the small intestine undigested. This property adds bulk to stool and helps food move easily through your digestive tract, thus relieving constipation.

The following video further explains how constipation occurs, and the role fiber plays to relieve it:

As the bulky stool passes the gut, it binds to other byproducts for elimination by the body. These unnecessary compounds that may interfere with the normal functioning of the digestive system include harmful toxins, waste fats, and cholesterol particles.

Resistant starch also acts as food for the good bacteria in your digestive tract. The short-chain fatty acid produced as a byproduct nourishes the colon cells and enhances nutrient absorption.

Tiger nuts contain enzymes such as lipase, amylase, and catalase, which process food in your digestive system and help in relieving gas, indigestion, and diarrhea.

How to Use Tiger Nuts

Tiger nuts have a unique texture and flavor that make them easy to use in various recipes.
  • You can eat tiger nuts in their raw form, though they are harder and more chewy in their dried state. To soften them, soak them in water for six to eight hours before eating.
  • Add ground tiger nuts as a topping to your breakfast cereal, salads, yogurt, and smoothies.
  • Use tiger nut flour to bake bread and other foods. It doesn’t have a strong flavor and won’t interfere with your desired taste.
  • Spain makes tiger nut milk that is popularly known as horchata de chufa. You can add tiger nut milk to your meals or have it as a healthy drink.
  • Healthy food companies use tiger nuts to make ready-to-eat snacks. An excellent example of such a snack is The Human Food Bar, which has a combination of high-valued plant ingredients just like tiger nuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Tiger Nuts Make Me Gain Weight?

No, if you eat in moderation, but yes, if you overindulge yourself. Tiger nuts are composed of 85 percent monounsaturated fat, the good fat. This fat helps in getting rid of cholesterol, which contributes to weight gain.

What are the Advantages of Tiger Nuts?

  • Relieve indigestion and diarrhea
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Stabilize blood glucose levels
  • Support immune function
  • Have exceptional antibacterial properties
  • Have high antioxidant levels

Are Tiger Nuts Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, but you need to consult your doctor and nutritionist for further guidance. Tiger nuts have essential minerals and vitamins that your baby needs for normal growth and development in the womb. The micronutrients in tiger nuts are similar to those in pregnancy supplements.

Is There a Snack with Tiger Nuts as an Ingredient?

Yes, The Human Food Bar is a protein bar containing tiger nut flour as a key ingredient. It is ideal for most people following diets such as:

  • Paleo
  • Keto
  • Dr. Gundry
  • Lectin-free
  • Gluten-free

Shop with us, and enjoy all the health benefits of tiger nuts.

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4 Awesome tiger nut health
Founder
Remy is the founder of Human Food Bar. A health and wellness enthusiast based in Berkeley, California with a deep interest in dietary nutrition, he’s well versed in the Plant Paradox, Keto, Paleo and Vegan diets. He has a borderline obsession with nutrition bars that eventually gave birth to the Human Food Bar. In his free time he likes to blog, cook, mixologize, garden and mountain bike.
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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Nutritional Synergy
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Kathy is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Science degree from Michigan State University in Human Nutrition. She’s been a Registered Dietitian for 32 years serving in all capacities of my profession from clinical nutrition to public health and education. She’s passionate about helping people change their lives for the better using medical nutrition therapy and in the art and practice of writing about all aspects of functional and integrative nutrition.
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Founder
Remy is the founder of Human Food Bar. A health and wellness enthusiast based in Berkeley, California with a deep interest in dietary nutrition, he’s well versed in the Plant Paradox, Keto, Paleo and Vegan diets. He has a borderline obsession with nutrition bars that eventually gave birth to the Human Food Bar. In his free time he likes to blog, cook, mixologize, garden and mountain bike.
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