Despite its name, the tiger nut is not a nut but a tuber. The sweet, almond-like flavor tuber crop has gained popularity as a health food.
Known as Ofio in Yoruba, Aki/aya in Hausa and Imumu in Igbo, tiger nut may be eaten either raw or cooked. It can be extracted as milk and used as an alternative by those who do not like dairy milk. It can also be used for baking.
Here are some of the benefits of tiger nut:
It protects against aging: Tiger nut is a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals –that is the unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures, according to an online health portal, Healthline.
It improves digestion: Tiger nut is a good source of fibre. Dietary fibre aids digestion by increasing the frequency of stools and relieving constipation.
It may reduce blood sugar levels: Tiger nut may help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Healthline notes that animal studies show that tiger nut extract may help reduce blood sugar levels due to the high fiber content of the tubers, which may slow down the absorption of sugar in the gut.
It suppresses appetite: An article published in the International Journal for Innovative Research in the multidisciplinary field showed that tiger nut is also said to act as a mild appetite suppressant. This helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and also reduces the number of calories absorbed from the food.
It may boost your immune system, fight infections: Studies have shown that tiger nut extracts are effective against E. coli, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella bacteria. The extracts might also be effective at fighting antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. However, more studies are needed to draw a strong conclusion.
It boosts sex drive: Tiger nut has been proven to improve sperm count and motility. Medical director and consultant urologist at the Ogah Hospital and Urology Centre, Fugar, Edo State, Dr Gabriel Ogah, said tiger nut can boost sex drive and libido in individuals.